For many drivers, hauling their rig across the wide-open stretches of mainland US is the dream of a lifetime. For others, they may want to check out another area for trucking. Namely the island of Hawaii.
What does the Island of Hawaii offer for Drivers?
Hawaii offers a fantastic landscape. Another value is the distance that truckers will drive. A typical truck driver can be gone for days at a time. On the main island of Hawaii, they will have a typical m-f schedule which can include overtime.
Experienced Drivers are in Demand
Do you have your CDL Class-A license? Do you have multiple years of high-quality driving experience? The current trucking crisis has impacted all forms of the industry and Hawaii is no exception. Qualifications are higher than in most other areas. This is part of being so far away from the mainland. If you meet the requirements, then maybe uprooting yourself to a tropical paradise could be for you! The keyword for scoring a truck driver job is “experience”. Many local truck companies want to hire someone with the right credentials and accolades. Someone with a solid background can certainly meet the expectations of an island trucking company.
Move out Before Applying?
This is typically never a good idea. Moving to a new and foreign place where the cost of living is significantly higher than most of the US presents its own challenges. Even if you have a high-paying job, they are relatively scarce. The best suggestion is to have a list of possible employers before you make the move. Most employers want to see that a driver lives on the mainland before they give them the go-ahead. Again, the trucking industry is currently in the midst of a driver shortage, so if you decide to pack up and head out, then you have a better shot than most. Just be sure you have plenty of experience in order to score a job right away. It also helps to have a financial safety net in case you don’t find something right away.
Differences Between Mainland and Island Driving
One major difference between driving in the mainland US versus and island is the amount of space that you get. On an island, everything is more tightly packed together. Roads aren’t as wide, parking spaces are smaller and the distance to drive is relatively short in comparison. Your trips will be much shorter (depending on what island you are driving on) and the congestion is far greater than most places.
Cost of Living VS How Much You’ll Make
A CDL Class-a driver with the right experience can make pretty good money out on the islands, but does it convert well with the cost of living?
The answer is: Maybe? It really depends on your lifestyle. A driver with the experience can make upwards of $20+/hr which includes overtime. That is for drivers with a great track record and experience. If you move out there without the required experience, you’re looking at $13-$15/hr. If you live lightly and are frugal with your money, then you can make a living out on the islands. The prices of all food are greatly increased considering everything needs to be shipped in. If you can score a cheaper place with roommates, you’ll be fine. If you have a family where only you are working, this might be next to impossible.
Research Research Reseach
Before crossing the ocean, make sure that a position like this is what you are looking for. If you do not have some sort of safety net, you will find yourself stranded with no job and no possible way to get home. It could be worse, though. After all, living in a shack on a tropical island is what many dream of having. If you don’t research what is offered out there, you will have a hard time finding a suitable position.
Making this move is not something you simply jump into. It requires months of thinking and analysis. Make sure you have some form of contact to help you out there and be sure to make new ones. They could help you out tremendously.