How much will i make? Please tell me the truth!

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by greytdayzahead, May 9, 2014.

  1. greytdayzahead

    greytdayzahead Bobtail Member

    May 7, 2014
    I am seriously considering truck driving school but I can't seem to get an honest answer about how much I will make during my first year? I have heard $5 per hour to $100k a year. What is a realistic average? HELP! and thanks in advance!
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  3. 77smartin

    77smartin Road Train Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    I dunno.
    Where do you live....this bit of info will help others help you.
  4. Y2K

    Y2K Road Train Member

    Jul 21, 2009
    Just a shot in the dark but you should be able to knock down at least $30K or so.
    You need to consider that 1st year or two is really just training, usually with some big company that's willing and able to take the risk of putting a newbie in a big expensive truck.
    Get your experience level up to snuff if you survive in the business that long,then move on to a better gig and then worry about what you're making.
  5. greytdayzahead

    greytdayzahead Bobtail Member

    May 7, 2014
    Thanks for replies so far! I live in Little Rock Arkansas and I just want to be sure that this is the right avenue to take. My hubby and I will be driving together.
  6. Big Don

    Big Don "Old Fart"

    Sep 8, 2007
    Utah's DIXIE!
    It isn't that you can't get an "honest" answer, it is that there are so many variables it is really hard to say. The biggest variable there is, is going to be up to the individual driver. And what kind of hauling you are doing, what company you are with, how much are you actually willing to "do."

    This industry is overwhelmed with folks investing their hard earned money in driver's school, without having any real idea of what they want to do to make a living, after they get out of school. You have the people starting out that think they want to run OTR. Until they have actually been OTR for a few weeks, and find they hate it. They feel that they need to be home, for whatever reason, (and it is usually a valid reason, what isn't valid, is that they did not look ahead to this likelihood, before signing with an OTR company.)

    A driver that works for an OTR outfit out of Utah, is probably not going to make what that same driver would make working for an OTR outfit out of California, or for that matter, most other places.

    Drivers that work regional will not make the same money as OTR drivers, usually.

    Drivers that work local will make a different amount of money yet.

    And there are so many more variables it is pathetic.

    So the answer really is, "it depends."
  7. losttrucker

    losttrucker Road Train Member

    Mar 9, 2008
    4,500-5,000 miles a week will be an average for 2 new drivers after the first 3-6 months. Dont try to put a per hour figure on it cause it will depress you, unless you are paid by the hour. However with E-Logs and HOS laws these days, a successful husband/wife team is ONE of the most valuable parts of trucking today!

    Any major company would LOVE to have a husband/wife team and after 3-6 months experience the earning potential is up to yall 2!

    I just remembered that sign on bonuses for established husband/wife teams is the highest in the industry!
    greytdayzahead and kimbosa Thank this.
  8. copperfloor

    copperfloor Light Load Member

    Aug 19, 2012
    The area in which you live makes a difference, are you really serious about trucking ? A dose of reality, starting out you will make 24 cents per mile up to 30 CPM if you are lucky. As a new driver you will get the worst trips, bat clean up for the company. This means low miles per trip with multiple puck ups and drops spending hours waiting to be unloaded or loaded and always moving your axles to distribute the weight evenly, good luck if the bogeys are stuck because they always are and in snow its even more fun. You will be tested by dispatch to see if you will run illegally (over hours and over weight) but they don't care because you get the ticket. You will have many days were you don't have hours to complete the run but the company and shipper/receiver need it so you will lose sleep and be tired all the time. You will find yourself trying to sleep during the day because of the hours of operation and when you load or unload. You will be inspected at scales or state patrol who are interested in finding the smallest item to ticket you on so if you have been running illegally you are in trouble, they know how far and how long it takes to get from your last scale to the one you are at. They can write you a ticket if you are too fast between scales. You will drive on the worst roads where no truck and trailer should be and P.U. and drop in spots virtually impossible to access. Weather can be your best and worst friend, think too hot or cold and if you don't have an APU auxillary power unit and your company doesn't want you to idle or there are idle bylaws you will be miserable and suffer. State Patrol love writing truckers tickets because its a bigger fine and they will ticket you if you go even 6-8 miles over the limit or 3-4 in the city. It will take 2-3 years of perfect driving to get any respect from anyone. You will need to learn the truck inside out to diagnose problems and jury rig solutions, broken wipers etc in snowstorms. Truck stops overcharge for everything so it is not cheap to live unless you have a fridge and hot plate then you can hit a proper foodstore IF you can find legal parking. Getting sick on the road sucks, flu, diarrhea etc and good luck if you are on a tight schedule. You get a whopping 34 hours off a week to wind down from it all unless they can't find you a load and you have to sit for two days but you are running out of money. These are just a partial list others will add much more. Is this something you still want to do ? The government has been changing the rules for years under which we play so while you think its a job without too much scrutiny, it absolutely is and it sucks. Truck accidents suck for anyone involved and a truck will run over a car, no witnesses and you will lose. If you are at fault or not some companies will fire you in an attempt to lessen their liability leaving you to face the courts. Finally I know you will make a lot less than you think you will, there are no more money glory days in trucking and DON'T EVEN THINK OF LEASING. Goodluck on your plans.
    Wild Murphy Thanks this.
  9. rank

    rank Road Train Member

    Feb 11, 2010
    50 miles north of Rochester, NY
    I am a little bit out of my jurisdiction here but....will any company put two fresh graduates in a truck and cut them loose? Seems to me they will need to separate for several months to get through training or am I wrong on that?
  10. ipogsd

    ipogsd Heavy Load Member

    Jun 13, 2012
    A good co. would send them to school, then after 3 or 4 weeks they are assigned to separate trainer trucks for 6 weeks or so of OTR. Then reunited, assigned a truck and off they go.
    Battle Born and greytdayzahead Thank this.
  11. n3ss

    n3ss Heavy Load Member

    Nov 4, 2013
    Got my first solo check yesterday.. .39CPM/2588 miles, just over $1000 gross (not counting fuel economy bonus and tarp pay). Not too shabby. I actually drove more but waited til the last minute to scan all my bills in, and one of them wasn't clear enough, so that'll be on this week.

    It works out to a low pay per hour, but If you play your cards right even as a lowly company driver for a mega-company, you can still make decent money.
    Last edited: May 9, 2014
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