How Much Do New Truck Drivers With A Class A License Make In 2020?

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Nick S.'s Comment
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Hello. I’m Nick. I’m new to this group.

What do "you" consider realistic pay for a new Truck Driver just out of school? I have seen some schools stating that they can train you to get a Class A license in 3 - 6 weeks, and offer a starting salary of 50K - 60K a year? Is this realistic/true?

Some trucking companies I see where they will pay about $20 - $25 an hour, and I see some trucking companies that only pay by the mile. What do "you" consider the best pay at this time (in 2020) . . . 50K - 60K a year or $20-$25 per hour or pay by the mile?

You thoughts?

SRJ's Comment
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Put “trucking pay” in the search bar and you will find many articles regarding your question.

PackRat's Comment
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OTR with a major carrier, I see no reason why a new driver could not gross $35,000 the first year, and if you're an overachiever, more than $50,000 is not out of the question at all.

Lots of the ads you will encounter may display something like, "Home every week....We start our pay at 55 cents per mile....Get paid $65-$75,000 your first year." Maybe these companies will get you home for a 34 hour break once every week, and maybe you and your teammate will split 55 cents a mile (27.5 cents per driver), and maybe they have one driver that never had a day off his first year because he lives in his truck, so yeah, that guy did gross $65,000 on year one.

Read the fine print and beware of what you read, people you talk to, and definitely don't believe most of the reviews you may read about XYZ Transport on the web.

If you want facts, stick around here, read everything, and ask lots of questions.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

Hi Nick and welcome. Pay will vary not only by company but division (type of freight such as dry van , reefer , flatbed tanker).

Donna on here and my last trainee at Prime both were in lightweight trucks in Prime's reefer division and made $55,000 their first year. I know others who did $65,000. I also know others who made $38,000. It all depends on how well you can manage your time and availability. Also maintaining reliability to build a good reputation with dispatch and planners.

Stick around. I have a Youtube channel (click on my profile or enter Truckin Along woth Kearsey on YT) that will answer some of your questions in addition to the awesome info on this site.

As Packrat said.... we speak the truth

Many of the hourly jobs are looking for experienced drivers and do not train. So really read those ads closely.

Trucking Company Reviews

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

Nick S.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello Everyone,

Thank you so very, very much for your help, comments, and suggestions. It is greatly appreciated. What you have shared thus far, has been a learning opportunity for me.

Most of all, I just wanted to get a realistic view of the "real world" vs. those various ads that seem too good to be true. Yet I know that if I asked in this forum, I could get some great and honest feedback. Yet I did want to know a few of the basics, before considering getting my formal training, yet I do know that I will have to successfully work at least 1 to 2 full years, before better jobs and better money will come my way.

Thanks again so very, very much for your help. It is so greatly appreciated. : - )

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Yuuyo Y.'s Comment
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Food service I think makes a lot more, but you're going to be paying for it.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Food service I think makes a lot more, but you're going to be paying for it.

They don't necessarily make more. They make as much as an OTR driver, but they get home every day. Problem is, it's back-breaking work. You have to unload everything by hand, and it's grueling.

There's no free ride in life. Everything is a trade-off. There are tons of options in trucking. There's something for everyone. What it boils down to is a compromise between the type of work you want to do, how often you want to get home, and how much you want to make. You'll be balancing those three factors.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Yuuyo Y.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm only basing that on what I, and coworkers I've talked to got. My first year was 81,000$. 19.45$ an hour for 8 months, 22.50ish for 3, and 26.68 for the last.

Auggie69's Comment
member avatar

I'm only basing that on what I, and coworkers I've talked to got. My first year was 81,000$. 19.45$ an hour for 8 months, 22.50ish for 3, and 26.68 for the last.

$81 grand for that that hourly pay is incredible.

Your work ethic, especially in the food biz is amazing. I bow to you! :)

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

Some food service get paid by the cases they unload rather than hourly. I have a friend who hustles and made $95k as an experienced driver and his friend made $55k his first year at the same company because the driving and backing portion was harder for a newbie Also the newbie wasnt used to the physical labor... so he couldnt keep up. My friend often finished the other guy's route after he did his own.

It is all about you.

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