Tips for Trucking With a Family

Trucking is a promising career path. Commercial drivers can earn more than $69,000 a year* and it only takes a few weeks to get the necessary training to get started. Many individuals chose to enter the field due to these benefits, including individuals with families. Long-haul trucking (which is most common for entry-level positions, and has the highest earning potential) is as much a lifestyle as it is a career. This will affect not only you, but also your loved ones back home. With a bit of effort on both ends, it is possible to make trucking with a family work for you.

Here are some tips:

1. Take Advantage of Technology

Modern technology has made it easier than ever to stay in touch with loved ones even if you are far from home. Make an effort to call at least once each day while you’re out and to video chat with your family a few times a week. This way, you can stay up to date with everything that is happening in their lives.

During fuel stops and other breaks, send photos of interesting truck stops, roadside attractions, or anything else you think they’d like to see from your day. This will remind them that you’re thinking of them while you’re out on the road. However, make sure you never text while driving!

2. Let Your Family Help You Trip Plan

Before starting a haul, it’s important to plan your route. During this process, get your family involved by letting them help pick where you’ll stop. When you’ve made your plan, give them a copy so they have a timeline of where you’ll be at different points of your trip. Each day when you check in, they’ll be able to reference your plan to get an idea of what area you are in. It’s likely your plans will change and you won’t follow the route completely, but your family will still get to feel like they’re a part of your daily life on the road.

3. Spend Time Together When You’re Home

During your home time, there are likely several things you’ll need to do. You will want to make sure you can finish any essential tasks and take some time to relax. In addition to taking time for yourself, make sure you also take advantage of the time you have with your family.

There are sure to be many events or special occasions where you want to be with your family. Be realistic and prioritize the most important of these. Make sure you are realistic and don’t make any promises you can’t keep. Surprising your family by getting home earlier than you thought is going to be better than missing out on something you said you’d be there for. Setting clear expectations for this ahead of time is helpful and when you can’t physically be there, try to call, video chat, or otherwise be involved as much as you can.

4. Consider a Trip With a Loved One

Depending on which motor carrier you work for, you may be able to bring a passenger on the road with you. If one of your family members has time, consider taking them on the road for a short trip. This gives them the opportunity to see what your day-to-day working life is like, and it lets you share a special experience together.

For children, be sure to check your company’s minimum age requirements. You should also consider whether your child is prepared to spend hours at a time in your truck.

When taking passengers on the road, be sure to plan ahead. Choose a route that is short and relatively easy when possible. A route through a busy city or an area with inclement weather is likely to raise your stress levels and may not be a great trip for bringing a family member along.

5. Set Goals With Your Family in Mind

You and your partner/co-parent should be on the same page when it comes to what is best for your family situation. Set clear expectations with each other and discuss your long-term and short-term career goals. If you want to transition into a job with more home time, consider spending one year as a long-haul driver before transitioning to a regional or local job. Alternatively, if you find you love over-the-road (OTR) trucking, be sure your family is on board. Both options are possible for truckers with families so it just depends on your and your family’s preferences.

Earn Your CDL in Tucson

If you are interested in a trucking career, HDS Truck Driving Institute (HDS truck driving school) can help you earn your license in as little as four weeks. We have trained many students with families and offer job placement assistance to help you find opportunities that align with your needs and goals.

To learn more about becoming a truck driver, contact us today.

*Professional truck drivers earn a mean annual wage of $48,710. The top 10% of truck drivers make more than $69,000 per year according to the 2020 Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Future of Women in Trucking

If you ask someone to picture a truck driver, many of them will think of a rugged man. Although it is true that the trucking industry has a high proportion of male drivers, the number of women truckers continues to grow. Data from Freightwaves and the Women in Trucking Association (WIT) shows that the percentage of over-the-road (OTR) truckers who are female has increased from 4.9% in 2008 to 10.2% in 2019.

Due to the continuing truck driver shortage, there is an increased demand for drivers of both genders. This means that welcoming more female truckers is a promising way to meet this need while also allowing women to take advantage of the many benefits of the trucking industry.

More information about the future of women in trucking:

What Brings Women to the Trucking Industry

For the most part, women choose to become truckers for the same reasons men do.

Some of these include:

  • High Earning Potential: OTR drivers can earn competitive pay and take advantage of excellent benefits. Truckers can earn more than $69,000 a year.*
  • Accelerated Training: Getting a commercial driver’s license (CDL) can take as little as four weeks. Especially considering the high earning potential, this is a relatively short training period.
  • Freedom of the Open Road: Long-haul trucking gives you the opportunity to see more of the country.

Key Barriers to Address to Help Women in Trucking

Over the years, the trucking industry has become more welcoming for women. However, there are still some barriers that companies are working to address in order to help women drivers.

Some of these barriers and possible solutions for them include:

Varying Company Cultures

Some motor carriers unfortunately still have corporate cultures that are not entirely welcoming to female truckers. Luckily, more and more companies have begun to realize how valuable women truck drivers can be and are taking steps to create a more inclusive environment.

