Truck Driver Salary: Average Truck Driver Pay Per Mile

I get a lot of email from truck drivers asking about pay. As soon as they find out I have been trucking for 25+ years, they want to know what is considered good pay, yearly salary, or average pay per mile. So, I decided to break it down into below average pay, average pay, and above average pay. Unfortunately, for a lot of trucking companies, pay hasn’t changed much over the past 25 years. But with many companies, it has. You have to dig deep to find the good jobs. That has always been the case.

OTR Truck Driver Salary / Pay Per Mile

In a nutshell, this is how I see it- Pay per mile, and average miles, to me, isn’t the issue. It’s weekly pay, or yearly pay. In other words, how much money do you really make, never mind all the jargon about miles, money and home-time that a lot of companies throw at you.

Some trucking companies will work you hard for low pay, work you hard for good pay, work you easy for low pay, and work you easy for good pay.

In case you are new to my website, I have had over 100 jobs in those 25 years. Of course, only about 20 of them were OTR companies, which, based on my emails is the main type of job drivers are wondering about. So that’s what I’ll get into here. But you can always leave a comment, and I do respond to them all (after I moderate the spam out).

In the late 80’s and early 90’s, most decent trucking companies paid about .32 cents per mile. And in those days, it was easy to run over 3000 miles per week. So, if you do the math, a decent driver working for a decent company should make 45,000+ in those days.

When I see trucking companies these days talking about making $40,000, I cringe. This is 2012. Most of life’s expenses are twice what they were back then. Of course, pay isn’t twice what it was, with any company.

Here’s how I see it in 2012…

Below average truck driver pay- anything under .40 cents per mile, or $40,000 per year.

Average truck driver pay- about .40 to .45 cents per mile, or $50,000 to $60,000 per year.

Above average truck driver pay- close to .50 cents per mile, and over $60,000 per year.

Of course, what you haul matters. Flatbed, step-deck and heavy-haul drivers add a little to that pay scale. (Or, a lot in some cases.)

There are thousands of truck drivers out there making $70k+. (Especially owner operators- most of them should be doing at least $100,000.)

If you have at least one year of recent, OTR experience, you should be able to find a job where you can make at least $60,000 per year. That’s the bottom line as I see it.

I saw an ad the other day, for a heavy-haul company driver that only paid .40 cents per mile! Is any experienced heavy haul driver really going to take that job? I wouldn’t think so, but apparently some do.

These figures vary a little according to the US government, but all the numbers I gave above are based on reality, from a drivers perspective, according to the real world.


Ken Skaggs Big City DriverKen Skaggs is a 30-year veteran trucker and safety professional, who has always been a writer, and an entrepreneur at heart. Since 2000, he's had 150+ articles published by Ten-Four Magazine, Careers in Gear, Driver Story Magazine, and dozens of websites.

283 comments for “Truck Driver Salary: Average Truck Driver Pay Per Mile

  1. Sam
    December 3, 2014 at 1:34 am

    My dad has been a truck driver for the past 15 years and loves it. Instead of him trading his old truck in for a new one, we decided to get a new truck and put a driver on it, while he remains on his old truck and I dispatch. This was 2 years ago and currently we have 5 new trucks 2014/2015 models, 2 old ones and my dad drives an old Schneider truck while I dispatch. We start our drivers off at .36 cents on all miles for the first 3 months and then .38 cents with stop pay, detentions pay and a .02 cent bonus for safe driving per month. We do hire them on 1099 and give a raise of .02 cents per year with holiday pay, and more bonus as I see fit, depending on how the driver is doing. I am now close to managing 11 trucks (3 o/o) and it is one of the toughest jobs ever.

    My point is that as a small company we try to pay our drivers the best we can and stay on top of all regulations but, in my opinion, it is one of the most regulated industries out there and one of the toughest. Currently I start working at 4-5 am and am not done till 7-8 pm. With the introduction of the Electronic Log, I know for a fact that our revenue will drop 15-20 percent, not because we are doing illegal driving, etc, but because of their cost and impact. I eventually want to turn this company into an employee owned company so that the drivers will feel like they are working to for themselves, but with the way government is regulating this industry I am really thinking about quitting this business.

