Montana is one of the most beautiful states in this country.
Who wouldn't want to explore its majestic roads, long and glorious highways, and awe-inspiring sights? That's where the career of a truck driver comes in.
Truckers get to see and experience the best Montana has to offer, all while providing essential services for the state.
Becoming a Truck Driver in Montana
Becoming a truck driver in Montana is very similar to becoming a truck driver in any other state. Namely, those who wish to start their trucking career in the great state of Montana are required, like many other truck drivers around the nation, to get their Commercial Driver's License (or, for brevity's sake, a CDL). For those who have gotten a driver's license, the process may seem pretty familiar. Getting a CDL takes three fairly easy steps:
- You must pass the written exam, which is probably the easiest part of this process. Barely anyone fails the written exam, according to those who have taken it.
- You must pass the skills test. The skills test is fairly easy; however, there are some tricky maneuvers that you must pull off before they can get their Montana CDL. Making four left and right turns is something that you may see on their skills test. They also may ask potential future truckers to: cross a railroad, go through intersections, go straight on a busy urban street, curve (left or right), stop on downgrades, and they even may get future CDL owners to go under bridges/overpasses!
- After that, it's all about going to the Motor Vehicle Division of Montana and picking up the CDL. It's as simple as that!
Why Start a Trucking Career in MT?
As previously mentioned, Montana is one of the most beautiful states in all of the Union. However, if you need more convincing, here are some reasons to start up a trucking career in Montana.
1. The feeling of doing something important and helpful to the community
Trucking is integral to the survival of many people all over the United States. Trucking jobs, especially in Montana, supply local people with the food and other items they need to live. For those who wish to do good, trucking in Montana is a great option.
2. The industry is growing
Here's the skinny: the trucking industry is growing in the United States and Montana in general. According to O*Net, Montana is expected to add "248 new truck driving jobs each year between 2010 and 2020".
3. You wish to live a quiet, peaceful life
Montana doesn't have a huge population, and those that live there live far between each other (in general). For those who wish to be left alone, Montana is the place.
Now, there's one question for those wondering why they should start a trucking career in Montana, and that question is: why NOT start a trucking career in Montana?
Review of the Best Montana Trucking Companies
Looking for a reputable company to work with in Montana? Here are some excellent options:
1. Corcoran Trucking Inc.
Who is Corcoran Trucking?
Here's the thing about Corcoran Trucking: they've been hauling produce from California to Canada for over twenty years. As if that wasn't impressive enough, they've been doing it without the need for a contract! The service of Corcoran Trucking is so good that companies don't even need to sign one.
They have the confidence that Corcoran will do a stellar job. Founded in 1965 by Ed and Kaye Corcoran, these guys started everything with just one truck and one trailer. Since then, they have grown into one of the biggest trucking companies in the US, servicing 48 states.
Jobs Offered by Corcoran Trucking
There are a few different trucking jobs you could do if they want to work with Corcoran Trucking. For starters, they can be an OTR Class A Driver if that's up to their alley. Or, if OTR Class A Driver isn't for them, they could instead try out being an OTR Flatbed Driver, which would have a different feel. Some want to work in the oil fields, and there are immediate openings (at the time of writing) for Hydrovac Swampers!
Corcoran Trucking Salary and Benefits
After some extensive research, we were able to find out that the average driver at Corcoran Trucking makes about $58,571 per year. We were also able to find that those who wish to work in the shop as a Shop Administrative Clerk end up making $13 to $14 an hour.
As for benefits, the outlook wasn't as good. We found that while some may get health insurance, there is a time limit to claim it with management.
2. K & K Trucking Inc.
Who is K & K Trucking?
Believe it or not, Corcoran and K & K Trucking have some pretty similar histories. K & K has been in the business since 1979, and it was founded by a guy named Arly Koetitz. But their longevity in the trucking business is not where the similarities end. They also started with a single truck and trailer. Guess where they shipped produce– the answer is from California to Canada.
They've grown since then, and while they still ship produce they have upgraded their fleet. They now have refrigerated trucks, as well as air-ride trailers with Thermo-King units. It has been a long history for K & K Trucking.
