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Regional Preferences and Highest Pay in Truck Driving
Each individual truck driver has his or her own preference as to what region he or she prefers to travel in. It seems that the general consensus is that the majority of truck drivers prefer to drive through the Midwest and southern states. Highly populated areas such as California and other western states pose challenges to drivers in making their deliveries on time. In New England and New York City, truckers face the same problems. The roads are just too crowded. In the south, there are more open roads and back roads that can be taken to get to each destination.
Major roadways in densely populated cities make traveling difficult for tractor trailers. Not only does it burn extra fuel but also it cuts down on how far the driver can get in a day due to the Federal driving regulations requiring 10 hours off per day and no more than 70 hours in an eight day period. There are truck drivers that do not have a preference as to a specific region. Some like to travel the entire country to make their way back to their home state for some down time. A regional driver has the opportunity to make more than a long hauler or local driver as well.
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What Regions Pay the Highest to Truck Drivers?
As far as which region pays the most, it appears that the south in general pays an average of $45,000 – $55,000 per year for experienced truck drivers. Georgia is the highest paying southern state in this industry. Mississippi is the next highest paying southern state with an average of $36,850. These salaries are, of course, before any sign-on bonuses are paid out. Not every company will offer a sign-on bonus. These bonuses are generally offered when companies are in desperate need of dedicated drivers.
The next region that pays the highest would be the New England area. New Jersey truck drivers average $55,000 per year in income before taxes before bonuses and other perks such as profit sharing. The odd ball state that is tossed into the highest paying areas is located in the Midwest. Illinois truck drivers, mainly in the greater Chicago area average $45,000 – $65,000 year salaries. There will always be areas outside of a region that pay higher. Experience and safety are highly coveted assets in the truck driving industry, maintaining a good safety rating and gaining experience is what finds the higher paying jobs.