Truck drivers make about an average of $40,000 a year. In some companies, they make double that money. For example, a driver employed by Walmart can make as much as $73,000 a year. That’s a lot more money than other jobs in the industry, except it’s not without its risks.
The problem is that truck driving is considered to be one of the deadliest occupations in the US. From accidents to deteriorating physical health, the hazards of a job shorten the time truckers spend on the road. And when you spend less time on the road, that means your truck driving income dwindles.
So you must earn extra money. But what kind of side hustles would work for your job as a trucker?
Storing and Carrying Goods
A headache rack for semis with compartments can be installed in a truck to hold extra items that a freelance truck driver can carry from one state to another. If the truck driver is privately employed, they can ask their supervisor if they’ll be allowed to carry items from couriers. This way, they can earn a commission from the number of items the would be able to transport state to state.
You may witness some of the rarest sunsets and sunrises as a trucker. You may even barely notice such sceneries because you’ve seen so much that you’ve taken these for granted. But other people may want to have a piece of what you’ve seen on the road. And you can meet that need through high quality photography.
Using a professional camera, they can take photos he Grand Canyon at daybreak and the Yosemite during misty hours, for example, and upload them to a stock photography website. It’s a good way to make a passive income.
Buy and Sell
Since you go all over the country to transport items, why not take advantage of this access to local markets? Check out the farmer’s market or some local stores to check out what they are offering. Buy unique items from the local stores and sell them back home or online.
If farmer’s market or local store products aren’t enough to help you make more money, spend your break times as a trucker looking through local classifieds. See if anyone’s selling a vintage car or appliances; if you have an eye for picking old but precious items, you may make a killing buying and selling vintage products.
You probably spend a lot of your time bored out of your wits because you’re wait for the company to load the items to your box truck or semi. Instead of twiddling your thumbs and waiting for the loading/unloading to finish, open your laptop and fill out online surveys. Many companies are willing to pay people for the time they spend answering surveys. Some are making a couple of hundreds of dollars each month just for answering surveys.
So instead of not getting paid while waiting, earn extra income answering some surveys. It may not be the big bucks that’ll help you retire fast, but the added cash will improve your income as a trucker.
If you’re inclined, you could become a virtual assistant — answering emails and managing outsourced people for a company, when you’re not driving for a period. All you have to do is to log on to the system and monitor the people working for a company. You may answer emails, respond to customer feedback and book airline tickets. Some people make $5 for every task they finish.
YouTube or Podcast
If you have the gift of gab and have no problem being on camera, why not start a YouTube channel or podcast. You could do a series on a trucker’s life on the road, providing insights and tips for would-be truckers. You could even turn your video series into a travel documentary of sorts, showing America’s small towns, pitstops and other curious sights. Or you could just feature the trucks you see on the road, talk to other truckers and turn your online show or podcast into a strictly truckers’ channel.
Get enough subscribers and viewers, and you may make extra cash on ads or product placements.
When you spend more time on the road and you own your apartment, put that property to good use. Don’t let it gather dust for several weeks or months. Rent it out for short-term stays on Airbnb. But this is a tricky side income because you’ll have strangers in your home, some liabilities must be considered and rules must be established before you rent out your place.
With proper selection of guests, rules that prevent access to certain areas of your home and a good location, your Airbnb side hustle could help you make more money. This side gig is best for over-the-road or regional truckers who are generally gone for weeks.
As a trucker, you’re expected to have knowledge of your commercial vehicle, from a flatbed truck to a jumbo trailer truck. A good trucker knows how to fix minor issues on the road. You could improve your mechanical and technical skills and work as a freelance mechanic on the side. This is probably best for local truckers who typically get weekends off.
Get Paid More as a Trucker
Although these jobs don’t offer a lot of money, they make saving up for the future easier. You could retire as an OTR, regional or local trucker earlier than expected. In the long-term, you could plan to run a business; be your own boss and run your own schedule.
That business may even be developing a trucking company, with financial assistance from state or federal grants for truckers. Your trucking business could focus on junk removal or towing services. Alternatively, you could build a food business if you’re a budding home chef.
Whatever road you choose, start planning today and earn more money as a trucker.