    I was just reading online about how other much other drivers make and what is fair and Since this article was about driver pay, our drivers make a minimum of $4000/ month driving about 2700-3200 miles a week.We have drivers making close to 6-7 who stay on the road for 3-5 weeks at a time. If the taxes and regulation could drop just a little, but not be eliminated, I know for a fact we can pay drivers more then .45 cpm starting, its the big company lobbyists and the government that is truly contributing to this stalemate. It truly sickens me what the stereotype has become of truckers and how they are considered filthy and uneducated. I just hope we can maybe come together once and rise up to the occasion to show the FMCSA, DOT, EPA, IRS, and Congress that we are not something that can be taxed more and more every time they need money to fill their pockets and regulated more and more for no reason.

    A person working hard should be able to make enough to feed his family and I see how that is not the case with most drivers we hire (mostly from big companies) who are working a lot, but that really needs to change in my opinion rather than more taxation and regulation.

    • Ken Skaggs
      December 3, 2014 at 7:43 am

      Wow. Thanks for all that Sam.
      Trucking is super-regulated, and very a difficult business to last long in, as an owner. It sounds like you are doing it though. Don’t give up! You have it mastered. You sound like a nice guy to work for who really wants his drivers to do well. And that is why you will succeed.
      Your pay is good enough. Maybe they can make a few more dollars somewhere else. But they will be a lot happier working for a cool guy like you.
      Drivers are a loyal group of individuals for the most part. Treat them well and they will stay, even if they could make a few more dollars somewhere else.
      As for all of your hard work and long hours… You’ll get better too. We all learn as we go along. I think you will find a way eventually, to lessen your work load. Try booking loads in advance, so they know where their next stop is after they empty out. I used to go to a health club at lunch time when I had my own company. That relieved the stress, kept me in shape, and helped me stay focused.
      Your heart is in the right place. Hang in there- it gets better. Good luck!

      • Jason
        February 26, 2015 at 6:34 pm

        Hey ken how are you this afternoon ? Was just wondering what’s the industry on hourly pay ? People n companies are going lower lowere everyday ! Some companies only wana pay 13/15 dollars an hour that’s horrible I been driving for 10 years almost ! And when they ask u how much you want and you tell them 17/19 dollars an hour they freak out

        • Ken Skaggs
          February 27, 2015 at 3:45 am

          Hi Jason,

          Here’s what the government says average hourly pay is (about $18 to $20 an hour)- (There’s some nice area maps there too if you click around the site.)

          It’s been my experience that it depends on where you live. On the low end you have FL, AL, MS, AR. On the high end is IL, OH, PA, TX, WY.

          CA varies a lot- Northern CA pays better than southern CA. NY pays better outside of NYC. But most other cities pay more than their country areas.

          That’s how I see it. Thanks for stopping by.


    • mike
      January 19, 2015 at 8:35 pm

      You are so right they feel we should pay more for every thing even when we run the county and without trucking the will Stop everything here we should be treated better than this we should ba less for fuel and insurance and helth insurance .if we stick together.for this we will do alot for truck driver who works hard everyday.

    • brandi
      January 22, 2015 at 7:26 pm

      so whats the name of your company… and do you hire drivers from other states

    • Scott
      September 1, 2015 at 8:48 pm

      What company

    • James Smith
      May 17, 2016 at 6:14 pm

      I will have my cdl in 3 weeks and I’m looking for over the road work, My contact info is 989-501-4048 and my name is James

    • Lisa Smith
      July 5, 2016 at 10:32 pm

      Hi my name is Lisa Smith my fiancee is working for western express in Tennessee. He was suppose to work Regional. She he started training he was making $500.00 a week after first 6 weeks he went from $500.00 to $200 or less a week. He says that when he goes to pick up big loads that some times it takes them up to 6 to 8 he’s then it takes him an hr to tarp i .I can’t understand if ur a trucker how u only bringing home $200.00 or the most $300.00 a week .less than it training pay. He’s not getting good runs pay home time truck always breaking down. His DM going on vacation not giving him runs. Can u please give me some advice please. He started in April this year Nd his weekly pay is dropping he says their only giving him 600 to 800 miles a week. Can u please give me some advice. He’s a flat bed driver coast to coast. At one point they didn’t pay him for 3 weeks. We r very behind on our mortgage bills very bad no income to survive. He’s scared to quit cause of a contract he signed with them. Thank you any advise will help.

