In general, truck drivers earn between £23,000 and £40,000 per year in the UK with the average being between £25,000 and £30,000. This is roughly the same in Belgium and the Netherlands.
There are a few factors that influence a lorry driver’s salary. The first is your driving license. The general rule is that the bigger the truck you can drive, the more you’ll earn. So try to get all of your licenses to maximise your earning potential.
The second factor that has an impact on your salary is your type of load. If you carry hazardous goods, a cargo that requires more work than usual or a particular type of qualification or specialist experience, this will all make a difference when it comes to how much you can ask. Specialising in difficult loads can make you earn well above £40,000.
A third factor is the location of where you’re employed. For example, drivers in Felixstowe and Manchester earn on average nearly £10,000 more than a driver in Ipswich or Leicester. If you’re not too fussed about where you live, you can do some Googling and perhaps find some higher paid jobs in neighbouring counties.
Fourthly, companies will pay more for unusual working hours or longer times away from home. Taking night shifts or doing long haul routes can have a big impact on your salary. Some employers are happy for you to do this once in a while rather than all the time. This way you can keep your work-life balance in check if you don’t like to do this type of driving on a regular basis.
Fifthly, the longer you’ve been with a company, the more you’ll earn. Similarly, the more experience you have, the higher your salary can be. Even better is being able to show you have a long history without incidents or accidents. Fleets are leaving you in charge of a vehicle, equipment and cargo that is worth a lot of money so knowing they can trust you is a very important factor in how strong a position you have in salary negotiations.
In summary, the rarer your skills, the more irregularly you’re willing to work and the more trust you instil, the more you’ll be able to ask in terms of salary.