Man in black hat smiling while standing in front of his Tanker truck

Salary or hourly, which is better? It’s a question that’s been around as long as payroll. If you’re planning a new career as a professional truck driver, it’s an important question to consider. There is more to consider when comparing a truck driver’s salary vs. a truck driver’s hourly than just how much you will be making. Choosing salary or hourly can affect the types of jobs you are eligible for, how long you are on the road and many other factors. This article will compare and contrast a truck driver’s salary vs. hourly, breaking down the differences between the two.

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What is the Difference Between Truck Driver Salary & Hourly Pay?

With either truck driver starting salary, you can expect to earn a little less than the experienced driver would receive. With your first-year truck driver salary, you will need to come in at the bottom and prove your expertise. However, once you excel at your career, you can expect to make much more, whether you are paid hourly or with a salary. Salaried truck drivers get a pre-determined amount no matter how much travel is performed. On the other hand, the hourly truck driver gets paid for the time that’s invested. There are advantages and disadvantages to both types of pay structures.

Pros & Cons of Truck Driver’s Salary Vs. Hourly Pay

Truck Driver Salary Pros & Cons

The most significant advantage to getting paid through a salary is the guaranteed income. No matter how many hours are worked or what inconveniences you run into, you will be compensated the agreed amount. If you are looking for guaranteed income, a salary offers the best option. Plus, this pay structure often comes with some of the best benefits.

On the other hand, salaried truck drivers regularly participate in over-the-road (OTR) jobs. These jobs are ideal for drivers that would like to spend more time on the road traveling and don’t desire more time at home.

From a salary standpoint, you can expect to receive an average of $47,000 a year driving truck. Of course, this rate depends upon what you are hauling, what state you operate from, and the amount of experience.

Truck Driver’s Hourly Pay Pros & Cons

The average truck driver salary per hour in the US is between $23 and $30. There are several benefits to opting for a job that offers the truck driver pay per hour. For starters, you get paid for every hour that you work. If you put in overtime, you can expect to get paid more. Additionally, most of these jobs provide local routes, allowing you to spend more time at home with your family.

On the other hand, with the average CDL truck driver salary per hour, you could miss out on some benefits, such as sleeper pay. You also won’t be able to take advantage of inconvenience or layover pay, meaning some of your time won’t be compensated. Finally, the hourly pay is likely lower than an OTR driver gets.

As with hourly pay, it also depends upon what you are hauling, what state you operate from, and the amount of experience.

Other Types of Truck Driver’s Pay

There are also some other types of pay for truck drivers. Consider the below options.

  • Pay Per Mile: You get paid a certain amount for every mile driven. This only benefits the driver if the pay per mile is high and you plan to drive a lot.
  • Pay Per Load: These are not as common and typically only operate within the agricultural, oil, or local delivery routes. For each load that gets delivered, you receive a pre-determined amount of compensation.
  • Per Diem: This form of reimbursement helps cover your overnight stays, meals, and other necessary expenses.
  • Detention/Layover Pay: If you are held up for particular reasons, some companies provide compensation. This structure is helpful if you spend a lot of time waiting between loads.
  • Stop Pay: If you make a lot of deliveries in a day, stop pay ensures you get paid for the time spent not driving.
  • Special Incentives: Companies will offer additional money for demanding loads, hazardous materials, and other duties that aren’t typical.
  • Bonuses: You can earn a variety of bonuses, from sign-on incentives to performance perks.
  • Team Driver Pay: If you drive as a team, you likely split the per-mile salary, although it will be more than if you traveled alone. However, you don’t have to do all the driving in these situations, making it an easier job overall.

Apply with LCL Bulk Transport for the Best Truck Driver’s Salary

Earn a great CDL driver salary at LCL Bulk Transport. At LCL Bulk Transport, we offer the highest salaries in the industry. You can earn an excellent salary and gain more experience while working with this top-notch team. If you are ready to get started with your new career today, fill out an online application.

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