You can get rich from being a truck driver.
There are 4 ways that a truck driver can become rich: (i) earn income from driving and invest your savings; (ii) get your own authority and start a trucking business; (iii) buy cash-flowing assets for extra income; and (iv) buy a delivery route business.
We’ll cover each of these methods in detail below. Let’s get into it!
Note: If you prefer a condensed version of this article in video format, check out my YouTube video below.
The information contained in this post is for informational purposes only. It is not a recommendation to buy or invest, and it is not financial, investment, legal, or tax advice. You should seek the advice of a qualified professional before making any investment .
Earn Money Driving and Invest Your Savings
This is the most traditional (and obvious) path toward wealth that you can take as a truck driver. The strategy is simple: take what you earn and invest as much as you can into appreciating assets, like stocks, bonds, and other investments.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average annual wage of a truck driver is $48,710. This means that, although it may not be easy, there is opportunity to save and invest if you are willing to make some sacrifices.
Saving Is Essential
It goes without saying that to use this strategy you must save some money each month. I would aim to save at least 10% of your income.
If you are struggling with debt, having a hard time making ends meet, or just can’t seem to get ahead with what you are making right now, check out my article on basic personal finance, which tackles each of these topics and shows you how to navigate through them.
If budgeting is your problem, you can read my article on the 10 biggest reasons why budgets fail and how to fix them.
Investing Is Essential Too
If you have your spending and budgeting under control, the next step is to invest your savings.
Where to start? First, you should open up a high yield savings account to start saving up some money toward an emergency fund, like CIT Bank. This fund will cover all of the unexpected expenses that pop up in life (like a surprise car repair, an unexpected medical bill, etc.).
After you have funded your emergency fund (probably want at least a $1,000 in it), you can begin to seriously invest. If you don’t know much about the stock market, I would go with something like a low cost mutual fund or exchange traded fund (ETF) that gives you broad exposure to the market.
I like Vanguard's total stock market ETF (ticker symbol “VTI”) and have invested a decent chunk of my portfolio in it. Depending on your risk tolerance, you may also want to buy a Vanguard bond ETF (ticker symbol “BND” is the Vanguard total bond ETF) to reduce your stock exposure. A common allocation between stocks and bonds is a 60/40 split.
If you prefer a ready-made solution that will invest your money for you, check out Titan. They were voted the top robo-advisor of 2020. Check them out below if you want to learn more:
Using this save and invest strategy, you can really set yourself up for a fine retirement.
Assuming you are 20 years old and can invest 10% of your $48,710 salary each year into the stock market at a 10% expected return, then after 45 years, you would have over $3.5 million! And if you invested that money inside a Roth IRA, your withdrawals at the time from that account would be tax-free to boot.
I would say that's pretty rich by anyone's definition.
Get Your Own Authority and Start a Trucking Business
Want to be your own boss? It’s the dream for a lot of people and it’s hard to put a price on how great it is to not have to answer to anyone.
If you are a truck driver, there is a pretty clear path to becoming your own boss (and potentially making serious cash). You can start by saving up some money and just buying a used semi-truck in good condition. Financing options exist, so it may not cost as much as you think. Start operating under your own authority.
Then make contacts with other truck drivers who may be interested in driving for you. Get that second truck and fill it with someone you trust. Rinse and repeat.
Truck drivers just like you have built empires this way. If you don’t have a lot of money, you can even lease a truck and get started that way. In fact, you may be able to grow your fleet much quicker through leasing.
Bottom line: You already have your CDL, you know about trucks, you know about specialties, and, most importantly, you know what It takes to succeed as a trucker. All of that knowledge is immensely helpful if you want to start a trucking business.
If you have an entrepreneurial spirit to match your trucking skills and knowledge, starting your own trucking business may be the right path for you.
One of my favorite trucking options (and one that doesn't require long hauls) is operating a dump truck business. If you want a start-to-finish guide on how to start your own dump truck business, check out my beginner's guide to starting a dump truck business.
Buy Cash Flowing Assets for Extra Income
Starting a business does have risk. You are putting a lot of money into buying trucks and there is no guarantee that your business will succeed. If you want a less risky approach, you can keep your job as trucker but still make serious money on the side.
You do this by buying passive income assets. I am talking about assets that will generate money for you even if you are not actively involved in managing them.
