What kind of truck driver are you or do you want to be? Is truck driver salary important to you? What's your comfort level with risk?
We humans like to categorize. It allows us to compare and contrast. It helps to create a frame of reference. And it helps us to set expectations. Asian versus Mexican food. Sporting events versus cultural events. Blondes versus brunettes. Truckers are no different.
All truckers fall into one of three categories. On one end of the category spectrum is company drivers. On the other end of the spectrum is a category made of independent owner operators. The last category falls somewhere in between - a hybrid known as lease owner operators. Allow me to explain each, as this is an important basis for the focus of guidance I provide.
A company driver gets hired by a trucking company to drive its trucks and haul its freight. The driver incurs little to no expenses and bears little to no risk financially. They show up for work, are given a load, and are on their way. When they're done delivering they park and walk away, leaving maintenance to the company to handle. They are usually paid a certain rate per mile, typically between $0.25 and $0.50 depending on experience. Others are paid an hourly wage of $15-$30. Low risk, but low reward. If you decide to become or remain a company driver, then many of my tips and tricks may be useful but it won't change your income.
The middle category is the lease owner operator, the poor souls. They are typically hired by a company to haul their freight and lease (i.e. rent) a truck through the company and are responsible for lease payments, various levels of insurance, maintenance, and fuel. In most cases the truck is a newer, shinier model valued around $150,000, which the lease payments are based upon. Lease payments alone can run around $3,000 per month, so they already start off in the hole each month. This option is paid a higher rate per mile, typically around $1. The company usually provides plates and files necessary reports for the driver. Altogether, this is high risk but low reward. Again, my tips and info can be useful, but have only moderate impact on pay.
The final category is the intrepid, independent owner operator. They are their own company and their own boss. Every decision, from choice of equipment to load to hours and everything in between rests with the independent O/O. High risk but high reward potential. However, if you follow my guidelines and methods you mitigate risk and reap the high reward.
Read through my other posts to learn more about how to make a $100,000 truck driver salary. You can get notifications of new posts and videos by subscribing to my email updates.
-May the wind be at your six and weigh stations closed.