Truck Driving in New York

New York roads

State Overview

There are over 38,580 trucking companies in New York and the industry employs 55,560 drivers. The highest paid truck drivers earn $59,250 ($28.49 hourly). The highest paying areas are Nassau-Suffolk with a Median Annual Salary of $54,970, New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island ($48,770), and Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown ($47,580).

Pros and Cons of Truck Driving in New York

GOOD: 

  • Distribution centers are close to the interstate
  • Minimal DOT scale houses on the I-90
  • The state troopers don’t bother you

BAD: 

  • Trucks are not allowed in the left lane. Lots of stopping and paying tolls
  • A lot of time spent waiting at shippers
  • Need to watch out for low bridges

Truck Driving Tips for New York

  • Get out and look before backing, learn how to back into all types of loading docks
  • New flatbedders, know what you’re picking up and how you’re strapping it down
  • Watch out for the thruway to shut down in severe weather
  • Be safe – watch the road for snow and ice from mid-October through April
  • Stay away from New York City during peak hours

Fellow Truck Drivers in New York Say:

“The pay is better”

James F. – 34 years driving experience

GOOD
The pay is better

BAD
Stopping a lot and paying tolls.

TIP TO NEW DRIVERS
Take your time going about your business. Beware of everything around you.

 

“A gorgeous place to drive”

Chris E. – 23 years and a couple million miles under my belt

GOOD
The state of NY is quite lovely, especially in the Autumn. Change of leaves on trees makes for a great scenic trip. The skyline is like no other, especially at night. The people of NY are so diverse, with OPEN minds

BAD
Driving through NY city is an absolute nightmare

TIP TO NEW DRIVERS
Be patient

 

“Make good money”

Jamie W. – 10 years of experience, 600,000 miles

GOOD
Running the throughway is easy and mostly hassle free. The state troopers don’t bother you unless you’re doing more than 10 miles over the speed limit. There’s no weigh stations on it either.

BAD
Like anywhere, there’s always traffic at certain times of the day. But the biggest concern, I think, are the low bridges. You have to be extremely careful about watching for low bridge warnings when not on a highway.

TIP TO NEW DRIVERS
Trucking is a great way to make good money. Be extremely careful at all times. It only takes a moment to change a good driver to a bad one. Keep your license, and driving record clean at all times. Be even more extra careful around the companies with electronic safety equipment on the trucks.

 

“Practice makes perfect”

Joshua S. – 6 years on the road with 450,000 miles

GOOD
There are a ton of opportunities to drive truck in New York. I’m home nightly , and it’s all drop and hook! The New York thruway system is in good shape, and most distribution centers in New York are within minutes of an interstate

BAD
The biggest headaches in New York are weather, and traffic. The worst of the traffic in my opinion is in Albany during rush hour. It seems there’s always an accident or two, and it’s a lot of stop and go. Traffic seems to flow better in NYC than it does in Albany.

TIP TO NEW DRIVERS
I’d recommend finding a top notch truck driving school. While you’re there pay attention, and practice practice practice. Upon graduating go over the road for a year, and see as much of the country as you can experiencing as many scenarios as you can. Always get out and look before backing, and during whenever necessary. Don’t be afraid to look like a rookie! It’s better than looking like an idiot when you hit something. Also never be afraid to ask questions, or for help. If someone says no, ask someone else. Once you get good solid over the road experience then it’s time to decide if you want to stay out there, get on a dedicated account , or find that local job.

 

“You’ll love meeting new people here”

Chad F. – 8 years of local NY driving

GOOD
The scenery, depending on the company, the pay, meeting new people all the time

BAD
A lot of times its the lack of communication between the driver and dispatch, not a lot of parking areas.

TIP TO NEW DRIVERS
Stay out of the trucking drama, just show up to work and do your job and go home. Make up your own mind, dont be gullable, just because someone else doesn’t like how things are going, doesnt mean you have to follow them.

 

“Put in the miles and NY will pay out”

George A. – 2 years behind the wheel

GOOD
Once you know the area getting around is simple.

BAD
Traffic congestion during peak hours. Construction is big issue too.

TIP TO NEW DRIVERS
Get comfortable in the thought of learning the hard way. ie. Putting in the miles to figure it out.

 

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