Grain hauling jobs are a major part of rural life in the United States. Grain silos and farms need supplies, and a grain hauler can be seen driving between farms all throughout the Midwest, although hauling can be anywhere in the U.S.
“America’s Breadbasket,” or the Midwest, requires grain truck drivers to keep the population fed.
If you want to haul goods that are always going to be in high demand, life as a grain hauler may be for you.
How to Get Started Bulk Hauling
If you want to get started as a grain hauler, you’ll first need to earn your Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). Requirements vary by state, but you’ll likely need a Class A CDL license to get started.
Once you have your license, the next part is the most difficult: finding a position.
Grain Hauler Annual Pay Stats
ZipRecruiter’s data for grain driver salaries has the position listed at $26 an hour, or $54,690 per year on average.
The maximum and minimum salary listed provides a clearer picture of what you can expect to earn as a driver:
In terms of weekly salary, you’ll be paid $1,052 per week on average.
The salary range is wide, and this means that there’s potential for advancement and promotion. Location will play a significant role in determining how much you’ll earn.
Cities with the Highest Grain Hauler Salary
Salaries where there is a high demand for grain haulers will have more competition for keeping competent drivers. The top paying cities include:
San Jose, California
San Jose pays an average salary of $67,549, but the possibility of landing a position is slim. There are very few companies hiring, and while the salary is high, San Jose is known for their very high cost of living.
The majority of the cities with the highest salaries are in California, including Hayward, Concord, Sunnyvale, Santa Cruz and Seaside. Wasilla, Alaska also makes the list as well as Seattle, Washington, which has an average salary of $64,931.
Positions Paying the Best for Grain Hauling
Multiple opportunities are available that allow you to work in the grain hauling business and earn a great salary. The main positions available include:
Team truck drivers
Senior grain trader
Truck driver trainer
For most people, a general grain truck driver position is the position that they’ll enter and remain in throughout their careers.
Grain Hauling Jobs
As a grain hauler, you’ll be responsible for hauling dry grain. Integrated loading features may require specialized training, and mastering the loading and unloading process will increase your hiring chances.
Local farmers will be your employers and will often have strict inspection processes to ensure that your equipment is operating properly.
Yearly output and staying afloat are the most important factors farmers consider when hiring grain haulers. If you don’t have a safe driving record, it can be nearly impossible to land a position amongst local farmers.
The scenery is often beautiful, and you’ll spend a lot of time out in the countryside.
When seeking a job, a few potential leads are:
Local farms and grocery stores
Large agricultural operations
The industry involves a lot of tight-knit individuals, and networking is one of your best opportunities to get your foot in the door. Harvest season is when you’ll be in high demand, but you can expect to make a lot of money at this time.
Large farming operations will have plenty of work outside of harvest season.
You’ll be responsible for hauling hopper bottoms.
In terms of routine, you can expect the following:
Farmers often have last fall and summer goods
Harvest season brings a lot of new hauling opportunities
Wheat is often hauled out in the summer
Fall brings an entirely new crops
You may also want to consider hauling some crops to ethanol plants. The opportunity to work in a big business, such as ethanol, allows for greater job stability, too.
Hoppers will often want or have to haul other goods during the offseason, primarily in winter. It’s not uncommon for owner operators to own a hopper and work in the industry during the busy season. The industry can be saturated in some regions, making it difficult to keep loads consistently flowing.
But if you have the right connections and want to work in the farming industry, life as a grain hauler offers consistent work most months of the year and all-around for some drivers. Buying a lighter hopper will allow you to haul larger loads and earn more money for driving the same miles.