Iowa CDL Truck Driver Salary Information
Driving a truck in Iowa can be an adventure. There are six bordering states (Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and South Dakota) so you could drive off in any direction and see something new. The capital of Iowa is Des Moines and it is also the most populated. The top five cities are:
- Des Moines (203,433)
- Cedar Rapids (126,326)
- Davenport (99,685)
- Sioux City (82,684)
- Waterloo (68,406)
In Iowa, a truck driver’s annual average salary is $41,620 and can vary from $26,850 at the low end to $60,250 at the high end (SOURCE). If you’re a rookie, once you’ve got a few years’ experience behind you, you could be making fairly good money.
Good news for truck drivers in Iowa! The projected increase in the number of truck driver jobs will increase 14% from 2014-2024. The average percent increase for the U.S. is 6%.
Looking at median salaries, meaning the numbers have exactly 50% above and 50% below, the U.S. is at $41,340 while Iowa is at $39,740. Depending on the city, you can make more than the median salary as shown below (SOURCE):
- Des Moines: $46,000
- Dubuque: $44,280
- Davenport: $40,950
- Iowa City: $40,560
- Sioux City: $40,240
Truckload Carriers In Iowa
If you’re just starting out, there are a lot of trucking jobs to consider; one in particular is a for-hire truckload carrier. This classification of trucking company earns their revenue by hauling other companies’ freight. If you work for a for-hire truckload carrier you’re working for a company that doesn’t manufacturer or produce anything.
Usually these carrier companies contract out their trucks, trailers, and drivers to other companies that need their services. To drop a few company names that use for-hire truckload carriers, there are many familiar names:
- Landstar System
- J.B. Hunt
- Swift Transportation
Since these companies don’t manufacturer or ship their own goods the business is dependent upon the freight demands of other companies. There is a down side to working for this type of trucking company and that is that freight contracts turnover and are offered to other trucking companies to bid on. So you might enjoy hauling a certain customer’s freight n, but it doesn’t mean the company you work for will always win the bid for that customer’s freight contract.
This could be good if you enjoy variety and the challenges of hauling different types of freight. Usually for-hire truckload companies have multiple customers to protect against the loss of one customer’s freight. So you don’t have to worry about being let go if they lose one contract.
For-hire truckload carriers typically have their drivers operate as part of an over-the-road network of drivers. Often, a for-hire truckload carrier has a large percentage of their fleet made up of OTR drivers. If you are a new driver in the industry, this may be where you need to start if you want to move up in the ranks of the trucking world.
Iowa CDL License Information and Information
How to get your Iowa CDL (SOURCE):
- Be at least age 18 for intrastate driving or 21 to transport people and/or drive interstate.
- Provide proof of full name, date of birth, and Social Security number.
- Proof of citizenship
- Proof of Iowa residency (your license showing your Iowa address will meet this requirement)
- Pass vision screening
- Hold a CLP for at least 14 days prior to applying for your CDL (effective July 2015).
- Your driving record will be checked in all other states; the check must show you are eligible for commercial licensing in all other states.
- You must certify how you’ll use the truck you’ll operate on the job, which may require you to have a medical certificate.
Pass the knowledge test(s) for the type of commercial vehicle you want to operate. Some of those types of knowledge tests include:
- General knowledge for any CDL
- Combination vehicle for Class A
- Air brake
- School bus
- Iowa operator (if applicable)
Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP)
Second, you have to obtain a CLP after you pass the applicable knowledge tests, and you’ll have to hold that CLP for at least 14 days before you can go to the third step (skills testing) and get your full CDL.
There are three segments of the skills test. You must show up for these tests in a vehicle that’s in good working order and is representative of the class of license you’re applying for.
1. Pre-trip vehicle inspection test
The pre-trip vehicle inspection test is required to verify the vehicle is safe to drive. You will have to walk around the vehicle and point to or touch each item and explain to the license examiner what you are checking and why.
2. Skills test
The skills test ensures you can drive in a number of difficult situations; for example, maneuvering around cones and backing maneuvers.
3. Driving test
The driving test takes place on public roads with an examiner in the passenger’s seat.
After you pass the required skills (driving) test, you can get your CDL at any driver’s license issuance location for a cost of $8 per year plus any applicable endorsement fees (SOURCE).
Iowa Trucking in the News
Trucking industry reports indicate that significant freight rate increases are expected in the near future. Due to recent hurricanes, the pending electronic logging device (ELD) mandate, and an increase in freight demand, trucking fleets will have the upper hand in 2018 negotiations.
A report from Cowen and Co. states that private fleets and third-party logistics firms could have rate increases reaching 15 percent and for truckload carriers, the higher pricing translates into stronger rates on contract freight.
On the less-than-truckload side, volumes have increased significantly with some truckload overflow freight, industrial sector strength, and continued growth in the e-commerce sector (SOURCE).
Story 2: Walcott Truckers Jamboree Attendance Over 44,500
Iowa 80, The World’s Largest Truckstop celebrated America’s truckers last week with 44,523 drivers and their families as well as local residents at the 38th Annual Walcott Truckers Jamboree – three days of trucks, music, and family fun.
Twenty-five states and two Canadian provinces were represented. The Walcott Truckers Jamboree has been celebrating truckers, rain or shine, since 1979. “My family is proud to have been serving the trucking industry for 53 years,” said Delia Moon Meier. “This is our chance to thank all of the men and women who deliver the goods we need every day, and we’re honored to do so.”
During the three-day event, guests enjoyed over 143 exhibits, a Super Truck Beauty Contest with 72 participants, an antique truck display with more than 170 vehicles, Trucker Olympics, carnival games, and free concerts. Both Thursday and Friday nights included fireworks displays, a truck light show, and plenty of fun for the whole family.
“The Walcott Truckers Jamboree is a celebration of trucking,” said Heather DeBaillie, Iowa 80 Truckstop’s marketing director. “It’s a great privilege to be able to not only honor drivers and their hard work, but to showcase trucking to the general public.” (SOURCE)