      • Daniel
        July 6, 2016 at 8:33 pm

        Lisa, have him go become a temp driver… I always made the most from temp work and most think it’s temp but it’s not! I make 20.00 an hr, OT after 40, layover (non taxed pay) and I get as many hours as I want. I work on the east side and the benefits are good too. Last week… net was 1310.00
        It’s so worth it and I’m only gone 2/3 times a week.

        • Tarron Gray
          July 17, 2016 at 12:30 pm

          Hey it sounds like a good company u are with would u mind telling me what company that is.

          • dan
            July 18, 2016 at 6:45 am

            My temp company is local in one state. check out temp companies near you, tell them you want a dedicated account.
            if he likes OTR and flatbed tell him to go to TMC… research them. They pay 60k easy…

  2. Stephen
    December 3, 2014 at 11:17 pm

    Props to Sam for trying to do the right thing. Ken’s right, pay is just part of the equation… especially if the eventual goal is extending company ownership and profit-sharing (I think TMC offers something similar). Company atmosphere, relations with dispatch, detention pay, the types of loads, pet policy, and more can all factor in to job satisfaction.

    As for regulation, there must be more flexibility introduced into HOS so drivers can sleep when they need to and drive when they are rested. But overall, we need to be careful what we wish for… many argue the “deregulation” associated with the 1980 Motor Carrier Act played a part in the race-to-the-bottom pay rates for freight (and thus drivers) we see today.

  3. Keith Goodman
    January 19, 2015 at 9:09 am

    This is a tough business with lots of regulations. I work with the regulations end to make them easier to deal with and “level the playing field” so that drivers and small companies like yourself get a fair chance of making a good wage. Contact me if you would like to know more.Good luck and safe driving!

    • Dave
      June 3, 2015 at 7:56 pm

      Keith, I was interviewed to drive a 24 ft stakebed truck for a big company. What should I ask for per hour? So. Cal. Experienced driver.

      • Ken Skaggs
        June 3, 2015 at 9:08 pm

        This question is really a personal one. Everybody is different, and every company is too. If I had to pick a number, I’d say $20 an hour. But if I thought they were union, I’d say $28. Don’t ever be afraid to say what you really need. If you can’t survive on $14 an hour, and that’s what they pay, it wasn’t going to work out for you anyway, so just tell the truth- what do you really want or need to make? If you said $25, and they said all they can do is $15, you will still likely get the job as long as they like you (and if you really want it.)

        Good luck!

  4. Sean
    February 2, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    Thanks for all the info, Ken. I lease a few trucks to a great independent company based in Nashville, TN specializing in OTR hauls. It is run by a good friend of mine who is a good man, treats his drivers fairly, gives them as many miles as they want (3,000-3,500 per week is the norm) within the law, and runs his business very similar to the way Sam described. We are growing rapidly and are always looking for dependable drivers who want to build their business with us, and I am a firm believer in treating people well and rewarding loyalty and dependability. I would much rather build a thriving business around integrity and mutual respect and keep drivers for years than just be a revolving door like so many companies seem to be, and many drivers seem to expect. If I’m making a good living then my drivers should be, too. If any drivers looking for a good place to call home, please feel free to shoot me a message. Individuals or teams welcome. I don’t mean to spam your board, so feel free to remove the message if it comes off that way.

    • Ken Skaggs
      February 2, 2015 at 7:00 pm

      Thanks Sean. I’m sure some readers would appreciate that. You email is not public. Anyone can reply to your comment here though.

