How Much Can You Earn as a Truck Driver?

The truck driving industry will be short 174,000 drivers by 2026 according to the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI). One way the trucking industry is battling this “issue that has plagued the industry for decades” is with driver compensation. Trucking companies including Roehl Transport are paying commercial truck drivers more. In fact, if you are a truck driver searching for a trucking job, you have arrived in the industry at a great time. Read this article to learn more about how much you can anticipate earning as a truck driver. Then find out how much more your truck driving salary can be when you work for Roehl.

Heavy and Tractor Trailer Truck Driver Salary

The main source of US truck driving pay data comes from the United States Department of Labor and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This salary data for the trucking industry reflects the wage information for heavy truck drivers and tractor-trailer truckers as of May 2018. According to the BLS, 1.8 million truck drivers employed during this time earned a median annual wage of $45,570. For this truck driver’s salary, per week drivers are earning an estimated $877, which is $3,505 per month.

Note that this includes all truck driver occupations including logging, pipeline transportation and electric power distribution. Therefore, you want to consider the type of loads you handle as you determine how much you could earn. The type of trucking freight you haul makes a big difference in how much you will as a truck driver as does how much experience you have.

At Roehl, we hire experienced truck drivers and we have plenty of drivers making more than $82,500 a year. That’s more than $1,500 a week and $6,875 per month. Of course, if you’re just starting out in the industry, you can expect to earn less as you learn the business (inexperienced drivers at Roehl are on their way to averaging $60,000+ after about nine months on the job).

It’s important to know that Roehl wants our highest performing drivers to be our best compensated, and that also must align with customer demand. So we pay more for the more strenuous work that is done by our flatbed truck drivers and for refrigerated truck drivers, and our truck driver pay far exceeds the national average truck driver salary per year reported by the BLS.

Median Truck Driver Salary Data

According to the American Trucking Associations’ Driver Compensation Study released in March 2018, the median truck driver pay for drivers in the truckload sector was more than $53,000 a year. By the way, this is a 15 percent increase from five years prior according to the previous Driver Compensation Study. Keep in mind, the median salary is the midpoint; truck drivers are making more or less than this across the industry. As reported from the desk of Bob Costello, the ATA’s chief economist, “This latest survey, which includes data from more than 100,000 drivers, shows that fleets are reacting to an increasingly tight market for drivers by boosting pay, improving benefit packages and offering other enticements to recruit and retain safe and experienced drivers.” This includes sign-on bonuses and pay bonus programs that trucking companies are offering. 

About Sign-On Pay at Roehl

At Roehl Transport, we have re-thought those old sign-on bonuses. Instead of waiting for some length of time to receive that full sign-on bonus (perhaps even several years at some other trucking companies) we provide you with Sign-on Pay, which you earn when you join our team as an experienced truck driver. Sign-on pay continues for your first year with Roehl and is paid on all dispatched miles on every paycheck. After all, a sign-on bonus should be something you earn when you sign on with a carrier. We believe you should control your pay, and that includes your sign-on pay.

Your Choice Pay Plan

Along with earning the top pay in the industry, you have the opportunity to give yourself a raise or a bonus every quarter through Roehl’s Your Choice Pay Plan. At Roehl, truck drivers start out in the Performance Bonus Plan, which is more traditional and recognizable as commonplace across trucking companies. If you like a mileage rate that doesn’t vary with performance and a bonus based on your performance, then the Performance Bonus Plan is for you.

If you want the opportunity to earn a raise based on your performance, choose our Premium Mileage Rate Plan. You can earn a raise each quarter up to our highest pay rate in the Premium Mileage Rate Plan, and it offers the highest levels of pay, too.

Truck Driver Salary at Roehl Transport

As an experienced truck driver with one year of experience handling flatbed loads, when you join Roehl, you can make 59 cents per mile (CPM) starting out. We also hire refrigerated drivers and curtainside drivers who earn 58 and 57 CPM respectively. 

In our dry van division, along with a fantastic cents per mile pay rate, you are provided with driver-friendly freight—no-touch drop and hook loads. In fact, 95 percent of our dry van freight is no-touch freight, so you’ll spend less time battling pallets and dealing with lumpers and more time on the road making great money per mile. 

Roehl also offers Pay Accelerators as the best way to speed up your salary increase. Our Pay Accelerators include transition pay and primary commercial zone pay, as well as the sign-on pay. With transition pay, our drivers can earn 3 CPM while in their first year at our company. This is intended to help new drivers boost their paycheck as they smooth over the bumps of any new trucking job. 

As for the primary commercial zone (PCZ) pay, Roehl offers drivers 2 cents per mile if they live in one of our primary operating areas. As an added bonus, as a driver in our PCZ, you operate on lanes that minimize deadheading and out of route mileage. In this way, you can maximize your productivity and work to your advantage by avoiding these time-sucks. 

So just how much money can you make when you drive a truck for Roehl Transport? The National Transportation Institute certifies top-paying trucking companies and Roehl’s been on the list for years. The top 50% of Roehl drivers earn $64,500 annually, and we have drivers making close to $100,000 a year.

Why Roehl Transport

Why choose Roehl Transport for your employer? Start with our Wall of Values, with Safety as our cornerstone. Our Wall of Values guide how we go about our business. And our CEO Rick Roehl is a professional Class A CDL truck driver who maintains his CDL. He gets behind the wheel to stay close to the work our professional truck drivers do for our customers. We understand what it takes to get your job done as a trucker, and we value you and your success. You’ll see the difference our team of fleet managers (dispatchers or driver managers) and industry-leading maintenance and support make in your job as a truck driver. Roehl is committed to providing you with the tools you need to be a safe & successful truck driver. If you’re an experienced truck driver ready to join a trucking company that has Driver Success as a value, give us a call or apply today. Need training? Roehl offers paid Class A CDL on- the-job training in your Get Your CDL program.
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