Truck Driving in Alabama

Alabama highway with three signs

State Overview

Over 10,120 trucking companies in Alabama and the industry employs 31,280 drivers. The highest paid truck drivers earn $47,830 ($23.00 hourly). The highest paying areas are Mobile with a Median Annual Salary of $42,680, Southeast Alabama non-metropolitan area ($42,020), and Birmingham-Hoover ($38,650).

Pros and Cons of Truck Driving in Alabama

GOOD: 

  • Many local and regional jobs
  • Major interstates running in every direction, few weigh stations
  • Many parking stops
  • Traffic, on the whole, is lighter.

BAD: 

  • Constant construction on highways and interstates
  • Some of the worst-quality roads in America
  • Deer-crossing roads

Truck Driving Tips for Alabama

  • Birmingham is the worst area to be in during rush hour and should be avoided at all cost.
  • It’s an amazing career – stay focused.
  • Keep an eye out for deer when driving through certain roads.
  • The I-20 truck stop in Lincoln and the restaurant there are smoker friendly.
  • Get some experience driving not necessarily OTR but something to get comfortable.

Fellow Truck Drivers in Alabama Say:

“Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions!”

Ron F. – 15 years of experience

GOOD
We have major interstates running North, South, East, West and now, Northwest. Very few weigh stations. We don’t have to worry about low overpasses and too high of mountains to climb. If you ever get lost, stop and ask for directions; Alabamians are friendly!

BAD
We have some of the worst roads in America, so you have to deal with a lot of pot holes and such. Birmingham is the worst area to be in during rush hour (s) and should be avoided at all cost, especially when it’s raining.

TIP TO NEW DRIVERS
Always be alert, professional and respectful. HELP OUT OTHER DRIVERS!!! To many of these new drivers come out here and think everyone owes them something. They don’t offer assistance of any kind if another driver needs it; especially lane changing assistance. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. The only dumb question is the one not asked. Stay off of the four wheelers bumpers. Riding their tails isn’t going to make them go faster or get out of your way. Chances are, they will hit their brakes and cause you to lose control, crashing and losing your life or job. Be patient and be courteous. Your fellows truckers need all the help we can get to earn people’s respect.

 

“Driving Takes a Lot of Commitment”

Doug B. – 13 years behind the wheel

GOOD
The good things about driving a truck are the feeling of independence that comes with the responsibility of getting those loads to their destination and you are in control of that. Another good thing is the very competitive pay that trucking companies are offering because of the shortage of drivers.

BAD
There are headaches that may come with truck driving and I think the biggest one is not enough dispatcher assigned to so many drivers. There can be a quite a number of delays in the dispatcher getting back to you about issues with loads.

TIP TO NEW DRIVERS
I would say to a new truck driver, make sure this is what you want to do because it takes a lot of commitment. My advice for new drivers in Alabama is learn that patience is going to be one of your best friends and always, always put safety first. May God bless and keep you safely in your travels.

 

“Keep Your Focus”

Sylvia F. – 3 years and one million miles

GOOD
Being able to travel without heavy traffic

BAD
When other trucks forget we are equal and have road rage.

TIP TO NEW DRIVERS
It’s an amazing career. Love everything about it, the good and the bad!

 

“Pay Attention to Traffic” 

James N. – less than a year OTR

GOOD
Less and slower traffic

BAD
Deer crossing the road

TIP TO NEW DRIVERS
Be safe and pay attention to traffic. Do not drive too fast.

 

“Too Many Government Regulations”

Steve T. – 30 years driving experience

GOOD
There are no good things in trucking anymore with all the government regulations I would not even think about driving again

BAD
To much traffic and too little lanes on interstates

TIP TO NEW DRIVERS
Find a new profession

 

“Local Routes Tend to be More Fast-Paced”

David H. – 1 year driving experience

GOOD
At times, Alabama traffic is not as bad as say Atlanta or Miami.

BAD
Constant construction on highways and Interstates, and some roads that are needing repair.

TIP TO NEW DRIVERS
Do not work for Buffalo Rock! Get some experience driving, not necessarily OTR, but something to get comfortable with the truck and trailer before taking a local job.

 

“Always Plan Your Trips Out”

Joseph R. – 14 years and over one million miles on the road

GOOD
There are lots of local jobs. Except for Birmingham, traffic is relatively light in the state. The highways are good. DOT isn’t as bad as most states.

BAD
Birmingham is a headache during peak driving hours. Other than that and the ever going construction, it’s pretty much smooth sailing.

TIP TO NEW DRIVERS
Always be patient and pay attention to things going on around you in the road.Get your rest and if you’re tired, pull over and take a nap. Don’t follow too closely and expect every other vehicle to do the stupidest thing possible. They don’t but if you expect it, you’ll never be surprised when they do. Eat as healthy as you can.I know it’s hard but it can be done with a little effort and planning. Always plan your trips out so you won’t be running out of hours looking for safe parking, fuel, or food. Truck stops are scarce in some parts of the state. If the area looks sketchy, keep your doors locked and secured. Use your seat belt as a deadbolt if necessary.

 

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