    • Bobby
      March 18, 2015 at 7:40 pm

      i am in school right now and want to ask who is your company ,what do you start graduates at if you do,what are you hauling and what kind of trucks are you driving,how is the scale of pay? percentage of cpm. i have found out that TMC company gives you the option of pay choice. driver gets a percentage of the load and makes what is equaled to 42-45cents per flatbed load.Ken can you say something on the percentage pay??

      please respond !

      • Ken Skaggs
        March 18, 2015 at 8:36 pm

        Hi Bobby,

        I’ll be happy to talk about percentage. There’s an important question to ask in the percentage-pay business… “Percent of what?” In other words, one guy night make 30% of $1.05 a mile. (He’s making 31.5 cents per mile.) While the next guy is getting 28% of $2.50 a mile. (He’s making .70 a mile.) Do you see what I mean? Less percentage of more money can equal more pay.

        I can’t really say what is better- percentage or mileage, because it depends on a lot of things. I have made good money with percentage at one company and bad money at the next. Most of the big companies (like TMC) pay percentage for a reason. And that reason usually is, to share the losses. In other words, when TMC has a bad week, so do you. Of course, when they have a good week, so do you too. I don’t know enough about TMC to comment on them specifically.

        All I can say is, give it a try. You have to earn your miles somewhere. It may as well be with them. You could try talking to some TMC drivers who have been there a while. They’ll fill you in on what’s what.

        Good luck,

      • Sean
        March 19, 2015 at 3:55 pm

        Hi Bobby,

        The company is Tennessee Transportation. I don’t think we’ve got any graduates working for us right now, but if you are interested I can see if that would be a possibility. Most of our drivers with 2+ years of experience are earning in the 35-40 cents per mile range. We do not pay on percentage mainly for the reasons that Ken described – we think the drivers should be paid for the amount they are driving regardless of how we might be doing. A lot of the drivers that end up driving for us tell us they were lured into driving with some of the larger companies via some deceptively high price per mile promises that come with a lot of conditions (also known as loopholes) and say they end up making more with us in the long run. We just shoot straight from the beginning and then reward consistency and dependability with higher mileage rates.

        I hope that helps!


    • chris
      July 28, 2015 at 10:18 pm

      Hello Sean my name is chris And I’ve been driving trucks sense 2000 I have drove everything from log trucks, refers, dry, some flat bed, rolls .I have also drove for the oilfield for 4 years hauling some containers, equipment, pipe, generators etc in general I would love to get back into moving equipment again and doing heavy haul you can email me at or call me at 501-764-8552 thanks

    • William Bartlett
      October 16, 2015 at 10:59 pm

      My name is William Bartlett I have been driving for over 25 years and I’m sick of empty promises. My email is Sincerely William Bartlett

  5. Greg Coyle
    May 6, 2015 at 6:58 pm

    33 years driving, done or tried it all!
    Forget OTR. Forget owning a truck unless you like long hours, all the headache, chasing down your money, and robbing Peter to pay Paul!
    Go work for an established LTL company that has benefits. IE old dominion. Yellow freight(YRC) saia, UPS, or one of the many companies that pay well and let you get home. Yes, you will need hazmat, doubles, and possibly tanker endorsements. BUT these companies pay a rate that NONE of the OTR companies can match. For example: Old dominion, and Saia are up to or over .59 cent a mile now for line drivers and over $24. An hour for local. Union companies can be even more. Plus LTL has the best benefits in trucking. Just my advice.
    But if you really want all that independence of being your own boss, and you can stand to work for little compensation go buy a truck!!

    • Ken Skaggs
      May 7, 2015 at 4:41 am

      That’s some good advice Greg. I agree with everything you said, but there are a few exceptions. The best money I ever made trucking was when I was an owner operator for Sammons (that was OTR, heavy hauling). I made $109,000 one year. But all of my next best years were with local companies and unions. 7up in Chicago I made $75,000 and I was home every day, sometimes early too. (I busted my ass humping all that pop though.) And a union asphalt company (I drove a dump truck local), I made $50,000 from March to November, and had winter off.

      I wrote an article about that too-

      I didn’t even think about LTL, but that’s definitely some good advice. Thanks for the tip.


