How Much Can I Make As A New Truck Driver?

sportsou

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Ah, the all important question. How much money? Seriously, it is a good question, and one that has been asked to me several times.

The first thing you need to do is ignore most of the off the wall numbers you get thrown at you. I will give you a gauge to go by, your individual performance will effect this either one way or another. Keep in mind, this does not include training time. Given that you have schooling which generally pays nothing, and a training program with wherever you go to work, that pays a little, but not much, we won't include any of that. We will start with the point in time that you will be out on your own getting paid by the miles that you run.
  • Average Pay per mile - 30 cents (could be a little higher, could be a little lower)
  • Miles per week - 2200 (could be higher, could be lower, depending on how quickly you catch on to the job)
2200 miles per week is basically 365 miles per day for 6 days, with one day off. Since most companies give you, on average, one day off per 7 days out, I wanted to factor in the day not running so this number would include time off (home time).
  • 2200 miles per week for 52 weeks is going to give you 114,400 miles.
  • At 30 cent per mile, that gives you $34,320.00 for your first full year.
  • $35,000.00 is a good number for a new truck driver to expect in his/her first full year
  • This does not factor in any other methods of income such as local pay, multiple pickup/drop pay, loading/unloading pay, detention pay, or any other form of pay. You may make some money from these things, you may not. Overall, it probably won't be very much, so I wouldn't factor it in.
Every penny per mile that you make above 30 cents is equal to about $1100.00 per year at 2200 miles per week.

If you catch on quickly and manage to average 2500 miles per week, then that first year salary is $39,000.00.

You will have weeks where you run more than this, you will have weeks when you run less than this. There will be slow times of the year where for an entire month you may run less than 2200 miles per week. Realize that you miles per week will fluctuate now, that way when you get out on the road and you have 2-3 back to back bad weeks, you don't fall prey to the "negative trucker" that wants to convince you that your dispatcher is holding you back and giving other drivers the miles.

Sometimes freight is just slow. Sometimes, another driver in your company may simply be in a good "freight lane" and be picking up several consecutive good loads, while you seem stuck on bad load after bad load. Don't get discouraged.

**A Tip To Make Your First Year More Successful**

Make a habit of properly planning each trip. When you are dispatched, check your route, plan your fuel stops, and plan your breaks for sleeping, laundry, eating. Don't just take off driving and figure it out as you go along. Have your route planned, and communicate with your dispatcher when you plan on arriving. This in turn can allow your dispatcher to get you pre-planned on another load, rather than looking for a load for you once you get there. It helps you get more miles, and also makes our job more productive, while cutting down on fatigue.

Get in this habit from the beginning and never get out of it.
 

willisjd13

Active Member
oooooooh!

who do you drive for I am in school right now and is looking for a company to drive for that is not trying to cheat me. 30 cent is better than the 26-28 cent they try to offer us. Yeah I am looking to run 3000 and more but only looking to run regional. 4-5 days out home on weekends. it really don't have to be on weekends just only out 4-5 days.
 

Cerberus

In God We Trust
you need to look into regional or flatbed. running bulk containers usually has weekends off also. starting out as a newbie is tough. you gotta pay your dues out there first, it sucks but we all did it.
 

debrajean

Well-Known Member
Ah, the all important question. How much money? Seriously, it is a good question, and one that has been asked to me several times.

The first thing you need to do is ignore most of the off the wall numbers you get thrown at you. I will give you a gauge to go by, your individual performance will effect this either one way or another. Keep in mind, this does not include training time. Given that you have schooling which generally pays nothing, and a training program with wherever you go to work, that pays a little, but not much, we won't include any of that. We will start with the point in time that you will be out on your own getting paid by the miles that you run.
  • Average Pay per mile - 30 cents (could be a little higher, could be a little lower)
  • Miles per week - 2200 (could be higher, could be lower, depending on how quickly you catch on to the job)
2200 miles per week is basically 365 miles per day for 6 days, with one day off. Since most companies give you, on average, one day off per 7 days out, I wanted to factor in the day not running so this number would include time off (home time).
  • 2200 miles per week for 52 weeks is going to give you 114,400 miles.
  • At 30 cent per mile, that gives you $34,320.00 for your first full year.
  • $35,000.00 is a good number for a new truck driver to expect in his/her first full year
  • This does not factor in any other methods of income such as local pay, multiple pickup/drop pay, loading/unloading pay, detention pay, or any other form of pay. You may make some money from these things, you may not. Overall, it probably won't be very much, so I wouldn't factor it in.
Every penny per mile that you make above 30 cents is equal to about $1100.00 per year at 2200 miles per week.

If you catch on quickly and manage to average 2500 miles per week, then that first year salary is $39,000.00.

