I work at a truck brokerage as a dispatcher. I havent been on the job very long, but I have heard a lot of troublesome stories. It's true truckers get plunty of money for taking a load, but a lot of that is ate up in the fuel expenses, tarps, straps, pallet charges and lumper charges. (lumpers load and unload the loads for ungodly prices using a forklift, go figure why that is so hard that they can charge 300 bucks to unload 22 pallets of onions)
A typical load of onions from nyssa,id to miami,fl can get the driver in upwards of 2500 to 3000 dollars. The truckers we work with are paid by the amount of the load that they can take. The loads are contracted from a produce broker to be picked up at a location on the west coast to be delivered to the east coast, the produce brokers contact either a trucker or a truck brokerage like the company I work for (which typically take 10% to 15% of what the receiver,shipper or produce broker is paying for freight). Sometimes you can catch a produce broaker poketing a little bit of the money or someone else through the line.
Produce loads dont pay as good as other commodities because their value varies as the product ages because they are parishable and sensative to temp. humitity and light. Right now truck known as Vans or Vented Vans (looks like a refreigerated truck just without the fridge in the front or bottom) are being required to carry propane heaters to be lit at night to keep loads from freezing.
Every type of load has liabilities, but produce loads have the worst liabilities. You cant just sit over the weekend with a load of onions in the truck, they will rot, mildew or freeze, all making the value of the load to the receiver decrease. Produce loads have to go through an FDA inspection and grade A in order to get loaded. Then on the receiver's end, surprise inspections by the FDA are done or request by the receiver/shipper to provide proof of the value of a load (usually requested if a truck is late it only takes 5 or 6 days to go from NW US to NE US even taking southern routes to miss wintery weather)
I feel particularly sympathetic towards the trucking industry, they are the backbone of the US and carries the entire US's commercial product at some point in time. Truckers get screwed over often by some crooked shippers or receivers. Some shippers or receivers just dont pay well or wont pay at all (thankfully there are credit reporting companies like compunet and Electronic blue book that can help them steer clear of accounting disasters, but they arent entirely easy to keep from running into)
As a truck brokerage we have to take the task of billing the shipper or receiver then paying the truck. But some shippers hold onto their money over the 30 day net pay requirement on into 90 days or 130 days (we have one that hasnt paid on a load from 1999). Sometimes our company comes into a little trouble when we have to pay truckers on loads they took but the shipper hasnt paid us on yet. That ties up our money and makes us have to hold over a bill a little late sometimes thus making our credit look bad. Unfortunately some credit reporting companies like compunet require very little information from someone who wants to put a lein on our credit or bond (it really pisses my boss off) which doesnt make sense to me. Anyone can pose as a driver and put something on our credit record, without sending any paper work in. Compunet also creates a lot of hassle to clear up credit records after things have settled or been paid on a case.
If that doesnt spook you out of getting into trucking... get yourself a few good lawyers and buy a truck and trailer, insurance and start hauling. You will need the Sharks to fight the dead beat shippers/receivers and to get the insurance companies to pay when you have troubled loads or accidents.
All and all it's a terribly tough job, but someone has to do it. Just please, PLEASE PLEASE if you cant speak very good english take some speaking lessons! Noone can understand broken english-spanish-japanese-asian languages over the phone, especially with 8 to 10 other people in the same room conversing on the phone (just a personal pet peve).
*** In order to bend the spoon, you have to first realize you are holding a butterknife you dolt! ***