How Much Can CDL Drivers Make In Wisconsin?
Wisconsin is the land of beer, brats, cheese heads, and farming. The states of Michigan, Minnesota, Illinois, and Iowa all border Wisconsin. The climate is mild for most of the year, except winters – when Mother Nature dumps an average of 3.5 feet of snow on the state.
The range stretches from the most snowfall 62″ to the least 22″ so wherever you live you’re likely to get at least 2 feet of snow and that makes driving treacherous especially for a trucker. The 5 most populated cities in Wisconsin are:
1. Milwaukee: 594,833
2. Madison: 233,209 (capital)
3. Green Bay: 104,057
4. Kenosha: 99,218
5. Racine: 78,860
The state’s top industries tend to support a large trucking force transporting fruit and vegetable preserves, dairy production, leather manufacturing. Wood product manufacturing including paper manufacturing employs more than 52,000 people.
The trucking industry in Wisconsin employs 49,140 drivers – almost as many as paper manufacturing. The expected growth in trucking jobs between 2014 and 2024 is estimated at 6% for the U.S. and a whopping 13% for Wisconsin.
Salaries for truck drivers are fairly competitive with the average yearly salary of $43,030 and an hourly rate of $20.69. The median salaries differ since these numbers are exactly in the middle with 50% of salaries higher and 50% lower. The median salary for truckers in the U.S. is $41,340 and in Wisconsin it’s $40,550. However, if you look at the breakdown by city you can see how salaries fluctuate (SOURCE):
1. Fond du Lac: $49,800
2. Racine: $45,910
3. Madison: $44,460
4. Kenosha: $43,060
5. Green Bay: $42,570
6. La Crosse: $41,250
7. Milwaukee/Waukesha: $40,810
8. Janesville: $40,740
9. Sheboygan: $39,200
10. Appleton: $38,890
11. Oshkosh: $38,580
12. Eau Claire: $38,430
A couple of driving jobs you might find in Wisconsin:
Team Drivers: These driving jobs require you to put your faith in another person’s driving ability while you sleep. While it can be frustrating, it can also be the solution for people who find they get lonely on the long hauls. Teams work best if the two drivers have compatible personalities and driving abilities (SOURCE).
Pulling Hoppers/Hauling Grain: Some farms in Wisconsin grow grain – and lots of it. Hauling grain is usually performed with hopper trailers to make it easier to unload. It takes extra training for this job, which is often performed with corn to transport to an ethanol plant (SOURCE).
Obtaining Your Wisconsin CDL License
Commercial driver’s licenses (CDL) are required to operate vehicles that:
Weigh over 26,000 pounds, determined by the highest of the following weights:
– Manufacturer’s gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR)
– Manufacturer’s gross combination weight rating (GCWR) when the towed unit has a GVWR, registered weight, or actual gross weight over 10,000 pounds
– Actual weight
– Registered weight
Carry hazardous materials in amounts that require placarding under federal law.
Are designed to carry 16 or more persons including the driver (buses and some school buses). There are federal and state regulations governing the operation of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). And while states can make federal laws stricter, they cannot make them less stringent.
Wisconsin CDL law requires:
1. A classified licensing system
2. Issuance of only one license to each driver
3. Proof of Citizenship or Legal Status in the U.S. is required upon original issuance, renewal, transferring an out of state license, or when adding or removing a class, endorsement, or restriction.
4. Testing of commercial drivers, who must pass a knowledge test and driving skills test in the type of vehicle they drive.
– School bus drivers must pass a knowledge test and abbreviated driving skills test at each renewal in addition to providing proof of physical fitness in the form of a completed MV3030B or valid Federal Medical Certificate. Drivers are also required to complete the School Bus Endorsement Application MV3740.
– Hazardous materials (HAZMAT) drivers who are renewing, transferring or applying for the “H” endorsement for the first time must agree to a background check that includes fingerprinting. Drivers also need to complete the Hazardous Materials Endorsement Application MV3735, pass the “H” knowledge test, and provide proof of Citizenship or Legal Status in the U.S. at the time of testing.
5. Enforcement of the law through the Commercial Driver License Information System (CDLIS), a computer network of all states.
6. Enforcement of disqualifications for alcohol and serious traffic violations in a commercial motor vehicle.
Who is exempt from CDL licensing in Wisconsin?
Federal law allows states the option to waive certain kinds of drivers from the requirement to obtain a CDL. In Wisconsin, the following drivers are not required to hold a CDL:
– Fire fighters and rescue squad members are not required to hold a CDL to drive properly equipped emergency or fire fighting vehicles.
– Recreational vehicle operators with a vehicle less than 45 feet and not engaged in commercial activity.
– A farmer, the farmer’s family members, and/or the farmer’s employees who drive within 150 miles of a farm in Wisconsin, Minnesota, or Iowa.
Substitute or replacement snowplow drivers (includes snow or ice removal by plowing, salting or sanding) for local units of government are not required to hold a CDL if they meet all of the following (SOURCE):
– An employee of a local unit of government with a population of 3,000 or fewer.
– Hold a valid Class D license.
– Operating within the boundaries of the local unit of government.
– Is one of the following: 1) Substituting for or replacing, a regular employee who ordinarily operates the vehicle. 2) An additional employee because a snow emergency exists as determined by the local unit of government.
Wisconsin Trucking Related News
A fee on heavy trucks could help the state budget reach its goal, said GOP leaders in Wisconsin.
The GOP caucus supported the idea of putting a per-mile fee on the heavy trucks that in general do more damage to roads. The trucking fee might be used for temporary funding while creating and implementing a more complex tolling system.
The heavy truck fee still faces opposition from the state’s largest business lobby, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce. WMC’s head of lobbying, Scott Manley, said manufacturers would rather see a small increase in the gasoline tax. “A tax on employers that make and grow things in the state to pay for the transportation budget will inevitably be passed onto the consumer,” Manley said in a statement.
If Wisconsin officials approve a truck fee instead of a gasoline tax, the state will join Kentucky, New York, New Mexico and Oregon in placing a per-mile fee on the heavy vehicles that haul most of the state’s commercial and consumer goods (SOURCE).