Truck Driving in Iowa

Iowa open road

State Overview

There are over 10,360 trucking companies in Iowa and the industry employs 37,800 drivers. The highest paid truck drivers earn $49,690 ($23.89 hourly). The highest paying areas are Des Moines with a Median Annual Salary of $46,000, and Dubuque ($44,280).

Pros and Cons of Truck Driving in Iowa

GOOD: 

  • Plenty of local jobs hauling corn and soy beans
  • Iowa has some of the highest quality truck stops in the country
  • Mostly flat land, easy to navigate around the state

BAD: 

  • Winters can be brutal in Iowa, hard on the equipment
  • Winter weather can be very dangerous
  • Back roads can be narrow and poorly paved

Truck Driving Tips for Iowa

  • Keep your record clean, and with a year experience, you’ll be able to drive for anyone
  • Get as consistent sleep as possible. Find a good carrier, there are many out there
  • Be patient and take your time driving in the snow
  • Have patience. If you’re a “hot headed” type, don’t even bother with this industry
  • Park your car if you feel it’s too dangerous to drive

Fellow Truck Drivers in Iowa Say:

“Everything about trucking IS going to test your patience”

Russell R. – 25 years experience on the road

GOOD
Parking. Just about any Iowa town has a grain elevator, or other wide open spaces where people seem happy to let you park during home time, as long as you ask first.

BAD
Winters can be brutal in Iowa, hard on the equipment and nerve racking on slick roads. Slow down, keep your distance, and park it if it gets too much for you.

TIP TO NEW DRIVERS
Have patience…everything about trucking IS going to test your patience. If you’re a “hot headed” type, don’t even bother with this industry—you won’t last. Behave yourself. Protect your CDL with good common sense. Keep your MVR and CSA clean, and with one year experience, you’ll be able to drive for anyone you want.

 

“Be careful of your sources of information”

Mike S. – 8 years driving OTR

GOOD
Flat land. Truck stop availability. Easy to navigate.

BAD
Back roads can be narrow.

TIP TO NEW DRIVERS
Try to learn as much as possible. Be careful of your sources of information be it media or other drivers. A lot of bad information out there. Always be on your game. Get as consistent sleep and eating times as possible. If you can’t, find another carrier. Don’t buy junk food, especially snacks. Then you won’t eat it.

 

“NO LOAD is worth more than human lives.”

Rocksand P. – 3 years of experience

GOOD
The people are helpful, polite and generally safe drivers.

BAD
Winter weather can be hair-raising and dangerous but if you can be patient and take your time you’ll be fine. Just remember, NO LOAD is worth more than human lives.

TIP TO NEW DRIVERS
DO YOUR RESEARCH, Have patience and be helpful whenever you can.

 

“Don’t sweat the small stuff”

Dan P. – 3 years behind the wheel

GOOD
Plenty of places to stop safely

BAD
City drivers are clueless

TIP TO NEW DRIVERS
Just keep smiling and don’t sweat the small stuff. Get out early and you won’t have problems

 

 “Obey the rules of the road”

Teresa R. – 16 years of experience

GOOD
Independence, no one looking over your shoulder, a chance to see the state

BAD
Other drivers, especially car’s as they have no respect for truck drivers

TIP TO NEW DRIVERS
Obey the rules of the road and be careful

 

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