You will have weeks where you run more than this, you will have weeks when you run less than this. There will be slow times of the year where for an entire month you may run less than 2200 miles per week. Realize that you miles per week will fluctuate now, that way when you get out on the road and you have 2-3 back to back bad weeks, you don't fall prey to the "negative trucker" that wants to convince you that your dispatcher is holding you back and giving other drivers the miles.

Sometimes freight is just slow. Sometimes, another driver in your company may simply be in a good "freight lane" and be picking up several consecutive good loads, while you seem stuck on bad load after bad load. Don't get discouraged.

**A Tip To Make Your First Year More Successful**

Make a habit of properly planning each trip. When you are dispatched, check your route, plan your fuel stops, and plan your breaks for sleeping, laundry, eating. Don't just take off driving and figure it out as you go along. Have your route planned, and communicate with your dispatcher when you plan on arriving. This in turn can allow your dispatcher to get you pre-planned on another load, rather than looking for a load for you once you get there. It helps you get more miles, and also makes our job more productive, while cutting down on fatigue.

Get in this habit from the beginning and never get out of it.
This last tip is probably one of the best. Plan ahead and things will go much smoother and be more cost effective.
 

swifter

New Member
Ah, the all important question. How much money? Seriously, it is a good question, and one that has been asked to me several times.

The first thing you need to do is ignore most of the off the wall numbers you get thrown at you. I will give you a gauge to go by, your individual performance will effect this either one way or another. Keep in mind, this does not include training time. Given that you have schooling which generally pays nothing, and a training program with wherever you go to work, that pays a little, but not much, we won't include any of that. We will start with the point in time that you will be out on your own getting paid by the miles that you run.
  • Average Pay per mile - 30 cents (could be a little higher, could be a little lower)
  • Miles per week - 2200 (could be higher, could be lower, depending on how quickly you catch on to the job)
2200 miles per week is basically 365 miles per day for 6 days, with one day off. Since most companies give you, on average, one day off per 7 days out, I wanted to factor in the day not running so this number would include time off (home time).
  • 2200 miles per week for 52 weeks is going to give you 114,400 miles.
  • At 30 cent per mile, that gives you $34,320.00 for your first full year.
  • $35,000.00 is a good number for a new truck driver to expect in his/her first full year
  • This does not factor in any other methods of income such as local pay, multiple pickup/drop pay, loading/unloading pay, detention pay, or any other form of pay. You may make some money from these things, you may not. Overall, it probably won't be very much, so I wouldn't factor it in.
Every penny per mile that you make above 30 cents is equal to about $1100.00 per year at 2200 miles per week.

If you catch on quickly and manage to average 2500 miles per week, then that first year salary is $39,000.00.

You will have weeks where you run more than this, you will have weeks when you run less than this. There will be slow times of the year where for an entire month you may run less than 2200 miles per week. Realize that you miles per week will fluctuate now, that way when you get out on the road and you have 2-3 back to back bad weeks, you don't fall prey to the "negative trucker" that wants to convince you that your dispatcher is holding you back and giving other drivers the miles.

Sometimes freight is just slow. Sometimes, another driver in your company may simply be in a good "freight lane" and be picking up several consecutive good loads, while you seem stuck on bad load after bad load. Don't get discouraged.

**A Tip To Make Your First Year More Successful**

Make a habit of properly planning each trip. When you are dispatched, check your route, plan your fuel stops, and plan your breaks for sleeping, laundry, eating. Don't just take off driving and figure it out as you go along. Have your route planned, and communicate with your dispatcher when you plan on arriving. This in turn can allow your dispatcher to get you pre-planned on another load, rather than looking for a load for you once you get there. It helps you get more miles, and also makes our job more productive, while cutting down on fatigue.

Get in this habit from the beginning and never get out of it.

That was very encouraging!
 

gearjammer

jammer
Supporter
other tips, get a 12 volt cooler and take your own drinks and food along, wendys value menu saves you a lot of money, Don't feed the pinball machines and stay away from the lot lizards and party row, frankly the pay is about what it was 10 years ago but there is something afoot that might change that on the 3 of next month, when it comes to the companies and their recruiters the best advice i can give you is figure that they are all blowing sunshine up you ass as most of them are,head to a truck stop and talk to a LOT of different drivers and then figure half of them are blowing sunshine up your ass as they are, if your are lucky you have some friends or relatives in the business ask them their opinion and figure that 25% of them are blowing sunshine up your ass because they are , then check their safety record ,and any other info you can find , figure half of that info is designed to blow sunshine up your ass because it is,finally take all of the info you have gotten, hope you have a good gut instinct,toss a coin and sign up you are now a professional trucker.
 
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