Truckers that want a little more excitement and variety in their day may want to consider a position in heavy haul trucking. As a heavy hauler, you’ll be exposed to something new every day.
Our favorite part is that it’s not as mundane as transporting the same goods day in and day out.
But landing a position as a heavy hauler is difficult.
You’ll find more opportunity in all other levels of trucking than in this specialty, but most of the positions are not as fun and exciting. Heavy haul trucking pay is decent (more below), and it’s often higher than running a standard rig.
How to Get Into Heavy Haul Trucking
If you’re right out of CDL school or even have a few years behind the wheel of a big rig, you’re still unlikely to land a job as a heavy haul trucker.
The top names in the industry often have a minimum age requirement of 23, but they’re also demanding experience.
It’s difficult to have experience in the field at this young of an age. That doesn’t mean you should not try.
The typical route to becoming a heavy hauler is flat bedding.
You’ll want to get experience in this sector and then move into a position where you can learn about:
If you can learn the ropes, you may be able to find a trucking company that will be willing to train you further for a regular heavy hauling position.
A lot of other drivers started working with construction companies, flat bedding large equipment for years and are now experienced enough to haul heavy loads.
The main issue will be experience, so you’ll need to start with a flatbed and really show your skill.
It will take years of slowly securing larger and larger loads before someone will be willing to take a chance on you.
The key is to try and move up your loads so that you can get to the massive loads that companies like Bennet need truckers to haul – up to 400,000 pounds.
You will have a lot of extra responsibility in this position, too.
Knowing how to use advanced equipment is a must, and this may include:
- Step deck
- Tilt trailers
- Drop decks
- Roll backs
And a variety of other equipment will also be required, depending on the job and how heavy of a load you’re working with.
Over time, as you gain more experience with different equipment and larger axle loads, you’ll take on more responsibility and will be able to haul virtually any over-sized load.
Heavy Haul Trucking Salary
Heavy haulers can earn $76,003 per year in the United States.
The figure is the result of averaging 27 employee surveys, additional data points over the past 36 months from three 3rd-party tools. Salary distribution ranged from $33,000 to $135,000.
ZipRecruiter has a national average salary of $59,561 per year based on jobs posted on their site. The site has a range of salaries, from $23,000 to $94,500.
What’s interesting is that when you look at the changes in salary, you’ll find that the average pay range will vary by $16,500. While this may seem like a lot, it should be noted that there’s not much room for advancement based off of these figures- unless you are available to relocate to a higher paying state.
But this is trucking, and the industry demand is so high that less experienced truckers are now demanding more.
Average Heavy Haul Pay by State
The state in which you’re located will dictate how much you’re paid.
The highest average annual salary in the industry is in the northeast in:
- New York – $65,185
- Massachusetts – $64,662
- New Hampshire – $63,418
- Maryland – $60,472
The lowest paying states are:
- Mississippi – $51,863
- Missouri – $51,204
- Florida – $49,902
- North Carolina – $46,021
Remaining states are between $52,229 and $59,964, so salaries are pretty consistent in all states.
Heavy Haul Trucking Companies & Jobs
Companies that you may want to consider driving for as a heavy haul trucker are:
Precision Heavy Haul
Precision Heavy Haul started in 1984 under Mike Poppe. The company focused on earth moving equipment in the early days, but they have since diversified into specialized equipment that other haulers won’t touch.
The company has grown to 17 tractors and 150+ trailer combinations.
Drivers like that the company has an array of equipment that you will not find at other trucking companies. You have a lot of opportunities to advance, and there are awards for drivers that have exceptional records with the company.
Trailers can have between 7 and 10 axles, and hauling different goods makes the job less mundane.
When you work with the company, you’ll quickly notice that they’re very hands-on and will be there from start to finish. New drivers in the heavy haul industry will find that Precision Heavy Haul is a great place to learn the ins and outs of the industry.
Anderson Trucking Service (ATS) was founded in 1955, and the company started with the goal of helping small and large businesses meet their shipping needs. The company has since grown and offers one of the best heavy haul services in the industry.
Success over a period of sixty years has allowed the company to offer a large selection of trucks, from flat beds and crane vans to multi-axle heavy load trailers.
Real-time GPS is in all vehicles, too.
Drivers claim that the biggest issue when working with ATS is that the company’s management is disorganized. You’ll need to stay alert when the fleet manager contacts you because it’s not uncommon for mistakes to occur.
But the issue seems to be centered in one location and not others.
A driver left a review in 2019 that claimed that fleet managers were absolutely amazing. These managers will make sure that you have steady work, and they’re there to help when you have any issues.
The job is demanding, with long hours and a lot of responsibility.
You will be held accountable, and you can expect the company to put a major focus on safety. CSA records are very important to ATS.
Bennet hauls some of the largest goods in the country. The company’s heavy transport division has equipment with up to 19 axle configurations and drop deck extendable. Loads are up to 400,000 pounds. You may have to pass through several states and meet stringent regulations.
The company started like all other trucking companies: with humble beginnings. They started to grow through the mid-70s into the 80s. Now, Bennet has more than 45 years of experience.
Customer satisfaction is key for the company, and they’re also one of the top transportation companies in the world for women.
If you want to be a heavy haul driver for the company, you will need to be at least 23 years of age and have some over-dimensional hauling experience.
You’ll also need to have a clean driving record, and pass a physical and drug screening.
Reviews for Bennet are positive, with a lot of people claiming that it’s just a typical day as a trucker. You’ll find that terminal managers are nice, liability insurance is low and there is less work available in the winter.
Drivers have a great experience with Bennet, and there’s a lot that truckers can learn from driving for the company.
It’s one of the most successful trucking companies in the heavy haul trucking industry.