How Much Can CDL Drivers Make In West Virginia?
Lush greenery, mountains, scenic roadways, quaint towns, and historic treasures make up the state of West Virginia. The New River Gorge Bridge is a manmade marvel in Fayetteville. It’s the longest steel-arch bridge in the U.S., spanning 1,699 feet across the New River Canyon.
The cities in West Virginia with the highest population are:
– Charleston (capital): 51,400
– Huntington: 49,138
– Parkersburg: 31,492
– Morgantown: 29,660
– Wheeling : 28,486
The state shares its borders with Pennsylvania, Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, and Maryland. West Virginia is considered a national energy hub due to interstate electricity exports and underground coal mine production. The natural gas industry is growing here, too. Overall, West Virginia generates 15% of the nation’s fossil fuel energy.
These industries work well with trucking. Natural gas needs to be transported in tanker trucks across the country, and coal energy is starting to gain popularity. Driving interstate in a tanker or other type of truck can garner a pretty decent wage. There are presently 10,850 drivers in the state and the average salary is $37,730 per year.
For owner operators the average hourly wage is $18.14. Projected growth in the trucking industry between the years 2014 and 2024 is miniscule, but it’s there. Some states will see a negative number, but in West Virginia the expected increase is 1% while the U.S. is 6% (SOURCE).
Looking at median salaries, which are those exactly in the middle with 50% higher and 50% lower, the U.S. median salary for a truck driver is $41,340 while in West Virginia it’s $36,030.
When you take a look by city you can get a feel for the fluctuations in salaries across the state.
1. Martinsburg: $41,170
2. Morgantown: $40,860
3. Winchester: $39,180
4. Cumberland: $37,350
5. Huntington: $37,180
6. Wheeling: $36,140
7. Charleston: $35,460
8. Parkersburg: $29,380
Basically what it boils down to is your salary will be dependent on the type of work you do, the truck you drive, your CDL endorsements, your delivery area (local vs. interstate), and your years of experience.
America needs truckers to keep the economy going, so there should never be a day that truck drivers are not needed. If you enjoy being your own boss, traveling the open, and sometimes trafficked, road, not having an office, being able to sit up higher than everyone else, then a career in the trucking industry could be just right for you (SOURCE).
How Do I Get My West Virginia CDL License?
In order to get a job as a trucker in West Virginia you must be at least 18 years old and have had a regular driver’s license (Class D) for at least 2 years. You also need to meet specific physical standards and carry proof that you meet these standards in the form of a medical certificate.
Drivers who operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in NON-EXCEPTED interstate commerce must pass a DOT physical given by a certified medical examiner listed on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s National Registry web site.
School bus drivers or people who work for a city, state, or federal government agency, in which a CDL is required for their employment, are considered to be operating in EXCEPTED INTRASTATE (within state lines) or EXCEPTED INTERSTATE (into other states) and do not have to meet FMCSA requirements. School bus drivers need to present their current School Bus Certification card.
Applicants who work for a city, county, state, or federal government agency must provide written verification, on agency letterhead, verifying employment with their city, state, or federal government agency. If a driver cannot be medically certified, he/she may be eligible for a medical waiver.
How to Apply
1. Complete both sides of the Application for Commercial Driver’s License and/or Endorsements (CDL-1).
2. Submit a copy of your current DOT Medical/physical certification and DOT Medical card (valid for 30 days or more). If a city, county, state, or federal government agency employs you, show verification of your employment on agency letterhead.
3. Submit all of the above to the DMV by mail at DMV, PO Box 17010, Charleston WV 25317. Or deliver it in person to the DMV Driver Services window at 5707 MacCorkle Ave, SE in Kanawha City (Charleston) WV.
4. Upon receipt of the application and all applicable fees, a test card will be mailed to the applicant with a list of the regional CDL testing sites.
5. Once all tests are passed a CDL instruction permit will be issued. The permit is valid for of 180 days and can be renewed only one time.
6. You need to wait at least 14 days after receiving your CDL instruction permit before you can take the road skills test. Contact a third party examiner (find these in the front of the WV CDL manual) to schedule your appointment. Payment is required at the time of testing.
7. Drive to the test location in the vehicle that’s the same as the CDL class and endorsement for which you are testing. Once the skills tests are complete and passed, submit the passed form to one of the DMV offices or the Driver Exam Center for processing. You will receive your CDL at this time.
West Virginia CDL Classifications and Endorsements
A Commercial Driver’s License may be issued with certain classifications, endorsements, and restrictions. The holder of a valid CDL may drive vehicles in the class for which the license is issued, plus all lesser classes of vehicles, and vehicles that require an endorsement, provided that endorsement is on the license.
Class A: Any combination of vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 26,000 pounds, provided the gross vehicle weight rating of the vehicle(s) being towed is more than 10,000 pounds.
Class B: Any single vehicle with the gross vehicle weight rating of more than 26,000 pounds, or any such vehicle towing a vehicle under 10,000 pounds.
Class C: Any single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of less than 26,000 pounds or any such vehicle towing another vehicle with a gross weight less than 10,000 pounds comprising:
a.) Vehicles designed to transport 16 or more passengers including the driver; and
b.) Vehicles used in the transportation of hazardous materials, in amounts high enough to require the vehicle be placarded according to 49 CFR, Part 172, sub-part F.
(Class C CDLs must have either a passenger or hazardous material endorsement or both.)
Class D: Non Commercial Vehicles for Hire and CDL Endorsements (SOURCE):
F – Motorcycle
H – Hazardous Materials (Retest Required at Renewal & Transfer)
N – Tank
P – Passenger CMV (must pass Road Skills Test)
S – School Bus (must pass Road Skills Test)
T – Doubles and Triples
X – Hazardous Materials and Tank
E – No Manual Transmission (CMV Only)
K – Intrastate Driving – Driving in WV Only (Under 21 Driver or Medical Waiver)
L – No Air Brakes
M – Class B & C Buses Only
N – Restricts driver to buses 26,000 pounds and under (Class C Buses)
O – No Tractor Trailer CMV
P – No Passengers in CMV bus
V – Medical Variance
X – No Cargo in Tank Vehicle
Z – No Full Air Equipped CMV
West Virginia Trucking Related News
Larry Gorby, an XPO Logistics driver from Charleston, West Virginia, won the state’s Grand Champion title for earning the highest overall score at the West Virginia Truck Driving Championships. There were 37 drivers who competed in the 2017 championships.
Gorby has been in 15 West Virginia Truck Driving Championships and has won his class of competition three times. In his 27 years as a trucker, he’s driven more than 2.4 million miles (SOURCE).