Jobs Offered by K & K Trucking
We weren't able to find a lot of information about the types of jobs offered by K & K Trucking, so excuse the lack of concrete information. We know for sure that they employ truckers– truckers that don't mind a long trip from their home base in Montana to California to Canada and back.
They are also in need of dispatchers and managers, although it seems they keep a pretty tight-knit group of people at K & K Trucking.
K & K Trucking Salary and Benefits
K & K Trucking has a couple of problems when it comes to salary and benefits. For starters, the average person who works there is going to make only $43,348 per year. Not the worst salary in the world, but not that great. As for benefits, for the data we collected, we found none.
There are also no bonuses given to those who work long days, and a lot of the work is seasonal as well.
3. Stillwater Dispatch Inc.
Who is Stillwater Dispatch?
Stillwater Dispatch has been in the business for quite some time now, over thirty years to be precise. And over those thirty years they have concentrated on one thing and one thing only– perfecting their trucking business.
They are the jack of all trades of the Montana trucking world– they do pretty much anything. If a business (or person) wants something hauled, there's a good chance Stillwater can haul it. Their services include everything from dry van to over-dimensional or oversized loads or heavy haul, from partial load to logistics. But the majority of their fleet consists of flatbed trucks.
Jobs Offered by Stillwater Dispatch
There are four types of truckers that work at Stillwater Dispatch. The first would be those who drive the flatbed trucks, whose job is going to consist of hauling lumber, stone, building materials, pallets, or other products to places all around the United States.
Those men are the backbone of Stillwater Dispatch. Then there are the Dry Van drivers, the oversized load drivers (these guys are going to be hauling things as big as excavators) and then there are the LTL drivers, the partial load guys.
Stillwater Dispatch Salary and Benefits
There was very little to be found about the salaries of those who work at Stillwater Dispatch, let alone the benefits. From what we managed to scrape together, we found that the average salary of someone working at Stillwater Dispatch is around $67,293.
We have no idea what kind of benefits package they offer, or whether or not they offer one at all. If Stillwater Dispatch wants to dispute this fact, feel free to contact us, but until then we're going to say there are no benefits from drivers at Stillwater.
4. Jones Brothers Trucking
Who is Jones Brothers Trucking?
The first thing we noticed about Jones Brothers Trucking was they had a sweet YouTube video showing off their trucks. And that YouTube video hardly does the company justice– that's how sweet they are. They do anything anyone could imagine when it comes to trucking.
First off, of course, they ship locally. But they also ship regionally. They ship anywhere in the United States. They even ship to the frozen tundra of Canada! Then, of course, these guys can take any load you could desire. Oversized, LTL, Expedite, and Power only are just a few of the services offered by the good people at Jones Brothers Trucking.
Jobs Offered by Jones Brothers Trucking
There are so many jobs needed to keep the Jones Brothers Trucking Company going, it's a lot to remember! In our research, we were able to find that they employ everyone from truckers (of course) to foremen.
They also have those who specialize in transporting livestock, which was pleasantly surprising. They also have bookkeepers, shop managers and dispatchers. They have a guy whose whole job is safety and supervising drivers– also known as the Safety Director and Driver Supervisor.
Jones Brothers Trucking Salary and Benefits
Here's what we gathered from our research about Jones Brothers Trucking: the average trucker makes $12 to $13 an hour working for them. They also have a pay per mile program, but there isn't a lot of concrete information about it.
There are a lot of competing voices about benefits. Some say there are none, some say they have medical and retirement. Some say there's no room for career advancement, but some say they shot up the corporate ladder.
5. Westervelt Transport & Setup Inc.
Who is Westervelt Transport & Setup?
For forty long years, the folks at Westervelt Transport & Setup have been shipping products all over the United States. It started shipping to Western Canada and grew from there. Today, it offers a litany of services to the public and private sectors, including flatbed, step deck, dry van, roller trailer, winch truck, extendable step deck, hotshot, oversize, power only, LTL, and refrigerated.
There are so many services provided by Westervelt Transport & Setup, it'll make anyone’s head spin! According to the company, however, it specializes in three things: oversize load shipments, modular home transport, and refrigerated trucking.
