The Real Cost of Trucking
$1.38 The average per mile operating cost for the trucking industry
$180,000 The average total yearly cost of operating a commercial truck
The largest operating expense is diesel fuel. A commercial truck can easily consume more than $70,000 of diesel fuel per year.
Driver Salary is the second largest operating cost. Standard commercial truck driver salaries are based on the distance driven, per mile. Although drivers spend a fair amount of time in docks and traffic, their operating costs are only derived from miles traveled. 26% of overall expenses ($0.36 per mile)
Repairs & Maintenance – issues with air line/hoses, alternators, wiring, and brakes are all common in commercial trucks, and can cost $15,000 annually ($0.12 per mile)
Tires – Retreading is less expensive than new tires and is a large portion of this cost. Although mere pennies per mile, an average tire can cost over $250 and annual tire expenses can exceed $4,000 ($0.03 per mile), enough to purchase 16 new tires annually, but still not enough to replace every tire of an 18-wheeler.
Permits, Licenses, and Tolls – Required permits and licenses for the industry and equipment, as well as continuous travel on toll roads, are cause for this expense $3,600 annually ($0.02 per mile)
Coffee – Truck stops sell more coffee than convenience stores. The average commercial truck driver spends more than $0.004 per mile on coffee, resulting in over $600 a year on coffee per industry driver.
There are additional expenses that are harder to quantify on a per mile basis, such as the expense of finding loads, either by paying commission or salary to a dispatcher, or using freight matching services. Other expenses, such as freight factoring services that help trucking companies receive faster payment on invoicing, are only used by some trucking companies.
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