How does truck driver pay work? Understanding how drivers are paid helps with managing a budget while on the road.

Truck driver pay is figured different than many other jobs. Most trucking jobs don’t pay a salary, rather over-the-road truck drivers are commonly paid per mile driven. Simply put, the more miles the truck is driven, the more money the trucker makes.

Solo Driver Pay vs. Team Driver Pay

A common question about truck driver pay is: what’s the difference between solo driver pay vs. team driver pay?  This question is best answered by explaining both driving positions’ pay individually,  then reviewing the key differences. 

Solo Driver Pay

A solo driver is paid a higher rate per each mile driven (compared to team), but by nature he drives less miles than a team during the same time period. Why does a solo driver drive less miles? Hours of service regulations limit the number of hours a CDL driver can spend behind the wheel before taking a required break.  While on break, the truck is not rolling which means the driver isn’t earning any mileage pay during that time. 

Team Driver Pay 

Typically they are paid at a lower mileage rate compared to solo drivers, but that doesn’t mean that they earn less money.  The key reason why is that team drivers are each paid for their miles and their teammate's miles.  While solo drivers have to stop at the end of their shift, team drivers are able to switch positions and keep on rolling.  While team drivers are paid less per mile, they often end up making more money because they are covering more miles in the same amount of time. 

Example 

  Weekly
Miles Driven*
Pay Rate*
Per Mile
Total Weekly
Pay
Solo Driver
(1 Driver, 1 Truck)
2,500 .28 mileage rate $700.00
Team Driver
(2 Drivers, 1 Truck)
4,600 .175 mileage rate $805.00
(each driver)

*acutal weekly miles and pay rate will vary

Trucking companies are currently hiring for solo and team drivers and offering company-sponsored training. For more on the opportunities available, take a look at the trucking jobs currently offered.