Jobs Offered by Westervelt Transport & Setup
Because they offer so many different types of trucking, Westervelt Transport & Setup has to have many drivers with a lot of different driving skills. They need guys who can drive dry vans, they need guys who can drive LTL, they need guys who can drive refrigerated, etc.
There are also reports online that they have dispatchers and openings for jobs like sales associates. You can fine-tune their sales abilities at Westervelt Transport & Setup!
Westervelt Transport & Setup Salary and Benefits
As for salary, there was a lot less information than we'd like. What's with these trucking companies (or their ex-employees) not putting up their benefits package/average salary online? For us, that is immediately suspicious. The little info we were able to get was one review from an ex-employee that read like this:
"At Westervelt Transport, you haul oversize and regular flatbeds. Their trucks are older models Peets and Freightlines, friendly staff. Not my ideal pay for the amount of work but a great company to start and learn at."
Salary and Outlook for Truck Driving in Montana
We have discussed the outlook for truck driving in Montana. The consensus is that trucking is only going to grow in this state. That means many new jobs for those who wish to start their career. For the next ten years, more and more jobs are going to be added to the trucking industry in Montana. It's all looking up for those in the industry in Montana, which of course, is good news.
Once more, O*Net is our source for the salaries you may expect when they start a trucking career in Montana. Here are the results of our research for salaries for truck drivers in Montana:
Median Salary: $37,900 per year.
More Accurate Range of Salaries: $25,000 per year and $59,100 per year.
Average Truck Driver Salary in the United States: $60,869
It's evident that, while the top salaries of those in Montana may not match the average for the whole country, the small cost of living in the state more than makes up for that fact. And you cannot discount the beauty of the state. There may not be as much money living in Montana, but those who don’t seem to notice.
Which Cities Pay the Most For Truck Drivers in Montana?
While the median salary for truck drivers in Montana may look low, some cities pay way above the state average for truckers. Here they are:
3. Helena, Montana
Average Salary: $67,374 per year
While the capital of Montana has a slow-growing economy, someone who decides to start a trucking career in the city will be pretty well off compared to most residents. The average income for someone in Montana is $50,889, which puts Helena truckers in the upper tier, making almost $17,000 more than the average resident. And in Montana, that money would go a long way.
2. Billings, Montana
Average Salary: $68,510 per year
Billings is the largest city in Montana, so it makes sense that truck drivers in Billings make pretty decent money. It is also a place where small businesses thrive, and many different businesses require trucking, from retail to oil to sugar beets.
1. Great Falls, Montana
Average Salary: $70,847 per year
Great Falls is the place to work for those who want to make money as a trucker in Montana. They pay way more than the state average, and even more than the national average!
Today, we looked at how to become a truck driver in Montana and why you should start a truck driving career here. We also included information about the average salaries, which cities pay the most, and, of course, we looked at some of the best companies to work for should someone want to be a truck driver in Montana. All that's left now is to start up a trucking career.
People Also Ask
Is Owning a Trucking Company Profitable?
Honestly, that question depends on the kind of trucking company you'd like to start. Smaller trucking companies are the best option, they don't require a lot of capital to start up and can gain (according to the fine people at Keep Trucking) "earn 30.3 cents per trucking mile or on the average".
Why Do Truckers Quit?
There are a lot of reasons why a trucker may quit. They don't like the pay; they don't like the management; they feel they are being discriminated against; or all of the above. But the biggest reason a trucker quits is they don't feel appreciated by the company at which they work.
Which Montana Trucking Companies Hire New Drivers?
There are a few in Montana that hire new drivers. Here is a couple we were able to find in our research:
Jim Palmer Trucking. This company hires new drivers with one year of experience. They may not be new drivers, but they do hire green drivers. Sammons is another company that brings on new drivers as well. However, there have been multiple reports that GW is the best place in Montana for new drivers.
Are There Trucking Companies In Montana Who Let You Bring Your Pet?
Once again, Jim Palmer Trucking allows people to pretty much whatever they want with them. There are no breed restrictions, and you might only have to wait three months to bring your pet on the road with them. If you're the kind of trucker who wants to travel with pets, they are probably the best bet.