Is $0.55 per Mile a Good Starting Rate for New Truck Drivers?

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by MLTrucker, May 20, 2024.

  1. MLTrucker

    MLTrucker Bobtail Member

    Sep 13, 2022
    I should start by saying that I have no experience driving trucks. However, my family owned a large truck salvage company in the Midwest during the 60s, 70s, and 80s. I spent many weeks in the junkyard, climbing over trucks and pulling parts.

    I'm new to the industry and have a question from a position of inexperience.

    I recently received an offer letter from KLLM for CDL training and a driving position. They offered me a starting rate of $0.55 per mile.

    Is this a good starting rate for someone new to the industry? From what I know, companies like Schneider and Swift start their new drivers in the $0.40s per mile range, so this seems pretty good to me!

    I'm looking to gather information from the more experienced drivers here in the TTR forum.

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  3. Flat Earth Trucker

    Flat Earth Trucker Road Train Member

    Nov 19, 2018
    The key words here are "starting rate".
    While 55 cpm is a low starting wage, there's likely a promise of an increased cpm rate over time.

    You should speak to a recruiter if you have not already done so.
    Bumper Thanks this.
  4. Opus

    Opus Road Train Member

    Dec 18, 2011
    South GA
    It's not always about RPM. You should also be concerned about miles per week and delay/detention pay. KLLM runs reefers.....lots of early AM deliveries and sitting.
    Bud A., TripleSix, 77fib77 and 9 others Thank this.
  5. NorthEastTrucker

    NorthEastTrucker Medium Load Member

    Sep 21, 2019
    $0.55 cpm * 2500 mi = $1375/week which is around $70k with a week vacation. Considering the times we are in thats just under the average rate of $0.60 cpm.
  6. aussiejosh

    aussiejosh Road Train Member

    Aug 28, 2009
    Airlie Beach QLd
    If the best others are offering for a new driver is in the mid - 40's and your being offered 55 c per mile then yes its a good rate, what you'll need to do though is calculate the worst case scenario, its like taking a mortgage out on a house, consider if you can afford to pay off the loan if interest rates were to increase, if their promising you 2500 miles per week, calculate your income based on a much lower milage per week and see if that would still be fine. When times are slow I'd work off about 1800 miles per week. Which is a tad over $900 minus your taxes. :cool:
  7. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

    Aug 28, 2011
    Henderson, NV & Orient
    KLLM is an excellent company to start the career with. You'll get lots of miles running coast to coast, plus accessorial pays.
    Layover, detention, & vacation pay.
    Detention pay means you are paid hourly for waiting at shippers & receivers.
    Last edited: May 20, 2024
  8. Jamie01

    Jamie01 Light Load Member

    Dec 13, 2020
    XPO started me at 70cpm, and $30/hour for all non-driving (building and breaking sets, fueling, working the dock). And that was three years ago. So 55cpm in 2024 doesn't look very inviting. But maybe OTR is just different.
    77fib77 Thanks this.
  9. NewWorldTrucker

    NewWorldTrucker Light Load Member

    Nov 2, 2022
    It’s been around 2 years since my last job search (and as a new driver) but 0.55 seems to be about average, and I don’t just mean for new drivers. Like has been stated, weekly miles and all of the extras will matter.
    77fib77 and Chinatown Thank this.
  10. drivingmissdaisy

    drivingmissdaisy Road Train Member

    Jun 10, 2019
    I would be MUCH more concerned about how many miles you'll get. What about detention pay? Layover? Extra stop? KLLM also I believe runs teams. Their trucks are slow as molasses. You can't get miles in a slow truck unless you do a lot of drop and hook.

    The first company I worked for paid several CPM over anyone else with my level of experience. But that would be because their lanes sucked and you could get under 400 miles a day, day after day, and you better be smiling about it. You also were force dispatch and we ran TONS of freight picking up for FedEx at 10pm running to 5am-8am depending on the length of the run. NOBODY wanted to do that so they HAD to pay more per mile, because you got fewer miles. Also NO pay for detention, layover, NOTHING. They also paid city to city, so you got screwed out of A LOT of miles that you actually drove.

    I quit, took a 3cpm pay cut, and doubled my pay overnight with another company. If I made 750 a week with the first company, that was a good week. If I went BELOW 1500 a week with the second, that was a slow week.

    I have several years of experience and I don't make 55cpm. I COULD if I wanted to pull refer with this company, but I don't have patience to sit at warehouses waiting for hours to be unloaded.
    Last edited: May 20, 2024
    Chinatown Thanks this.
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