It's easy for a carrier to say they're one of the highest-paying trucking companies without proving it. They tell you what their drivers earn, but what they don't tell you is the number they're sharing is what their top one percent of drivers make — which isn't a realistic number for most drivers.
Why can't you just get an honest answer?
Here at Anderson Trucking Service (ATS), we'll not only tell you exactly what you expect to earn, but we'll also tell you what our drivers are doing to get paid what they do.
Below, you'll find a comprehensive list of ACTUAL average weekly earnings in 2023 from ATS drivers in each respective category. That's right. We're sharing REAL numbers with you.
After all, you deserve to know the truth behind what you can expect to earn as a truck driver.
Unlike many careers, truck drivers can't expect to make the same amount every single paycheck.
A driver running regularly and making their deliveries on time can expect to make an average amount each month, but they can increase their salary depending upon the type of freight they’re hauling, what type of driver they are and how long they stay out on the road.
Let’s talk a little more about the ways your driver type, freight and home time can influence your salary.
OTR drivers may be classified as a company driver, lease driver or owner-operator, with company drivers typically at the lower end of the income scale and owner-operators at the higher end of the scale.
Company drivers are employees of the carrier, so the company takes care of them and they receive company-sponsored benefits, like insurance and retirement accounts.
As a result, these drivers don’t make as much money on each load they haul when compared to lease drivers or owner-operators.
Lease drivers and owner-operators are not company employees. As independent contractors, they get to choose their freight and they cover their own maintenance costs, truck payments and insurance costs.
Since the carrier isn’t covering those costs as they would for a company driver, contractors will make more money off each load.
Independent contractors typically take home more money after fixed expenses than company drivers do.
However, it’s important to remember that even though independent contractors may have greater earning potential, they carry risks a company driver does not (including expenses not covered by the carrier).
The freight that you haul has a significant impact on your income. A van driver will not make as much money as a heavy haul driver, simply because the goods they are hauling are not as costly — or as challenging to haul — as the oversized machinery a heavy haul driver must transport.
Flatbed and specialized drivers will typically make more money than van drivers due to the complexity of the loads they’re hauling. There are simply more variables to consider with an open deck trailer than with a van.
The bigger the load, the more training you’ll need. The more endorsements and experience needed to haul freight, the more money you can make. That’s why heavy haulers make the most money compared to van or flatbed drivers.
Your salary is also dependent upon your carrier and the way they pay you. Carriers with high safety scores and great service delivery history will be able to charge shippers more to haul their freight.
They’ll also probably only work with higher-paying customers. Smaller carriers may haul any freight they can get — regardless of how much the shipper is willing to pay.
Your carrier will pay you either cents per mile (CPM) or a percentage of the load. Cents per mile gives you a consistent salary, whereas percentage pay may vary depending on the cost of freight. When the cost of freight is high, the pay will be greater. When the cost of freight is low, you’ll notice your paychecks take a hit.
The longer you’re out on the road, the higher your salary will be. If you’re willing to run for months at a time, you’ll be able to get into great freight lanes that will take you from one side of the country to the next and pay you handsomely to do so.
It’s simple: Your earning potential increases when you keep your freight lane options open by staying on the road longer.
If you want to get back to the house, you’ll take loads to try to get you back home. If you’re willing to stay on the road a few months at a time, you won’t bat an eyelash when you live in Florida but you’re asked to take a load from Texas to California. Your freight opportunities will go through the roof if you don’t have to be home on a specific day.
When it comes to guessing the number on your weekly paycheck as a truck driver, it can be hard to predict. But there are factors that you can control to give you more consistent earnings each week. Here are some commonly asked questions about truck driver salary to help you gain more control over your lifestyle.
Do you feel like you’re spending more money than you’re taking home? If you manage your truck driver salary properly, you can have a lucrative career. Learn about the factors with the biggest impact on your salary and tips for maximizing your income.
Have you ever wondered which are the highest paying trucking jobs? The highest-paid truck drivers often have years of experience and take risks hauling dangerous loads. Find out which drivers are making the most money in 2023.
As a truck driver, you won’t get paid as you do with other jobs. You have to take the time to learn about different pay structures to maximize your income. Learn more about percentage pay and cents-per-mile.
We get asked this all the time — how much will I make as an over-the-road truck driver? We answer your hot button question — and include information about how to maximize your truck driver salary — in this article.