How Much Can A Rookie Solo Driver Make, Im Gonna Tell You !

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Steve Marshall's Comment
member avatar

Let me give my disclaimer first. I drive for Prime, and they tend to pay the highest in the industry for a rookie driver. With that being said, My numbers will be actual dollars that I made and your results may differ depending on miles driven, and how much you earn per mile.

I began the first of October for training. During the first phase of training ( approximately 3 weeks) you wont earn a penny, however they do advance you 200.00 per week while your out on the road with your trainer. Once you get your CDL , you begin to earn a pay check. you get 600.00 per week or .12 cents per mile, which ever is higher. This is for the period that you are with your 2nd trainer. This is for a period of 30K miles or more, depending on your ability's.(approximately 2-1/2 months) Once you complete that then you become a full paid company driver. I have now been a full company driver for just over a month, however, during that time, I had to wit around for a bit to get my truck, I also spent some time at home , and also got stuck up in Massachusetts during the blizzard, so I didn't see a real full paycheck for the first 3 weeks, so what I am reporting is my 4th week paycheck and here is how it breaks down.

Miles- 2.903

Base rate .33 per mile ----------957.99 Per Diem .08 per mile ----------232.24 Fuel bonus @.016 per mile ---------- 46.45 Total -------------------1236.68

TAX MAN --------------------------- 371.15

NET TO ME --------------------------865.53 dancing-dog.gif

Now another disclaimer. There was an additional 150.00 on my check that I didn't include in the figures because it was for the week before when I was stuck in the snow storm, but I was still taxed on it, so realistically, the taxes would be less. The fuel bonus is based on a sliding scale depending on your actual fuel mileage for the week. Mine was 7.38 mpg so I got .016 extra per mile. You can earn as much as .05 per mile if you get 9.00 mpg.

Who says you cant make any money as a company driver. No, your not gonna get rich, but its a decent wage.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Per Diem:

Getting paid per diem means getting a portion of your salary paid to you without taxes taken out. It's technically classified as a meal and expense reimbursement.

Truck drivers and others who travel for a living get large tax deductions for meal expenses. The Government set up per diem pay as a way to reimburse some of the taxes you pay with each paycheck instead of making you wait until tax filing season.

Getting per diem pay means a driver will get a larger paycheck each week but a smaller tax return at tax time.

We have a ton of information on our wiki page on per diem pay

Starcar's Comment
member avatar

Steve....This is a GREAT informational topic !! Thanks for showing that if you apply yourself to the task, you CAN make a living driving truck. Its not for the lazy, but if your driven, then you can do it.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Steve B.'s Comment
member avatar

2.903 miles in one week as a newbie - sounds like you're running pretty hard and are figuring out the tempo to keep the miles flowing with driving hours and on duty time.

Advice for those of us just getting started to make that happen?

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Fisherman2280's Comment
member avatar

That's for one week?

That's higher than I expected nice job.

Steve Marshall's Comment
member avatar

That's for one week?

That's higher than I expected nice job.

yes that was for 1 week I'm sure they won't all be as good but it was really nice

Steve Marshall's Comment
member avatar

2.903 miles in one week as a newbie - sounds like you're running pretty hard and are figuring out the tempo to keep the miles flowing with driving hours and on duty time.

Advice for those of us just getting started to make that happen?

I have a good fleet manager that keeps me busy but that particular week I had only 2 runs 1 from Maine to Atlanta and then back to new york

Fleet Manager:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

David's Comment
member avatar

Wow steve, Im slightly jellous. .33CPM.. :( Im at 29. lol

Thats some good running though.. Congrats man. Glad your doing well after your first month.. Hope to see you out there sometime..

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

Steve Marshall's Comment
member avatar

Wow steve, Im slightly jellous. .33CPM.. :( Im at 29. lol

Thats some good running though.. Congrats man. Glad your doing well after your first month.. Hope to see you out there sometime..

David. I hate to add salt to your wound but actually I get 41 cents per mile 8 cents of which is paid at per diem so it's not taxed.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

Per Diem:

Getting paid per diem means getting a portion of your salary paid to you without taxes taken out. It's technically classified as a meal and expense reimbursement.

Truck drivers and others who travel for a living get large tax deductions for meal expenses. The Government set up per diem pay as a way to reimburse some of the taxes you pay with each paycheck instead of making you wait until tax filing season.

Getting per diem pay means a driver will get a larger paycheck each week but a smaller tax return at tax time.

We have a ton of information on our wiki page on per diem pay

Brian W.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you very much for your experience; as a soon-to-be student driver (just need to get some family and college class issues in order before starting) I know I will be keeping Prime in mind as a company to look at for future hiring.

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar

I want to caution people. Yes this was a good week for a solo driver and he drove his butt off but this will not happen every week. Because of one thing or another you will not see this type of miles every week. Unless your on a dedicated account like I am you will see on average 2000 to 2500 miles a week. These good weeks come and go.

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