Home Trucking Articles Truck Driving Per Hour Salary

Truck Driving Per Hour Salary

Hourly pay is not a common occurrence in the truck driving industry. It has its pros and cons, as with any other job. While it may seem that being paid hourly as a truck driver is beneficial, it is not always lucrative. For local drivers, hourly pay is a better option. Route drivers are usually paid overtime, but other truck driving positions do not pay overtime. It is straight pay, even if a log book is kept and the driver is local.

With all of the rules and regulations in place regarding how long truckers can drive without having to stop hourly pay is not always worth it. Some of the laws, such as 14 hours on and 10 hours off, or no more than 70 hours in an eight day period, make it less profitable as some roads allow truckers to travel at a rate of speed to drive 60 or more miles in one hour’s time.

As of 2011, the median hourly pay for truck drivers was $21.74 per hour for heavy and over the road drivers according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This averages out to be $45,219 per year based upon a 40 hour work week. Local, van delivery drivers and route drivers ranges between $8.67 and $28.10 per hour. The median pay for a light truck driver, or route driver, is $13.98 per hour. It varies on the job and the duties included with it.

The Pros
On the plus side of hourly pay for truck drivers is guaranteed pay. As long as your hourly quotas are met and the job is completed as it should be, you earn your hourly wage. Cost of living increases in pay are also seen more this way. Being an hourly paid employee of a company also makes it easier to obtain health insurance.

A huge plus of being an hourly paid truck driver is that you have more time at home and can stay local. Day trips may be required, but you still end up at home at the end of the day. For a lot of truck drivers, it is a perk to be able to spend more time at home with their families.

The Cons
As an hourly paid truck driver, some of the perks available to salaried drivers are not available. This comes into play for the OTR drivers that receive sleeper pay. This means that they are paid per mile and get an hourly rate for the hours logged in the sleeper. Long haulers usually benefit from this perk as they are away from home more than other drivers.

Hourly paid drivers also miss out on layover and inconvenience pay. Layover pay is often paid when a driver is forced to wait overnight to be unloaded and cannot continue their trip until they are unloaded. Inconvenience pay is an hourly rate that is paid during a breakdown or if the driver is sitting for a long period of time to be unloaded while on a scheduled or timed delivery.

Every job, including truck driving, has its pros and cons. As stated previously, hourly pay is great for local and light duty drivers. Per mile pay or a salary is better for OTR and heavy drivers. It merely comes down to what the individual needs are of each specific driver.

BLS’s Light Truck & Delivery Service Drivers and BLS’s State Salary Example