This post was last updated on July 22nd, 2016
You want to be out on the open road without a boss looking over your shoulder everywhere you turn. You’re the strong, independent type that loves to take action and make good money at the same time. But if you wouldn’t mind a little bit of companionship on the road, you can boost your income and still work with relative independence.
There are even couples that will work as team truck drivers that get to travel the country together.
This is perfect for any young couple that doesn’t want to just see their significant other during their sparse home time (sometimes every few weeks).
We’re going to be discussing the best trucking companies for team drivers as well as some of the most important aspects you should look for before signing on with any trucking company – factors even more important than pay.
Advantages of Tandem Trucking
Who wants to cram two people into a small cab?
This is a question many people ask, but there are so many benefits to team driving that it only makes sense to drive together if possible. While it’s not ideal if you’re not a people person or the other person is not someone that you are able to choose, it is perfect for friends, spouses and even those who simply want to maximize their earning potentials as a trucker.
The benefits of working as a team in the trucking industry include:
- Less Stopping: You and your partner can keep the truck going for a long time. Team drivers don’t even stop their truck until they reach their destination whenever possible. Less stopping equates to less downtime and more money.
- More Money: I would venture to say that the vast majority of team drivers go into this position because they believe that they will make more money. This is a possibility, but you have to make sure that both drivers have experience. You need to be able to maximize your time, and some companies will have you sitting for a long time wasting money away. It takes the right company to maximize your revenue versus driving solo.
- Companionship: The open road can be very lonely. When you have nobody else to talk to, you’ll find yourself trying to do anything to entertain yourself. Some drivers even note that they just start talking to virtually nobody because they become so lonely. When you’re in a team trucking position, you will have a little bit of companionship when the other driver is not sleeping.
- Split the Duties: Not only will you be splitting the driving duties, but you will be splitting all responsibilities together. This means pre-trip inspections are much faster, and you’ll be able to unload and load much faster as a result.
- Bonuses: Many trucking companies – not all that many – will offer bonuses for team drivers. These include sign-on bonuses, retention bonuses and mileage bonuses that really add to your bottom line.
I’m going to be completely honest with you – many team drivers fail. You can ask your employer to set you up with another team driver, but you never know who is going to be sitting next to you all day and night. The person can be rude, ornery or a slob in the truck. But when you find the right partner, you can make a lot of money together.
There needs to be some form of compatibility between both drivers for team driving to work.
This allows them to keep all of the money that they earned while driving in one household.
I want to forewarn you, many people look for trucking companies that allow pets, but it’s very hard to bring your pet along on the road when you’re in a team driving position. Not only may your partner not like your pet, but there’s only so much room in the cab for both people and an animal to sit comfortably. I’m not saying you can bring your animal along, but you definitely need the right partner if you want to bring your furry companion on the road.
You’re ready to jump in the truck with another person, but you can’t figure out which trucking company is the best to drive with. Lucky for you, we’ve already took a deep, hard look at several different trucking companies on your behalf.
Some (I’m sure we missed a few great companies along the way) of the best companies for team drivers include:
CR England is a great choice because they have a trucking school partner that will help you obtain your license, and they’re willing to work with anyone that is looking to become a team driver.
This company offers:
- Driver support
- Top-of-the-line equipment
- Fuel saving bonuses
- Safety bonuses
- Mileage bonuses
- Health and life insurance
- Retirement packages
The company acquired Landspan, and they’re known for exceptional team driving experiences. You will receive a $2,000 sign-on bonus, and $.42 per mile (split) with the ability to earn up to $.48 if you drive more than 17,000 miles each month.
This company offers:
- Pay increases of $.01 for every 240,000 miles
- Pay increase of $.03 for hazmat loads
- Pay increase of $.005 safety bonus
- Two days off for every 14 days on the road
- One week off paid vacation time ($500)
- Health benefits
Barr-Nunn pays their drivers $0.55 per practical mile, and $0.59 per mile for hazmat loads. You’ll also be able to benefit from several bonuses, including:
- CSA bonuses
- Health insurance
- Paid time off
- 401(k) options ($0.02 per mile)
The company offers new equipment, high pay and exceptional wages.
A company based out of Texas. We had to mention Heartland because everyone seems to love working for this company. Teams can make an exceptional amount of money, and shipments always go to the West Coast. You’ll also be able to choose your preference of home time, which is a major benefit as a team driver.
- Pay as high as $.58 cpm
- Pay as high as $.62 in the Green Zone
Benefits are also top-notch with this company, and you’ll be able to receive:
- Pay vacation
- Company matched 401(k) retirement plans
- Blue Cross health and dental care
- Free life insurance
- Weekly payrolls with direct deposit
- Discount plans for cell phone companies, appliances and tutors
The ideal company to drive for. First and foremost, you’ll hit the road with a brand-new truck, and you also receive a $10,000 sign-on bonus. Working for this company, you can receive bonus pay for all miles, and the company just announced an 11% pay increase for team drivers.
The pay with the company is up to $.51 per mile, and all new teams will receive a new truck.
When working for the company, you’ll also enjoy:
- Great benefits
- Streamlined trucking routes
- 401(k) and retirement plans
- New trucks
- Referral bonuses of up to $1,000
- Efficiency of up to 1,000 miles of driving per day
Team trucking definitely has its perks, and disadvantages. Many of these disadvantages we didn’t discuss, but they do include: staying in a truck with somebody you may not be compatible with, sleeping in the truck to maximize on the road time, and sparse home time.
If you are thinking about team trucking, make sure that this is the right choice for you before you sign on the dotted line.
Money is not the only thing to consider as a team driver, and many drivers find that working with a spouse or friend is the best option for success. This will allow you to keep the majority of the money that you earn on the road, and it’s much easier to be compatible with somebody that you already know and not someone that is put on your team by the company.