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Raising the Standards of the Trucking Industry

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Truck Driver Salaries


The United States trucking industry hauls more than nine billion tons of the country’s freight every year. That works out to be over 64 percent of the nation’s cargo. How important is trucking to American consumers? The number of communities that solely depend on trucking for the delivery of their merchandise is a staggering seventy (70) percent!

If the American truckers decided to go on strike, this country would be doomed. Within a matter of days store shelves would be empty, and all the necessities that we, the consumers, take for granted would be gone. Within a week’s time, we would have the appearance of a third world country. It’s true what they say . . . “Without Trucks . . . America STOPS!”

The trucking industry brings in a yearly revenue estimated at slightly over 255 billion dollars. Common carriers yearly revenue is estimated at nearly 98 billion. This is no easy task, since the operating ratio for these trucking companies is estimated at approximately 95.2 percent, meaning that for every dollar in revenue, it costs the trucking company 95.2 cents to operate. This gives them a profit of only 4.8 cents per dollar. There are a lot of miles being driven!

On the average, an over the road trucker will run 100,000 miles per year. That is the same as driving around the Earth four times! As an over the road driver for 21 years, accumulating approximately 2,220,000 miles, it is the same as having driven around our planet slightly more than 89 times. I know professional drivers who have accomplished five million miles in their careers . . . that is 200.75 times around the Earth! Amazing when you think about it.

What can a driver expect to make in salary for all these miles? The average company driver now earns between $32,400 and $42,300 . . . depending on the size of the company. The majority of owner operators gross salaries ranging between $100,000 and $150,000 per year, but with an average operating cost of 50%, their net income averages $50,000 to $75,000 . . . if they’re lucky.

If a company “promises” that you will earn $60,000 per year or more as a company driver, be very leery. It just does not happen in the real world. The over all average per year . . . $35,000 gross. Is this worth all the stress and headaches that come with over the road trucking? Is it worth being away from your family for long periods of time? These are questions you will have to ask yourself and contemplate with your loved ones.

Trucking is an enormous asset to our country and our way of life. The general public does not understand this. As a driver, you play a major role in keeping our “way of life” going. Don’t forget that when you are traveling around the Earth.

About the Author:

Aubrey Allen Smith is the author of the first and original: Truth About Trucking, as well as How to Guarantee a “Perfect” Move. An expert in motor carrier transportation, he assists new drivers entering into truck driving careers by exposing the scams of the trucking industry. Please visit today, to learn more.

© 2007 – 2008, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

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By: Allen Smith

Allen Smith is a 37 year veteran who started at an early age in a household goods family moving business. He began driving straight trucks in 1977 and moved to the big rigs in 1982. His experience within the industry includes; owner operator, company driver, operations manager, and owner of a long distance HHG moving business, taking many of the long haul moves himself when needed. Allen Smith, a truck driver advocate who is driven by the desire to help others succeed within an industry where injustice, unrewarded sacrifice, and lack of respect and recognition exists. Allen and his wife Donna are hosts of Truth About Trucking ”Live” on Blog Talk Radio. Other websites include AskTheTrucker, TruckingSocialMedia, NorthAmericanTruckingALerts, TruthAboutTrucking, and many Social Media websites. In 2011 Allen and Donna hosted the first Truck Driver Social Media Convention, designed to create unity and solutions for the trucking industry. This is now being extended through the North American Trucking Alerts network as those within the industry join forces for the betterment of the industry. Allen strongly supports other industry advocates who are also stepping up to the plate to help those who share honesty, guidance and direction. He believes that all those involved in trucking need to be accountable for their part within the industry, including drivers, carriers, brokers, shippers, receivers, etc… The list of supporters and likeminded people grow daily, networking together and sharing thoughts and ideas for the betterment of trucking. He has coined the popular phrase "Raising the standards of the trucking industry"

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11 Responses to Truck Driver Salaries. - Post a Comment

  1. Pat Croft

    Hmmmm, I have been driving for about a year and though the art of driving is a hoot all the rest of it is crap. Ahmmmm lots of pro bono labor, which averaging out leaves me earing about 3 dollars an hour before taxes.

    What would be interesting is to drop those trailers and bobtail for a couple of weeks to wake this government and people up.

  2. admin

    We’ve been saying that for awhile. Without trucks this country would come to a dead hault.
    What’s really sad, is that now, not only do the trucking companies give it to the driver as an employee, but the schools gives it to them before they even become drivers. Double whammy
    There are some good companies however, and some good schools too. Just have to be wise.

  3. Larry Stafford

    I was an OTR driver for three years until the romance wore off, I started driving local for low wages but still averaged more take home pay with out all the cost of living expences! Even now as a local O/O hauling fuel I do well. I like this web site it feels right to me!

  4. admin

    Thanks for all your comments and input.
    Just read on a blog today that many Owner Operators are having a tough time with the fuel prices.
    How are you doing with that?


  5. Larry Stafford

    Hello Allen, well I am managing to thrive by just running mostly local and usually no more than 130 miles from our terminal. We get a surchg. on fuel with our hauled loads and it helps some. I am a gas hauler leased to a co. and I parked my truck 3 mo. ago after paying it off! However, myself and my wife have decided to obtain our own Operating Authority, we’re buying our own tanker trl and going to operate that way for awhile. I prefer to haul fuel after 3 yrs of OTR, it pays well is quality work and I am off 2 days aweek! And can make a living. Sorry if I took awhile to get back on this question but I did’nt know I had been asked. Anyway, I have ordered your materials and it is truly a breath of fresh air to hear truth spoken on our beloved Industry! I Love the trucks. The industry needs to learn how to treat people but that aside it’s been a good career. Thanks.

  6. admin

    I hear ya’. I have made a good living with trucking but not after a whole lot of hard-knocks!! This material is for those newbies out there. I want it to work for them, if that is what they want to do….they just shouldn’t have to go through what the “old-timers” have suffered and now know to be true.

  7. […] are some interesting statistics: Truck Driver Salaries | __________________ "In my mind, I’m goin’ to Carolina…" James […]

  8. […] driving, you have undoubtedly come across ads and articles stating that you can make as much as $100,000 per year. Although this can be true, let’s put this bitter sweet statement into […]

  9. David


    I smell a stong class action lawsuit here that will be based on the Fair Debt Colletons Act, defamation, misrpresenation, fraud, negligence and possiblity other causes of action.

    I am a senior litigation paralegal in New York. I am also a type of scout for a number of law firms dealing with Class Action lawsuits.I find the claims and the plaintiff’s for them.

    Let me know if you would be interested in me looking into setting up a class action lawsuit against USIS and some trucking companies?

    I cannot believe the stories I am hearing about the DAC abuse. A class action lawsuit WILL stop the abuse and bring the victims compension, which includes correcting their records.

    Read more about me here:

  10. John Hall

    I trucked all over the nation for 30 years and talleyed up almost 2 1/2 million miles and a worn out backside. Truckers wages has almost stalemated since the Reagan years. I made good money every week but I did alot for free also. Every trucker needs to look back at the wages and cost of living from 1967 and see where they’re buying power is today in their paychecks. I can tell you this much, it’s way less. Companies want more for less from you every year. Drivers make it all happen. You don’t see your dispatcher running up and down the road now do you? Most never have. Glorified clerks. In this day and age a trucker should be making at least 75,000.00 a year for what skill is needed to be a driver. You should all get together and get your wages up where they should be. Not on the way to third world rates

  11. john

    What the hell, iv drove past 5 yrs, u dont make shit… U beg an beg for mileage, they tell u be happy for what u get. Mcdonald employers make more than i…

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