Here are some ideas for you to consider:
Rental Property Investing
Investing in rental properties has been my go-to passive income strategy. It is not completely passive, but you can automate or outsource a lot of it to make it mostly passive.
I own nine rentals (which I self-manage) while working a full-time job, so I can say with full confidence that you can manage your rental properties in an efficient way that doesn’t require a ton of work. But if you are on the road all the time and you absolutely need someone to handle the rentals 24/7, you can do that too by hiring a property manager.
Want to learn how to get started? Check out my step-by-step guide to getting started investing in rental properties.
Ninja tip: Want to learn about a rental property investment that is completely passive right out-of-the box? Check out my article on Triple Net Properties. You can make a ton of money renting out property to corporations like McDonalds, Walgreens, etc. and they take care of all of the repairs, maintenance, taxes, etc. You will need some money to put a down payment on these expensive types of properties, though.
Rent Out Stuff You Already Have
The triple net strategy is a pretty good one if you have the funds, but if you aren’t in that league yet, here’s another little-known strategy that's a lot more affordable:
Rent out your car (or even extra space in your house) for an additional source of passive income.
For cars, I would check out Turo. They are like the Airbnb of car rentals. For renting out your extra storage space, check out Neighbor. I have used both and written articles on these passive income methods. If you are interested, check them out below.
If you want other great ideas on renting out your existing stuff, check out my article on 15 truly passive income ideas that require no money. It talks about how you can rent out stuff like your backyard, pool, musical instruments, and other things you probably never imagined could give you passive income.
A vending machine can be a great passive income source that produces very strong cash flow.
You just place it in a high-traffic location and make money every time someone buys something from your machine. The cost to get started varies, with a simple gumball machine costing only around $200 to a more expensive vending machine running between $3,000 to $5,000.
The only part of this that requires some work is restocking and collecting money from the machine, but you can easily outsource this function.
For more details on this business, check out my beginner’s guide on how to start a vending machine route for passive income.
Did you know that you can buy ATMs and set them up at various locations to make passive income? Every time someone uses the ATM, you will get a fee. Occasionally, you will need to restock the machines with cash (which you can outsource to companies that handle this), but there’s no inventory, customers or employees to manage.
Can be a pretty nice passive income set-up. If you want to learn more about how to get started, check out my article on ATMs for Passive Income
Buy a Delivery Route Business
If you are in the trucking business, you are probably already familiar with FedEx routes, but I'll cover it at a high level.
The concept is simple. You buy a FedEx route that covers a given territory. You will then have the right to make deliveries to locations within the territory. Your managers and drivers can handle the day-to-day delivery obligations and you will get paid on each delivery made.
In many cases, you don’t have to worry about buying your trucks because the FedEx routes for sale often include the trucks as part of the package.
There are two types of FedEx routes you can purchase: (i) FedEx Ground Pick-Up & Delivery (P&D) routes, which are basically local deliveries using vans or box trucks, and (ii) FedEx linehaul routes, which are much longer routes using semi-trucks.
One of the best things about this strategy is that the returns can be impressive. How good are the returns of a FedEx delivery business?
I took a sample of ten FedEx routes for sale in bizbuysell.com (one of the leading online sites for buying and selling businesses) and found an average ROI of 26.1%.
What I love about this option is that you get to partner with a massive company like FedEx and receive all of the benefits of their branding, marketing, and infrastructure.
You don’t need to worry about getting customers, fighting off competition, or really anything else that most business owners stress over. All you need to do is make sure the deliveries get done on time.
Want to learn more about Fedex Routes?
Check out my article on How to Buy a FedEx Route in 5 Easy Steps
Like a FedEx route, you can buy a bread route that covers a territory.
Once you own that territory, you can sell bread to various retailers and pocket a commission for each sale. Best of all, you can have drivers run these routes for you and operate this as an absentee-run business.
How much cash flow can a bread route generate? According to my sampling of ten bread routes on routesforsale.net, they can provide cash flows of around 46%!
Now, you should temper your expectations here because most of the sampled bread routes are likely operated by the owner. If you want a more passive income source, you will have to hire drivers to run the routes. Of course, in that case, the cash flow will go down, but you should still have a lot of room to play with.
To discover more about this business, read my article on buying bread routes for passive income.
Ok – there you have it. Four ways that a truck driver can get rich.
None of these methods is going to make you rich overnight, and they each have their pros and cons, but if you are determined to make big money as a truck driver, it is absolutely possible.