      • Jamie
        January 23, 2016 at 1:58 am

        LTL is the way to go! I pull doubles and triples. .64 cents a mile. They let you run as hard as you want, home when you want, benefits are great! I pulled down 114,000 last year and had a blast doing it!

        • Ken Skaggs
          January 23, 2016 at 6:00 am

          Very nice. That’s what I like to hear!

  6. Patrick M. P.
    July 30, 2015 at 11:21 pm

    hello Ken
    I just wanted to say reading your blog has helped me open my eyes to the roads ahead of me, I am 53 i live 35 minutes west of chicago and i am currently in attending trucking school 1 more week and i am done. I have been approached by many recruits and your blog helps on what ? to ask. I would like to drive for a company who can get me home evry week for at least 2 days home maybe 2 Weekends home a month 2 would be nice. i also want a good 401 k and at least 32-34 cpm. i am looking for a company that hires new drivers. i have a lot of miles under my belt pulling trailers and straight trucks not cdl. . parts delivery in calif. your right about TMC. they gaurantee $1000 a week to start and 26- 36% plus bonus and are employee owned. the only thing is Tarping your load and i think thats a young mans game.they do get you home every weekend if thats what you want.
    I would like to know what swift pays cpm because thats who i am training thru at eagle trucking. would also like to know about companies where i can get lower state runs in winter and upper in summer. i dont like the winters here i am from calif. well thanks again Ken.
    MLAR Patrick.

    • Ken Skaggs
      July 31, 2015 at 7:15 am

      Hi Patrick,

      35 minutes west of Chicago- there are a lot of good paying jobs around there, not only to get you home every week, but even every day. You should think about driving a dump truck locally. There are some big paying union asphalt jobs around there- Arrow Road in Mt Prospect, Plote in Elgin comes to mind. Some of these will take a new CDL driver with years of safe driving like you. They’ll pay about $28 an hour and you’ll be home every afternoon.

      If you really want to do long haul and only be home on weekends, there are a lot of choice there too. You should check Craigslist. I remember seeing some really good paying OTR jobs on there in that area. (I’m in NW Indiana and lived in Chicago for many years myself.)

      Take your time looking. Ask a lot of questions. The most important thing is- know what you want. because that is exactly what you’ll find. If good pay is more important that home time, if OTR is more important, if hometime on weekends is- whatever you want, really write it down and ask them all.

      I did a few winters with CFI (very similar to Celadon), they go to Laredo a lot. Most companies that go to Laredo a lot will have you going north and south most of the time. This will be the mild way to face winter. You’ll be in and out of the bad weather.

      Yeah, forget TMC and tarping. That’s a young mans game. Drive a dry van. You won’t work as hard (unless you are delivering meat or tires.)

      Good luck,

  7. Patrick M. P.
    July 31, 2015 at 4:34 pm

    thank you Ken that was helpful

  8. CC Bey
    September 25, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    Thanks for the info. In your opinion, how many loads per week does a local flatbed driver usually haul on a Mon-Fri schedule?

    • Ken Skaggs
      September 25, 2015 at 3:04 pm

      It’s hard to say because every company is different. I think most local flatbed drivers probably do one to three loads a day if they go home every night. I used to drive locally for a siding company, and I would do one load a day, but it usually had about 3 to 6 stops to unload at. By the end of the day I’d be empty and heading home.

  9. josh
    October 21, 2015 at 9:05 pm

    Ken how can I start my own trucking company ?

    • Ken Skaggs
      October 22, 2015 at 5:38 am

      Good question Josh. I might just write that article next. Basically, it works like this… Buy a truck, find enough work to keep it busy, hire a driver for it. Buy another truck, find enough work to keep it busy, hire a driver, etc. Some people use load boards to find the work. Others find their own customers. Others sign on with a bigger trucking company. I know one guy who built a fleet of over 50 trucks that all work for US Xpress.

