If you’re a newer driver, understand that truckers often don’t receive hourly pay or a fixed salary. Instead, most are compensated through various pay structures. Explore the different types of pay you might come across in your truck driving career.
Categories of Truck Driver Base Wages
- Mileage Pay:
- This is the most common method of calculating a trucker’s base wage, where payment is based on the distance driven.
- OTR drivers, covering long distances daily, often receive mileage pay.
- Practical mileage, household goods miles, hub/actual mileage, and sliding scales pay are variations of this structure.
- Hourly Pay:
- Common across various industries, hourly pay compensates drivers for each hour worked, excluding breaks.
- Local drivers making multiple stops and unloading their cargo usually receive hourly pay, with opportunities for overtime.
- Salary wages are not tied to miles or hours but offer a fixed annual amount generally determined by a contract.
- The advantage is consistent pay, but the disadvantage is no additional compensation for extra hours or miles.
Additional Types of Pay for Truck Drivers
- Paid Unloading/Loading:
- Hourly labor cost associated with loading and unloading a trailer, generally not offered to local drivers with multiple deliveries. Instead, paid unloading is typically given to drivers who do not usually unload as a part of their job.
- Per Diem:
- Reimbursement for non-truck-related expenses on the road, such as lodging or food, provided either by the mile, a percentage, or daily. It’s non-taxable for company drivers.
- Breakdown Pay:
- Compensation when a truck breaks down and requires repairs, starting 24 hours after the breakdown.
- Stop Pay:
- Compensation for drivers making multiple stops on their route to the final destination.
- Detention Pay:
- Compensation for waiting time during unloading, usually starting after a 2-hour waiting period.
- Layover Pay:
- Compensation for downtime during periods when drivers are not actively driving but are still on the clock.
- Tarp Pay:
- Specifically for flatbed drivers who manually tarp their trailer loads.
Consider these various pay structures and additional compensations when exploring job opportunities. If pay details are not provided in the job description, inquire during the interview or reach out to a recruiter for clarification.
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