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The Complete Guide To A Career In Trucking

Choosing A Truck Company: Evaluating Pay & Benefits

A gasoline tanker truck getting ready to offload fuel

Always keep in mind that the best way to evaluate what company to go with isn't necessarily by which one pays the most at first glance, but which will be the best overall fit and give you the best chance for success.

That said, there are a lot of different ways to evaluate driver pay, from sign-on bonuses to per diem pay to home time, etc. Some companies have also started to give guaranteed weekly or weekend pay as added incentive to lure drivers.

Please also read our epic 8-part series: Choosing A Truck Driving Job

How do truck drivers typically get paid?

Most over-the-road & regional drivers will be paid cents-per-mile (CPM) driven.

Local routes will typically pay per hour, dedicated routes will also pay for driver unload, etc. Some companies even pay a percentage of what they are getting for the load.

How much do new truck drivers make?

First-year drivers will generally make in the $35,000 range for the first year while they learn the ropes and try to avoid mistakes.

Average salary in the industry is around $42,000, and many drivers report $55-$60,000 per year, which is probably near the top for OTR dry van operators.

What company pays new drivers the best salary?

Many companies will have certain age & experience requirements, but there are many more who will hire drivers with freshly laminated CDL's.

What other kinds of pay options are available for new truck drivers?

What kinds of benefits or perks should I look for in a company?

Again, it comes down to what the best fit is for each individual driver. Salary, home time, bonuses, & extra pay will vary from company to company.

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