Truck Driving in Utah

Road leading into beautiful Utah mountains

State Overview

There are over 5,560 trucking companies in Utah and the industry employs 21,700 drivers. The highest paid truck drivers earn $51,590 ($24.80 hourly). The highest paying areas are Logan with a Median Annual Salary of $49,420, the Eastern Utah non-metropolitan area ($48,600), and the West Central Utah non-metropolitan area ($46,020).

Pros and Cons of Truck Driving in Utah

GOOD: 

  • Utah has many good opportunities for driving as a logistics hub
  • The UHP is fair. Truck drivers can go the same speed as cars
  • Plenty of rest areas, truck stops in every town with places to sleep

BAD: 

  • Utah is primarily moving crude oil, coal, and food products
  • Utah has a bad traffic problem in and around Salt Lake City
  • Driving on mountains, plus heavy winds

Truck Driving Tips for Utah

  • Watch the weather, it changes every hour
  • Pre-trip your equipment to avoid unnecessary delays
  • Learn how to drive on winter mountains
  • Start driving out in the oilfield if possible
  • Always drive slowly when driving downhill, especially in the winter

Fellow Truck Drivers in Utah Say:

“Always Pre-trip”

Terry BJ. – 22 years driving experience

GOOD
good money, you can land a driving job any ware, you get to see lots of beautiful country

BAD
rush hours morning and evening heading north bound out of state be on your ninja

TIP TO NEW DRIVERS
do a good trip plan , always go slow down hill don’t speed always take your corners slow , and that the hardest thing about having a CDL is keeping it ,and that it is a great career and if you wont to make some real killer money drive the oilfield . be fully endorsed it opens more doors for you and more money and don’t limit your self to one thing there are all kinds of types of trucking and most of all you need to love to drive. its the last career you well ever have 🙂 look far out ahead of you, always be checking your mirrors, always pre trip, don’t speed , and if possible start driving out in the oilfield if possible it well master all types of roads and conditions

 

“Don’t let your company take advantage of you”

Christopher P. – 6 years driving around

GOOD
Utah has many good opportunities to drive for a company of your choosing because most big companies have a hub or terminal here giving good access to the west and Midwest states.

BAD
Utah has a bad traffic problem between the hours of 5:30 am to 8:30 am south bound I-15 from Layton to Salt Lake City and North bound I-15 from Orem to Salt Lake City. The same area’s in reverse heading away from Salt Lake between the hours of 3:00 pm to 6:30 pm. Try to avoid these times of travel especially if you are on E-logs and running out of time.

TIP TO NEW DRIVERS
Welcome to the road and don’t let your company take advantage of you. Stick to the laws and remind your company of the law. Watch the weather, it changes every hour. Watch out for rude drivers. And above all, pre-trip your equipment to avoid unnecessary delays.

 

“Be patient. Be aware. Be safe.”

James K. – 11 years on the road

GOOD
The UHP is pretty fair with truck drivers and trucks can go the same speed as cars (Up to 80 mph in some areas!) Lots of truck parking.

BAD
Salt lake city area freeways during business hours are slow and congested. I15 I215 I80 all slow to a crawl.

TIP TO NEW DRIVERS
Don’t drive beyond your comfort zone. Slow steady and safe.

 

“Find a boss who understands the road”

Craig C. – 9 years as OTR driver

GOOD
Salt Lake City is not too big, many companies to choose from, you are in the western 11 states, Usually good mile.

BAD
Not as bad when compared to other places.

TIP TO NEW DRIVERS
Look for good miles, good benefit, good equipment pre-pass easy path and good boss that understand the road, not just running you ragged to make themselves more money.

 

“Good luck and stay alert”

Edward S. – 24 years of experience

GOOD
Friendly people. Great scenery. Decent roads

BAD
Weather, traffic, mountains, heavy winds

TIP TO NEW DRIVERS
Learn winter mountain driving fast

 

“Learn Patience”

Manny E. – 700,000 miles and counting

GOOD
Rest areas, truck stops in every town with places to sleep, minimal lot lizards, speed limit the same for all vehicles.

BAD
Local drivers are not courteous (this includes local CDL drivers) Hit I-15 in Utah and Salt lake counties before 6:30am and after 9:30 am and before 3:30pm and 6:30pm.

TIP TO NEW DRIVERS
Always scale your load as soon as possible, don’t believe the shipper. Practice backing and learn patience.

 

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