"You know the difference between a fairy tale and a trucker tale? A fairy tale starts with: 'once upon a time...' and a trucker tale starts with: 'You're never going to believe this sh*t'...". - Don Floyd
Name: Don Floyd
Job Title: Long Distance Truck Driver/ Owner Operator Trucking
Where: Don's owner operator trucking job is based in Enid, OK
Truck Driver Salary: $66,000 = $0.60 per mile x 110,000 miles. See truckers cost per mile calculation below. (Owner operator trucking jobs typically pay more than just being a truck driver.)
Years of Experience: 31 years of truck driving experience, 10 years in owner operator trucking jobs
Truck Driver Salaries: Owner Operator Trucking Jobs
Job Description of a Truck Driver: To drive a truck with capacity of more than three tons to transport materials to specified destinations. In owner operator trucking jobs, the driver is also responsible for finding and scheduling loads.
We all wonder what it would be like. We've bought the little pieces of the puzzle, but we've never put it all together. What is it like to be a long distance truck driver? And what are the benefits and drawbacks of owner operator trucking jobs? I own a Pabst Blue Ribbon trucker hat. I own a 64 ounce thermos that is waiting to be filled with truck stop "high octane" coffee. I've driven 600 miles in a single day. But, there is still so much to learn about long distance truck drivers.
Salary Stories recently interviewed truck driver Don Floyd about his many years on the road. Don explained the job description of a truck driver, the differences between owner operator trucking jobs and other truck driver jobs, truck driver salaries, and just how much coffee it takes to keep a driver going. If you've ever dreamed of a life on the open road, keep reading!
How much are average truck driver salaries?
Long distance truck driver salaries start at about $15.00 per hour, while experienced truck driver salaries can be upwards of $21.00 per hour (this salary chart has national median salaries). But most long-haul truck drivers don't get paid by the hour, they get paid by the mile. There are a couple types of truck driver employment options. You can be a company driver or there are also owner operator trucking jobs. Then there are even more options from there. With owner operator trucking jobs you can have a net-lease contract, where the company you're driving for pays for all of your gas and oil and licensing and everything else associated with driving a truck thousands of miles... and then they pay you about $0.60 per mile. The net-lease contract is particularly nice because you no longer have to worry about the truckers cost per mile calculation, because they're all paid by your employer.
How Many Hours Do Owner Operator Trucking Jobs require?
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The hours of a long distance truck driver are actually federally regulated. A truck driver can't work more than 18 hours in a day, 10 hours of which can be driving. If you figure on averaging 65 miles per hour, you would be driving 650 miles every day. But, that's if you were driving in your dreams. In the waking world, traffic exists. Lots of it. Traffic is the bane of a truck driver's existence; so when you ask a trucker what their favorite state is, don't be surprised when they say Texas. It's big and its roads are empty.
What Else is There to Know about Owner Operator Trucking jobs? Is it really different from just being a long distance truck driver?
Doing either job requires a trucker to drink lots of coffee. A truck stop can go through 7 to 10 gallons of coffee in an 8 hour shift. If it's in the morning, it can be even more.
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By Adam Phillabaum for PayScale Salary Stories