If you are a female trucking school student, one way to help ensure your future company will be a welcoming workplace is to talk to current drivers. All trucking students, regardless of gender, can actually benefit from this as it allows them to make decisions about their future with access to all of the available information.

Semi-Truck Design

Women are shorter and smaller than men on average and in the past, semi-trucks have been designed for male drivers. As a result, women may not always feel as comfortable in tractor-trailers. Today, companies have begun to consider the needs of women and are making cabs that are more accommodating.


Female truckers traveling alone may be concerned about safety. The good news is that there have been advancements in security technology that can help these women feel safer. Additionally, female truck drivers who have dealt with issues in the past can help those who are new to the industry and give them advice.

Motor carriers have also become more aware of the unique concerns of their female drivers and trainees. As a result, they have worked to improve safety on the road. In addition, updated truck stop facilities provide more safety and comfort for all drivers regardless of gender.

We Welcome All Trucking Students

At Phoenix Truck Driving School, we strive to provide a supportive and welcoming environment for all students, both male and female. Our program can get you on the road in as little as four weeks and we offer job placement assistance to help you get your career started.

If you are interested in earning your commercial driver’s license, contact us today.

*Professional truck drivers earn a mean annual wage of $47,130. The top 10% of truck drivers make more than $69,480 per year according to 2020 Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Types of Trucker Pay

Trucking can be a rewarding career path and drivers can make more than $69,000 a year.* Determining how much you can earn as a trucker can be confusing at first because the pay structure is typically different for over-the-road drivers compared to other workers. Beyond the base pay, there are also additional types of trucker pay and it’s helpful to understand what these are and when they might apply.

Some types of pay for truck drivers include:

Base Pay

Most of what you earn as a trucker will be from your base pay. This is the standard pay you receive for driving. The way your company calculates base pay will vary depending on the type of driving you do.

Your base pay may be:

Pay Per Mile

This is the most common type of pay for over-the-road (OTR) truck drivers and many regional drivers as well. As the name implies, this type of base pay compensates you based on the number of miles that you haul goods and materials. The company will express this rate as cents per mile (CPM).

There are a few different ways to calculate mileage, so it’s important to know which your company uses.

These are:

  • Practical Mileage – one of the most common and is based on the number of miles in the most efficient route from the starting point to the destination.
  • Household Goods (HHG) – measures from zip code to zip code
  • Hub Mileage – includes every mile a truck drivers


Local drivers and regional drivers with short routes may have hourly rates instead of being paid per mile. This type of base pay becomes more practical if the driver performs non-driving tasks (such as loading and unloading or interacting with customers) for long periods of time on a regular basis. It is very rare for OTR drivers to be paid hourly.


Truck drivers with a salary earn a consistent amount on a weekly or biweekly basis. These are similar to hourly trucking jobs in that they are more common for local or regional driving compared to OTR.

Pay Per Load

This is one of the rarer types of base pay in the trucking industry, although companies may offer it under some circumstances. You are more likely to see pay per load for specialized trucking jobs or as pay for owner-operators. This may be a flat rate or a percentage of the profit the company makes for the load. The second is less common.

Additional Trucker Pay

Motor carriers may compensate truck drivers beyond base pay depending on the situation.

Some additional types of pay that may apply include:

Per Diem

A per diem is a daily allowance and helps cover daily expenses a driver may have on the road, such as meals. Many motor carriers will add a per diem into their CPM rate. One thing to note is that per diem pay is non-taxable. As a result, it’s important to know what portion, if any, of your pay per mile is considered per diem.

Detention, Layover, and Breakdown Pay

In trucking, things don’t always go as planned. Compensating drivers in these situations can help reduce their stress when they are not able to travel as many miles as expected due to delays outside of their control.

Motor carriers may offer pay for:

  • Detentions – a trucker is stuck at the receiver and has to wait to drop off their load
  • Layovers –  a driver is waiting to receive a load
  • Breakdowns – an issue with the tractor-trailer that requires the truck driver to stop and wait for repairs

Stop Pay

In many cases, OTR drivers deliver a full truckload to one customer. However, there may be circumstances when a load will include two or more stops. Many motor carriers offer additional stop pay for every drop-off past the first one.

Bonuses and Incentives

Trucking companies often offer incentives to encourage the best performance. Some examples include bonuses for passing Department of Transportation (DOT) inspections, safe driving, and fuel efficiency. Due to the driver shortage, many carriers offer sign-on bonuses as well.

Start A Rewarding Trucking Career

If you are interested in seeing more of the country while earning high pay, you should consider trucking. The first step is earning your commercial driver’s license (CDL) and at Phoenix Truck Driving School, we can help you do this in as little as four weeks. We also offer job placement assistance and many of our students have offers even before graduation.

To learn more about our truck driver training, contact us today.

*Professional truck drivers earn a mean annual wage of $47,130 ( The top 10% of truck drivers make more than $69,480 per year according to 2020 Bureau of Labor Statistics.