      Good luck,

  10. josh
    October 22, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    Thank you ken

  11. Dan
    December 29, 2015 at 10:28 pm


    I need help! I am completely debt free and been in the trucking industry for over a decade. I am unemployed at the moment but I received an offer. Background: from Connecticut with all endorsements… single, no kids, 44
    1st offer and accepted it… I drive a new 2016 Freightliner (NO TOUCH), No slip seating, M-F, start 5-8am to 4 or so pm. OT after 40 with decent benefits. Most drivers receive 45-55 hrs a week @ 20.00 an hour. Starting Jan 4th…. Net pay would be maybe 700.00 – 750.00 on the average.

    2nd offer is Temp work with a good company, slip seating, No official set schedule, temp but I know the client. The hours are there! I could push 65-70 hrs a week and home every day. Pay is 21.00, OT after 8, double time after 12… I’ve done temp work like this before and I know (for a fact, after speaking with the drivers themselves) I could net easily 1k working 60 hrs. I also know Temp is not forever.

    I would appreciate your thoughts…. What would you do? Thank You!

    • Ken Skaggs
      December 30, 2015 at 8:42 am

      Hi Dan,

      I like offer #2 myself. The pay is better, and it will likely work into something permanent.

      Good luck!

  12. dan
    December 29, 2015 at 10:44 pm

    And why do I keep hearing about drivers make good money in Mississippi VS the average family income? I haven’t seen anything promising when I search that way. Do you know anything about Mississippi driving, I would consider regional or local only. Thanks again!

    • Ken Skaggs
      December 30, 2015 at 8:46 am

      Hi Dan,

      I hear there is a lot of dump truck driving jobs around there. Maybe some log hauling too. Both of those are good paying and local. If you don’t mind physically hard work, you could look into driving for soda companies. They’re always hiring and they pay well. If there is an industrial area near you, you could just drive around there and look for a day-cab truck making a stop, and talk to the driver. You can also do the same thing at a big grocery store in the morning- go talk to the drivers that deliver there.

      Good luck!

  13. December 31, 2015 at 6:51 pm

    if I start working for a Mc donnald 70 hours a week, in 2016 in California I `ll be making $850 a week . But as a truck driver 70 hours is about $1000 per week.

    • dan
      January 1, 2016 at 12:44 am

      @ 70 hrs a week…
      mc Donald’s 850.00
      trucking 1k
      what’s wrong with that picture, BS!
      Wish I could find regional no touch, home every weekend, layover pay and paid by the hour with OT. I don’t think that job exist.

  14. January 9, 2016 at 12:50 am

    I work for Mcleod, I’m paid 50 cent s mile but this company sucks.. I mean one drop and hook a week and everything else is live loads or unloads, I can’t make money off that. I also can’t make money if I’m driving regional miles and I’m a OTR driver, what am I going to do with 250 mile loads? This sucks

    • Ken Skaggs
      January 9, 2016 at 7:33 am

      I’m sorry to hear that Mike. It just goes to show you, CPM isn’t everything. I’d rather have less pay per mile, but a steady 600 miles a day. There is something better out there for you.
      Good luck.

      • Rick
        January 11, 2016 at 12:45 am

        So, I came to this blog looking for some info about pay about a year and half ago when I got my cdl. Now seems like a good time to update on how it’s been. For me, being a company driver was disappointing. I mean it was ok. But the pay was just not worth it. Most weeks I brought home $400-$600… For 60+ hours in a 7 day work week. Not nearly the money I was expecting. Occasionally I’d have a really good week and hit $800-$900 but those weeks were few and far between. I learned CPM means nothing. So often I’d get stuck in the north east for weeks. Doing short runs in heavy traffic. ALWAYS being late for home time. Only being home 2-3 days a month. After 8 months I was seriously disappointed with the lack of miles and money and was ready to just call it quits and go back to a regular job.

        But, being out on the road gave me the opportunity to talk to a lot of guys. I’m a friendly guy anyway so I spent a lot of my spare time talking to guys around the truck stops. I took a special interest in the owner operators. For my 8 months of being a company driver I really tried to get as much info as I could from all the owner operators that I met. Most were eager to offer the info. So it wasn’t too difficult.

