When deciding on a career path one of the main things people look at is “What can I expect to make driving truck?”. There are many factors that go into this answer, such as region, freight type, years of experience, and driver type. With such a range in factors, it is hard to pinpoint an exact minimum and maximum salary within the trucking industry. But according to TruckDriverSalary.com, the national salary starting base was $37,000 in 2019; the maximum salary was $77,000.
Many statistics you will find on truck driver pay are for first-year drivers. Once you have at least a year of driving under your belt, a lot more opportunities for better pay open up. The statistics usually never break out the additional pay that drivers are making like incentives, safety bonuses, years of service pay, sign-on or recruiting incentives. The statistics also roll all types of freight into one salary comparison. The type of freight you haul can tremendously change the salary you could get paid. For instance, if you haul flatbed freight you are required to do a lot more physical work with most of the loads like tarping and strapping. This work usually comes with additional pay or a higher base salary. Once you’re schooled in truck driving you might try something like oversized hauling. This is a big hassle but is usually rewarded with big pay. Oversize or specialty hauling is not for everyone. Thanker loads can be tricky and if you haul hazmat you pay more for your license, but you should be getting paid a higher wage for your extra endorsement and trouble. Then there is dry van freight, which is what we specialize in. In most cases, it does not require any loading or unloading assistance from the driver, but you are required to make sure it is loaded and weighted properly.
Once you decide to be a truck driver and you have gotten your CDL, hopefully, through a credited school program, you then need to decide what region or location style driver you aim to be. There is anything from a local driver (home nightly), regional (maybe gone a day at a time), or Over the Road (gone a week or longer at a time). We specialize in OTR driving. Our drivers are out 5-6 days at a time, then back home for their 34-hour reset. Each company does things differently so you will want to make sure and ask what will be expected of you and then ask for some of their current drivers’ contact information so you can talk with someone that is actually work ing for them to hear their thoughts. Do your homework and you will be much happier in the long run!
With each company trying to get the attention of drivers it is very difficult to know exactly what you are going to be paid. Have them lay it out for you. They can break it down and you can see just what you need to do to make the big bucks with them and what you will make if you only want to do the minimal asked of you. For example, our fleet average is 12,000 miles a month. We pay by the mile both loaded and empty. Each of our drivers gets paid a base pay of $0.45 for those miles. ON top of that we have incentives you can achieve. They are based on if you put on more than 10,000 miles, you achieve 7.5 MPG or better in monthly fuel average, you work with us for over a year, and you maintain a good safety record. All these things add up, but you may have to work to achieve some fo them. Our 2019 average salary was $65,000!