Should you switch carriers for the money?

The fight for drivers is becoming intense as wages go up to attract talent. With salaries over $80,000 being promised by some carriers drivers are starting to perk up and look for work else where even though they may have been happy at their existing carrier.

I was reading a question the other day in an article where a spouse was looking for suggestions from other drivers as to whether her husband should move from one carrier to another as he was the sole income earner for the family. He was working for a good carrier, home every night, had seniority, Union support, benefits, etc. I won’t say the name but it is a well respected carrier in the industry.

As a single family income he of course is looking to make as much money as possible and feels he has reached his income potential with his current carrier. He is seeing the big offers by other carriers, applied for the job, and received an offer. His dilemma now, does he take the job? The new carrier is offering an over the road job and requires him to be away 5-6 days per week. The family is okay with that but will he really make more money?


This is an important question that people don’t always think through because the salary potential gets in the way. We see the dollar signs and that can cloud our judgement causing us to make the wrong decision. Let’s break it down a bit more.

First the salary you see in an advertisement is often an average or above average salary of what is possible for a driver. If all the stars align you could make “X” number of dollars. It is against the law to put out false advertising so you could make that income if everything is right. The world of transportation doesn’t work that way however and each driver has their own work pace. Some drivers are slower, some have more experience, some have better travel lanes, some have certain equipment, so there are many variables when it comes to how much income a person can make even in the same fleet.

Delays are the next variable that can really hurt the income stated by a carrier. If you get delayed for long periods of time that can affect your earnings. Expenses on the road can take a large chunk of income from a driver. Like the driver above he was home every night, slept in his own bed, showered at home, and possibly took his lunch to work each day. If he takes the job over the road he may now have to pay for showers, buy meals on the road, and buy personal items and equipment for his truck. These are all expenses that many times comes out of the drivers own pocket and income.

If you leave one carrier to drive for another carrier that may give you a raise of $10,000 but if you have to put out more money for expenses you really aren’t ahead of the game. You’re just taking that money and giving it to the truck stop or other vendor. Do your homework if looking at new opportunities as they may not always be what they seem. It’s what you want for a career that’s important, not just the money!


About the Author

Bruce Outridge has been in the transportation industry for over 30 years. He is an author of the books Driven to Drive and Running By The Mile, and host of The Lead Pedal Podcast. TTSAO also known as the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario has certified member schools in the truck training vocation ensuring quality entry level drivers enter the transportation industry. To learn more about the TTSAO or to find a certified school in your area visit


Membership in the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario can be of great benefit to you, whether you provide commercial driver training, employ drivers, or are in some other segment of the transportation industry. Join our association today to become part of this team of professionals whose goal is to improve and unify truck driver training standards, resulting in highly skilled, better prepared, entry-level and re-certified commercial drivers.

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