        So, I bought my own truck. I got it back in April. Honestly, I was seriously worried at first because I never owned a truck and didn’t really know what I was doing. But in the end, it’s the smartest thing I’ve ever done. It hasent been that hard. Ive been averaging $4200 a week with about $2000 a week in expenses. now I know that’s not the best and many owners make a lot more than that. But personally I don’t think it’s too bad for a new guy like me that’s still in his first year of being an owner. Hell I haven’t been driving for even 2 years yet so I can’t complain. More importantly than the money though, I’m so happy with how it’s been going. Now I book my own loads. Now I’m in control of how much I work and how much I make. Yea I have a lot of bills now. Plus have to save as much as possible for maintenance. But now it’s easy for me to book loads through home and I go home 2-3 nights a week. I don’t really take many days off… But just being able to stop home 2-3 nights a week is really nice for me. I still work 7 days a week 60+ hours most weeks. But now I’m home a lot more and still getting $2000+ AFTER expenses every week… Yes I have to pay taxes out of that… Yes I have to save for maintenance. So it’s not like that’s all just money to spend. But I do have more money even after taxes and saving… AND, most importantly the quality of my life is way better than it was before.

        • Ken Skaggs
          January 11, 2016 at 11:30 am

          Hey that’s great Rick. Thanks for the update!

  15. Andrew
    February 20, 2016 at 4:15 pm

    I’m so disgruntled with the trucking industry, I may never drive again… I just did a quick calculation.. .45 cents a mile (apparently this is good pay, what a joke Lol) a guy can make about 1350/week (legally) and if you work at McDonald’s, you can earn 1275/week if you worked the same hours. So tell me, why should anyone be a truck driver with pay like this? You’re away from home… loaded with responsibilities and working these hours sitting all day in a truck is detrimental to a person’s health. It doesn’t make any sense… I had wanted my own truck for quite some time, but that’s just not an option unless you go into some Shit trucking company that turns you into a slave and you end up making the same damn amount, or even less, than you would if you were on Welfare or working at McDonald’s. I honestly think I’m done after 8 years of this nonsense.. you’re either, working for next to nothing, or breaking your back as a lumper and either way, you’re at the company’s beckoning call. Where the hell are the good paying trucking jobs that actually treat their employees with respect and as a valued part of their company? It doesn’t exist anymore.
    For the record, my last company paid 34 cents per km.. that’s about 54.5 cents per mile.. sounds good, but work was inconsistent… could get called in at any time or be off some day when you want to be working. Then, and this is the part I really hate, any traffic delays or whatever, you’re sitting there for FREE. Oh.. and I supposedly “quit” when the economy took a shit this past fall to boot. Ya.. good career to get into Lol.. Although I’d probably still be working there if our gov’t didn’t turn their backs on the oil n gas industry, but that’s what happens when you have a shitty corrupt gov’t in power. But let’s add on more rules n regulations to trucks n trucking companies because big trucks = big bucks. /smh
    Guess I’ll go drive taxi or something Lol

    • Ken Skaggs
      February 20, 2016 at 5:36 pm

      I totally understand your frustration. Benn there done that myself. It’s not easy finding a steady company. Trucking is up and down with the economy.

      Have you ever tried Heartland? They have a lot of easy runs, drop and hook, and they pay around .45 cpm. They average about 2500 miles a week, which is about $1350 a week. And it’s a laid back atmosphere running only 2500 miles a week. I did that when I worked there around 2008.

      However, your McDonalds analogy isn’t actually true. If you are making .45 cents per mile, when you are going 60 MPH you are making $27 an hour. I know there is sometimes a lot of time wasted at docks and in traffic. But if you get on with a company that pays detention pay (and many do) that will make up for your dock time.

      Good luck!

  16. James Costello
    June 9, 2016 at 6:05 pm

    I’m looking at getting my CDL and wondering if team driving is the way to go. And if so what is the best method to use when team driving? (driving schedule)

    • Ken Skaggs
      June 10, 2016 at 6:54 am

      Hi James,

      Team driving is nearly impossible when a company finds your teammate. But if you already have a driving partner- someone you don’t mind spending all day and night with- you’ll be just fine. I know teams make a few more pennies per mile, but there’s nothing like the freedom of having your on truck. You can start or stop whenever you want to. And the truck isn’t bouncing while you’re trying to sleep.

