OTR trucking companies pay per mile. However, my only experience with getting paid is per hour.
Let's say a company is paying 40 cents per mile.
If I drive 2500 miles a week, I would be grossing $1000.
Unfortunately, those numbers do nothing to help me figure out whether I am being paid well or working for peanuts.
Here is what I thought might help me equate the two.
Let's say I drive 60 mph all the time.
If I drive 60 mph and I get paid 40 cents per mile, that would equate to $24.00 an hour. (.40 x 60=24.00)
So, at 60 mph, it would take me 41 hours to drive 2500 miles.
If I multiply those 41 hours by the $24/hr rate I came up with, I would make around 1000 dollars.
Is this a realistic way to compare cents-per-mile to dollars-per-hour? Or am I leaving out other important factors that would make it impossible to even make the comparison?
My two cents (from per mile to per hour)
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In your time driving now, locally I assume, what speed do you average? I bet it is roughly 50 mph. How much more would it take for you to be on the road and not sleeping at home at night?
Compare it yearly. If you run 100,000 miles thats 40k. 120,000 miles that's 48k. Compare that to what you earn now in a year. The higher number probably be the OTR job, but not always. If it is say, 4k or 8k higher than you earn now, are you willing to give up missing life things for that money? Also take into account the higher cell phone and food cost of living on the road.
Not even close when you factor in on-duty time. Most companies don't pay you for any on-duty time. If all you did was drive, then yes that figure would be accurate, but you don't just drive. You have to load/unload, fuel, pre-trip, tarp (although flatbed companies do compensate you for tarping, but that's generally a flat rate) and DOT Inspections.
Take into consideration you're only allowed to "work" (on-duty and drive) 70 hours every 8 days. By day 7, if you have 10 hours left, you just worked 60 hours. Now figure that out. $1000/60 = $16.67/hr. And that's if you even get 2500 miles that week at $.40/mile. My company starts solo drivers out at $.25/mile and those guys aren't getting 2500 miles a week. Also, I'd bet they're using about 50-60 hours a week too. So, that makes the hourly wage even lower. Say you get 2000 miles that week. Then at that rate you grossed $500 yet worked let's say 55 hours. You just made $9.09/hour. You'd make more working at a fast food joint and be home every night/work less hours.
It's messed up man. Sadly, that's the state of this industry at the moment.
Edit to add: Just to give you an idea, I normally average about 50 minutes of on-duty time any day I make a delivery. Between my pre-trip, unloading, fuel and loading again I've got about 50 minutes of unpaid time that I'm "working" but not being compensated for those days. I could work 4-6 hours a week and not be compensated for it.Lonesome Thanks this.
When drivers start to take note of all the UNPAID time they accumulate in a week where they are in fact "on duty" to one extent or another, it will make many sick. But that's the way the trade is for most of the mileage drivers ... and always will be. But OTR truckload companies can't realistically pay by the hour for a myriad of reasons. You have to encourage your employees to be PRODUCTIVE and PROFITABLE, not encourage them to be NON-PRODUCTIVE. To do so is to guarantee ultimate failure and bankruptcy due to the inability to compete in a very competitive industry.
I'll give you an example of how I personally figure it, because, as DJ said there is more to it than just driving, but honestly, especially if youre pulling van or reefer, 90% of your loading time isnt working, youre just sitting and waiting on someone else to do their job, chilling in the bunk or seat playing on the computer or phone. The following is my day yesterday:
I drove 9 hours, 49 min. 583 miles x $.42/mi= $244.86
Figure in the fact that I had 3 load checks at 5 min each, say 10 minutes to get fuel and 25 minutes for Pre/Post trips.
That's a total of approximately 10.5 hours of actual work. Comes out to $23.32/hour. Today wasn't as good. I spent about 2 hours unsecuring my load, delivering, then picking up and securing my next load. Drove appx. 330 miles and am now shut down for a 34 hour restart. The flip side is that sunday, when I leave here, will be another day similar to yesterday.
According to my company, my time is worth $15.00 an hour, but only after 2 hours and a maximum of 10 hours per day per stop.Last edited: Nov 2, 2012
How I look at it is like this, I compare my weekly pay check to working a normal 40 hour per week, 8 hour per day, 5 day a week job. For a $1000 pay check, im making $25 per hour this way.
When you look at it how it actually is, it kind of bums you out, thats why you cant look at it like that. $1000 paycheck for a 70 hour work week, $14.28 per hour (not including off duty time while sitting at shippers, etc... makes it closer to 80-90 hours per week... DO NOT DO THAT MATH OR PREPARE TO BLEED)ladyfire Thanks this.
Also though, on the flip side, I worked an hourly job and lived 25 minutes from the shop. So I had 50 minutes each day to and from work. Plus I normally arrived early by 10 or so and some days be there a little later than my time card would read.
Also 40 miles a day on my personal vehicle, so another 3 plus gallons of fuel too.
Pros and cons to every job.
Been self employed the last 10 plus years, so it seems like most every day is a donation lately. lol
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