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How  Do  Truck  Drivers Typically  Get  Paid?

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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 fordriver unload, etc. Some companies even pay a percentage of what they are getting for the load.  

Truck driver salary is usually based on experience and performance. But, driver pay can vary wildly from company-to-company, and various types of trailers and freight. Hauling more specialized freight (flatbed, oversized, etc.) Generally pays better.


Most over-the-road (OTR) long-haul truck drivers will get paid by the mile. The figures will be listed as cents-per-mile. (cpm). There are countless perks, bonuses, and financial incentives that trucking companies offer to drivers who meet certain goals.


Local and regional truck driving jobs, at least class a, will most often go to experienced drivers.

What Are The Various Ways
Truck Drivers Get Paid?

HOURLY:      Hourly pay would normally affect local, and sometimes regional , truck drivers. Hourly positions will generally require more actual "hands-on" unloading of the freight during deliveries.


CENTS PER MILE (CPM):      Typically, this is how most over-the-road (otl) drivers get paid, and cpm pay falls into several categories:


PRACTICAL MILES:     The miles on the most practical legal route from origin to destination.


HUB MILES:       All miles driven. Odometer miles.


HOUSEHOLD GOODS MILES (HOUSEHOLD MOVERS GUIDE, HHG):     Most companies pay according to "household goods miles", which is another way of saying "as the crow flies". In other words, the shortest, legal route from point "a" to point "b". Typically, this pay rate runs about 5-10% less than actual miles driven.


SLIDING SCALES PAY:     A type of pay in which shorter hauls pay more per mile than longer trips. For example a 1-500 mile load may pay $.50/mile, while 501 miles and up may pay $.45 per mile.

Generally, the pay difference is to give drivers who draw the short hauls a chance to make the same amount of money as they would normally.


PERCENTAGE PAY:    Generally this is how owner/operators make their money. They are assuming all of the risk and all of the expenses. Not for newbies or the faint-of-heart.

Site Map


  Government Websites:


  A Guide to Getting Started


  Truck Driving Schools

  Truck Driving Jobs

  Get In the Game


  Surviving The First Year


  A Few Tips For Owner Operators


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