Truck Driving in Tennessee

Tennessee road with high rises in the background

State Overview

There are over 8,820 trucking companies in Tennessee and the industry employs 52,580 drivers. The highest paid truck drivers earn $51,990 ($25.00 hourly). The highest paying areas are Cleveland with a Median Annual Salary of $48,690, Morristown ($48,470), and Memphis ($43,240).

Pros and Cons of Truck Driving in Tennessee

GOOD: 

  • Major shipping lanes. 75 & 40 split offer a variety of cargo
  • Not many weigh stations around Nashville
  • Winter weather does not get too bad

BAD: 

  • The I-24 going from Nashville to Chattanooga is a difficult drive
  • Need to always track downhill speed
  • Mountainous terrain cause a cluster very quickly

Truck Driving Tips for Tennessee

  • A lot of construction going on so find out about your area of travel beforehand
  • Better paying jobs are near bigger cities like Nashville, Knoxville, Chattanooga
  • Don’t quit! The first 6 months are going to suck, but it pays off after your first year
  • Obey FMCSA & DOT regulations and all laws for a successful career
  • When considering companies, talk to the drivers for real information

Fellow Truck Drivers in Tennessee Say:

“Beautiful scenery”

Steve B. – 3 years of experience

GOOD
Tennessee has some beautiful scenery so that’s a plus. For the most part, the weather doesn’t get bad which makes driving in winter a lot easier. All the scale houses I’ve dealt with here have some really good people working at them.

BAD
Nashville drivers. Interstate 65 South is horrible during morning rush hour and Northbound is worse during afternoon rush hour. Stay off 1-440 if possible, it’s a mess.

TIP TO NEW DRIVERS
Don’t be afraid of letting people help. It won’t make you look bad and most drivers are happy to do it. Don’t litter. If you find a good place to park for your 10, don’t trash it up and ruin it for the next driver. Above all, make sure to keep your equipment clean and always do good pre and post trips inspections

 

“Great proximity to major shipping lanes”

Jason S. – 5 years of driving experience

GOOD
Tennessee is a great state because of the proximity to major shipping lanes. 75 & 40 split offer excellent opportunities for a variety of cargo.

BAD
Because of the mountainous terrain (especially 75 north of Knoxville) the slow moving governed trucks can cause a cluster very quickly.

TIP TO NEW DRIVERS
Safety is key.

 

“Great career in a great state”

Laken B. – 5 years behind the wheel

GOOD
It’s a great career if you like to be on the open road, taking in some of the wonderful sights that TN has to offer with it’s hilly and mountainous landscape.

BAD
There is always rush hour traffic around the big cities such as Nashville, Memphis, Knoxville, etc.

TIP TO NEW DRIVERS
Safety is key.

 

“I was able to take care of my family”

Derrick F. – 15 years on the road

GOOD
The first thing that comes to mind for myself is the fact that when I started driving I was finally able to take care my family with no problems. Secondly I was able to travel and see sites that I may not have seen.

BAD
One of the biggest headaches for me would have to be how little regard automobiles have for big trucks

TIP TO NEW DRIVERS
For a new driver I would tell them not to be afraid to ask someone for help if it is needed. On my first trip out I didn’t have a anything that I needed, things such as a proper change of clothes, shower shoes, or towels.

 

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