How Much Do Truckers Make Per Mile

Truck for a hero section
Written by Mike Skliar

Income plays a significant role in determining whether or not the trucker will continue with their career. Per-mile earnings serve as a critical metric and reflect how much a trucker makes per each driven mile. It helps truckers gauge their earning potential, negotiate with carriers, and track their income over time.

In this article, we will examine the average per-mile incomes in the trucking industry and the factors that affect them. 

Average Per-Mile Earnings in the Trucking Industry

Generally, long-haul truckers score higher per-mile rates compared to regional or local drivers due to the longer distances they travel. According to data from the American Trucking Association (ATA), long-haul truckload drivers typically earn between $0.40 to $0.55 per mile on average, while specialized carriers or owner-operators may earn higher rates, ranging from $1.50 to $2.50 per mile. Specialized freight like hazardous materials, car haulers, or oversized loads give an even higher rate per mile due to higher driver skill requirements. Local and regional drivers earn slightly lower per mile rates. However, they often benefit from more predictable schedules and home time. 

Factors Influencing Per-Mile Earnings

Understanding the factors that influence per-mile earnings is vital, especially when income directly correlates with the miles traveled. Truckers can optimize their income by having a deep understanding of factors like experience, freight type, location of work, and industry demands.

Experience and Seniority

Truckers with more experience get higher per-mile rates because of their proven track record of safe and efficient driving. Experienced drivers are often seen as more reliable and capable of handling various loads, which leads carriers to offer them higher compensation to have these truckers on their side. Also, seniority may come with perks such as priority in choosing routes or access to more desirable freight assignments, further boosting income.

Type of Freight

Hauling specialized or hazardous freight equals higher pay per mile compared to standard freight. Specialized freight requires additional skills from a trucker in addition to certifications and equipment, thus increasing the value of the service provided by that trucker. Carriers are paying higher rates to truckers who can safely transport delicate or potentially dangerous cargo.

Geographic Location

State regulations can significantly impact rates per mile. In areas with high demand for trucking services or limited competition, per-mile rates are higher. On the opposite side, regions with lower demand or higher competition may have lower rates. State regulations that affect things like tolls, taxes, and rest requirements can affect operating costs and, consequently, per-mile earnings.

Industry Demand

Changes in demand for trucking services are the main factor affecting per-mile rates. During periods of high demand (e.g., shipping seasons or economic booms), carriers can raise rates to attract truckers and meet customer demand. During downturns or periods of oversupply, rates decrease as carriers compete for a very limited pool of available loads. Understanding and adapting to these ups and downs is essential for truckers.

Truckers with more experience and specialized skills typically get higher rates, while regional differences in demand and state regulations can significantly impact earnings. Also, spikes in industry demand play a crucial role in shaping per-mile rates, with carrier companies adjusting compensation to meet market conditions. Understanding these factors is essential for truckers to optimize their earnings and navigate the complexities of the trucking landscape effectively.

Rate Per Mile at Owner Operator Land

If you decide to cooperate with Owner Operator Land and let us connect you with one of many of our partners, you can have stable rates, depending on your vehicle.

Rate per mile with our partner’s MC:

  • Semi Reefer – $2.30 – $3.00
  • Semi Dry Van – $2.18-$3.00
  • Semi Car Hauler – $2.50-$5.00
  • Semi Stepdeck/Flatbed – $2.67-$3.42
  • HS Car Hauler – $2.20-$3.00
  • HS Goos – $2.00-$3.00
  • Box Truck – $2.22-$3.38
  • Semi Reefer – $2.30-$3.00

Rate per mile with own MC:

  • Semi Dry Van – $1.92-$3.00
  • Semi Car Hauler – $2.50-$5.00
  • HS Car Hauler – $2.20-$3.00
  • HS Goos – $2.00-$3.00

Get in touch with us today, and we will make sure that you will find income opportunities that fit you and your capabilities.

Author Avatar
Author Mike Skliar

As the truck driver recruiting agency's CEO, I deeply understand the unique challenges and demands truck drivers face.

Drawing from my extensive work experience, I bring knowledge in truck driver recruitment, logistics, and transportation management. I possess a comprehensive understanding of industry regulations, safety standards, and best practices, ensuring that the agency adheres to the highest standards of professionalism and compliance.

Now, looking back and remembering my path from the very beginning, it seems to me that this story is a lifetime. During all these years of development and growth of our agency, I took part in no less interesting projects in which my experience, knowledge and vision were needed. And I was also able to gain new skills, contacts and experience by participating in the development of these projects from various fields, such as cargo transportation, trucking companies, e-commerce, parcel delivery and much more! But the best is yet to come!

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