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Dutch's Comment
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Daniel, I hauled dry van for PAM my first year and made right around $24,000 before taxes. I am working for Crete now, and am on track to make between $45,000 and $50,000 this year. I could probably make more, if I tried to run a more hectic schedule. However, I would rather run safely for the next 20 years making average money and a steady paycheck, than to run wide open for a short period and have an accident or fatality on my record forever.

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.
The Persian Conversion's Comment
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Good pay is very achievable as a rookie if you are able to get on with a good company, and if you show yourself to be able to get the job done. In my first 4 weeks on the job, I grossed about $4,700 (that's for everything, from miles to tarping pay to short haul pay to fuel bonus to cell phone reimbursement). With four withholding exemptions on my W-4 and a $0.15cpm untaxable per diem , my net pay over that period was about $4,300. That's including one week where I broke down and took three 34-hour restarts in 8 days, resulting in a total of about 11,000 miles driven over 28 days. If I can run consistently this month I expect that number to be significantly higher, probably around 14,000.

I'm not sure what the picture looks like at the big companies though. It's possible they may start you at a lower cpm and have you running fewer miles than you would at a smaller company, or it could be the other way around. But from everything I've heard, it's most likely the former. Still, that doesn't mean you can't make good money. As has been said time and time again on these forums, just keep your head down and do a good job, and you will find both your cpm and miles going up very quickly.


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

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