Kentucky CDL Truck Driver Salary Information
The great thing about trucking is that there are so many different types of drivers that you will be able to find a job that works with your family situation and personality. If you have a family and want to be home nights, you can work for a local company and drive intrastate.
This job is good for someone who likes order, as you will probably deliver to the same clients and drive the same route each day. Maybe you’re single and a bit of an adventurer. In that case, an OTR job would be ideal since you’ll be away from home for a while delivering to other states. You’ll be out on the open road, seeing new vistas, and meeting new people.
Kentucky has quite a few bordering states: Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana. Even if you only drive to bordering states (regional driver) you’d still see several southeastern as well as northern central states. You can also make a good salary while driving.
The average trucker salary in Kentucky is $42,100. If you’re a rookie your salary may be toward the lower end to start $25,770. Not everyone will reach the pinnacle for various reasons, but the highest salary is $62,140. A salary like that takes years of experience. But the good news is that projected growth in the trucking industry is expected to grow 8% in Kentucky by 2024. The U.S. as a whole is expected to have a 6% increase (SOURCE).
Frankfort is the capital of Kentucky although you may be more familiar with cities like Louisville, which is the most populated, and home to Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby. Also in Louisville is the Muhammad Ali Center, a museum dedicated to the life of the world famous boxer. If you like cars, the National Corvette Museum showcases, you guessed it, Chevy Corvettes. It’s located in Bowling Green.
When you compare median salaries in Kentucky to the median for the U.S., Kentucky comes in lower by about $1,000 ($41,340 U.S. vs. $40,270 KY). But start your search in the larger cities first, to find the largest salaries (SOURCE):
- Louisville: $44,030
- Lexington: $43,910
- Owensboro: $37,550
- Bowling Green: $35,320
Kentucky CDL License Information and Insights
The Federal Motor Carrier’s Safety Regulation (FMCSR) 49 CFR 383.71 requires that all CDL holders and applicants have a valid DOT medical card on file with the Division of Driver Licensing in order to obtain/retain a valid CDL license/permit.
CDL holders/applicants must provide a legible copy of both front and back of the medical card. Also, prior to the issuance of an original, renewal or upgrade CDL/CLP all CDL holders/applicants must self certify as to what type driving they are operating in or expect to operate in by completing TC 94-169, Commercial Driver License Self Certification form.
The above information must be forwarded to the Division of Driver Licensing and posted to the driver’s CDLIS record prior to applying for a CDL/ CLP at the circuit court clerk’s office. The Commercial Driver Licensing application and the Self Certification form are accessible from the DDL website.
All applicants will be required to pass a knowledge test either in written or oral form, and a vision test. A CDL instruction permit will then be issued that is valid for six (6) months. You may schedule a road skills test with Kentucky State Police 10 days after the permit has been issued. Bring your own truck/bus for the testing. If you do not successfully pass the road skills test by the expiration of your CDL instruction permit renewal, you will need to reapply. All fees and written tests will be required prior to a new permit being issued.
Your CDL is valid for four years and will remain valid as long as you keep renewing it before the expiration date. Each time you renew you have to show the Circuit Court Clerk a valid DOT Medical Card. Also, if you have a hazardous materials endorsement, you will be required to be fingerprinted and take the written exam prior to renewing your CDL license with a HAZMAT endorsement (SOURCE).
Here are some restrictions that you may have on your CDL:
– K: Intrastate Driving only
– L: Vehicles not equipped w/Air Brakes
– M: Except Class A Bus
– N: Except Class A and B Bus
– O: Vehicles other than Tractor Trailer
– E: Auto Transmission CMV only
– Z: Hydraulic over Air brake (CDL License Only)
– V: Variance
– W: Farm Restricted Service
– X: No Cargo in Tank Vehicle (CDL Permit Only)
– P: No Passengers in Bus (CDL Permit Only)
The USA PATRIOT Act requires all drivers who transport hazardous materials to undergo a security threat assessment and be fingerprinted. The TSA developed a program to implement this safety requirement.
Following as some General Rules to be aware of regarding your CDL (SOURCE):
- You can’t have more than one license
- You must be licensed in your home state
- Notify your employer within 30 days of a conviction for any traffic violation, except parking. This applies to any vehicle you were driving at the time
- Notify your motor vehicle license agency within 30 days if you’re convicted in another state of any traffic violation (except parking). This applies to any vehicle you were driving at the time
- Notify your employer if your license is suspended, cancelled, or revoked, or if you are disqualified from driving for any reason
- You must give your employer information on all driving jobs that you have held for the past 10 years. You must do this when you apply for a commercial driving job
- No one can drive a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) without a CDL. A state may fine you up to $5,000 dollars or place you in jail for breaking this law
- Your employer cannot let you drive a CMV if you have more than one license or if your CDL is suspended or revoked. A court can fine your employer up to $10,000 or place him/her in jail for breaking this law
Kentucky Trucking in the News
Semi-Truck Crashes Prompt a Review of Interstate in Louisville. After several accidents involving semi-trucks on the interstate, the Kentucky Transportation department has begun a review of accident reports on Louisville’s Spaghetti Junction. They will review ramps and roadways where the accidents took place.
- A ramp was closed for several hours after a truck filled with glue overturned in July.
- In August, a truck carrying pigs overturned and then caught fire.
Kentucky Transportation will review the crash reports, install new arrow markings on a ramp, and conduct a mechanical analysis of the curves in the downtown area. The new pavement markings will extend from westbound Interstate 64 to southbound Interstate 65 and will take a few weeks to complete. The mechanical analysis and other initiatives do not yet have a timeline (SOURCE).