      Good luck!

      • Richard Hovermale
        June 30, 2016 at 10:08 am

        Hi ken im from wv studying to get my cdl permit i applied with swift they offered .38 cents/mile plus paid school for 4 weeks in indy with a paid ticket there and shelter….cost of course was 4k but if u stay for 13 months u only pay 2k and if u stay a total of 26 months they reinburse ur 2k is this a good deal or should i keep checking out other companies….also i have a vocational school 20 mins away from me that offers a course but i was unsure of job placement…ive drove a rollback and was a mechanic for 12 yrs im almost 30 now and done with living paycheck to check and killing myself for small potatoes….i have a clean record only a seat belt ticket 6 yrs ago…..

        • Ken Skaggs
          June 30, 2016 at 3:14 pm

          Hi Richard,

          You should read the fine-print on that deal. I find it highly unlikely that Swift will pay .38 CPM right after school. If you are absolutely certain of that, it is not really that bad of a deal. However, you’ll still be stuck there for 13 or 26 months. What if you don’t like it after a month or two? That 26 months will seem like an eternity.

          It would be a lot better for you if you could get your training from that vocational school, or any independent truck driver school. All of the same companies that offer “free” training are the same ones that will hire anyone right out of any truck driving school, so there will be nothing lost as far as options once you get done training. And if you do it that way, you can quit any time and get another job within days.

          The only good thing about training at a trucking company (like Swift) is you can get working sooner. But remember- you can’t leave or you will lose some money. That’s the tough part.

          Good luck!

  17. Jerry
    January 3, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    Hi Richard

    I don’t know how you got .38 per mile but everyone I talked to at swift and myself got .36 a mile. and they pay great but with these big companies they let their drivers sit for an amazing amount of time waiting on loads.

    I was sitting one time with this company and it was amazing that when I Calle dup the company and spoke up for myself they just happened to have a load going toward my home time. I find it hard to believe if Swift is the largest fleet in America which is what they claim how easy it is for them to allow their so precious driver to sit for more than a 24 hour period. I agree with the latter comment it would have been smarter for me to go to a local Community college do the training for about 2300 dollars and then find a company on my terms. These major companies recruit literally out of holes shelters as long as you are not completely gone and have a valid license they will dump you in their program and after three days they have you sign a contract. If you flunk out of their school they don’t care because you signed that contract. I had 11 people in my class and one person in that class remains at Swift and he is ready to go.

    I would assume it is the way that they recruit people is why they get the outcome they get with their employees. When I was recruited I was told on Average A driver with their fleet can get anywhere between 2800- 3200 miles weekly but really the way that they are set up it is impossible to do consistently. The first four months I worked for Swift I made on Average about 350 – 650 a week. Then I went to Teams, it took them three weeks to get us the designation on teams then We were doing about 900 – 1100 a week at .25 cpm. Then I made the ultimate retarded decision to go O/O with this company and on Average I at making 1.11 a mile I was cleared 60,000.00 in revenue in four months with a whopping 12,000.00 in pay and that was before the government came in and took another 22%. So no Swift does not pay .38 cents a mile to new drivers out the door and if they did they would ultimately cut you miles to make up the difference.

    • NomadicVeteran
      January 15, 2017 at 4:34 pm

      MTC (May trucking company) doesnt have a school program, but once u get ur cdl, and if they accept you, youll start making 32-34cpm, then once u get ur own truck (after training, its not team training either, so about 1-2months of being in someone elses truck teaching u), youll start making 36cpm, after 6 months 39cpm, after 1 year 41cpm and after that, 1cpm a year increase.

      Now i might have my numbers wrong with them, to. So make sure, i know they are around there. Avg 2k-2.5k miles a week. Ur dm knows u by name, not truck number. And busy, busy, busy. O the trucks are govered at 59mph, pedel, 61mph cruise.

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