I worked for a mega carrier made 43k gross in my second year, I stayed out 6 weeks at a time and drove in 48 states... I had a good manager. Not sure why I quit, other than I thought I didn't make enough for what I was doing.
I worked for a Mom and Pop company doing local/regional for $17 an hour. Only problem they shorted my paycheck every week, and they had terrible equipment. So I quit.
I worked for an LTL carrier and made great money, was on pace to gross about 55k a year. Drivers at Conway, Saia, YRC, make so much, because you'll work about 60 hours in 5 day's (paid by the hour, OT after 50-ish). I made great money but I just didn't like all the hand unloading and liftgates and pulling 1500 pound pallets with a hand jack...
Now, I drive a sprinter van, no rules and regulations, no log book, hardly ever work more than 8 hours in a day, I drive about 1100 miles a week, make about 70 stops a week, and home every day. I hardly ever work more than 40 in a week. I make just under $800 a week and it's salary, so if I work less I still get paid, and I get more vacation day's than I can use... I know my job is a rare find, I thank God for it!
NOBODY should be OTR for less than 52k a year, no less than 37 cents per mile. Just think of everything you're responsible for, isn't that worth at least $20 an hour.
I'm just saying!!!
How much should an OTR driver earn? Here's my opinion!
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52k seems like a random number.
I'm not sure how much one should earn though. We put in a lot of hours and spend a lot of time away from home. I'm not OTR, I guess you'd call me regional. I make more than the guy flipping burgers and less than the guy operating on hearts.
When you break it down to hours worked and compare it with others jobs that require similar education, responsibility and experience I think what I'm making is fair. I'll be around 60k this year.
Money makes the world go round as they say so the more the better, but it's only one consideration. I wouldn't do OTR where I had to spend weeks or months away from home. I wouldn't work for a company that required me to spend countless hours in truck stops doing nothing while telling me I couldn't idle to keep warm or cool.
Find the job you really like, work hard at it, and the income will be there.
I agree with you BigJohn54... I'm saying the minimum any OTR driver should make is to average $1,000 a week...
But of course there's drivers who turn down loads and tell their manager they're too sick to drive today and expect to be home by friday at 17:00 and then wonder why they can't make any money...
I guess I posted this just trying to raise the expectations of those looking to become drivers...
I think that most drivers are paid a fair wage for their time and effort. I am not sure why you arrived at $1,000/week for a minimum salary for a driver. Many drivers do earn that much and more, but they don't start out at that rate. One thing that I don't seem to understand with some people is how they feel their time is worth so much more than others. You come to this business with limited education, no experience and expect to start at top wages. It isn't going to happen.
Let me explain some realities about running a business. Everyone who works for that business, from the dispatcher to driver to the CEO needs to be productive and make money for the company. We all need to pay our own way. There are no free rides.
I don't know any profession where you can start out at $1,000/week with no experience or education. When you begin a new career with a new company you will need to prove your worth to the company. The greater your worth the bigger the paycheck. Whether you work in trucking or fast food, you will need to prove yourself and pay your dues before you will move up and have the opportunity to earn more money. Most good drivers should be earning over $40,000 after their second year in the business. Few jobs will offer that much income within such a short time period without having a degree and some experience.
Owning trucks is expensive. We may run a lot of money through the books, but margins can be slim. From an employers point of view there are some realities that we must deal on a daily basis. Our number one asset is our drivers. Our number one liability is our drivers. While the truck can't make money without the driver, it is the driver who can also cost the company the most money. Some drivers do their jobs well. They plan trips, check their equipment and treat this as a profession. They are constantly looking for ways to better do their jobs. They are the ones that companies vie for and are in most demand. These are the drivers who will exceed $50,000/year. On the other side are those who come to this business who only want what they can get. They only half heartedly do their jobs and constantly complain about pay and how they are treated. They rarely check equipment, steal from their employers and move from one victim to another. These are the drivers who will change jobs every few months always looking for greener grass or a free ride.
The first type of driver makes money for himself and his company. He plans for his future and rather than moving to another carrier, works out any problems with his company. The second driver will find it hard to get ahead because of his lousy attitude and poor work ethic. He not only costs himself money but his employer as well.
New drivers can come to this business and earn $30-35,000 their first year after only a few weeks of training. You may not get rich with that money, but you can earn a decent living and will have the opportunity to give yourself a raise as you hone your skills and learn your profession.
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