When you’re thinking about how dump truck drivers get paid, keep in mind that net profit differs between fleet drivers and owner-operators. Fleet drivers don’t have to contend with the costs of the dump truck, maintenance, insurance or gas. However, owner-operators must find a way to juggle such costs while operating their own business.
Earnings You Can Expect Driving A Company Owned Dump Truck
Driving for a fleet usually means you earn an hourly rate for any job you take up. Most fleet drivers can expect a minimum pay rate of $17 an hour. However, some companies will almost double that rate up to $30 an hour. The money you make is the money you keep. Any costs associated with the truck are handled by the company. Plus, overtime can bump your earnings up to as high as $27.83 an hour on average, varying between jobs and duties associated. These kinds of contract jobs are great for truckers looking to gain some experience.
But driving for a fleet has its downsides. Jobs are dependent on the high season. Which means if the company doesn’t have jobs to work - you don’t get paid. Many drivers resort to other streams of income including working for more than one fleet at a time or taking on part-time work at plants or lumber yards.
Earning a Living as a Dump Truck Owner-Operator
While fleet drivers earn an hourly rate, owner-operators are typically taking home the profits of the business or splitting profits with a partner. An owner-operator can expect to make a yearly salary between $40,000 – $197,000, depending on how successful their business is.
Of course, owner-operators have many more outgoing expenses that can put their own paycheck in jeopardy. Owner-operators are responsible for the truck itself, insurance, gas costs and maintenance. They are also responsible for developing a client list and building customer loyalty.
Some of the cons associated with owning your own company are planning for unexpected expenses, struggling to find work to keep your trucks busy, and finding good drivers.
Other Factors in Play
To earn your license to drive a dump truck, you will need to go through special training and fund your education. Most trucking schools start at around $3,000 for the entire program. To get your CDL you can expect it to take one year.
Jobs with the highest hazard danger pay the most. However, dump truck drivers are among the highest paid in the industry. If you drive for a coal mine, you can expect even higher rates due to the additional hazard. A high level of patience and concentration is necessary to load and unload the trucks. If truck drivers aren’t careful, the smallest abrupt movement will cause the mine to collapse.
Maximize Your Business
As a fleet driver, you can maximize your earnings by increasing the frequency of the jobs you take. Granted, this is easier said than done. Most jobs have a short window of opportunity. You can’t expect to be ready for a job that’s in Montana 2 days from now if you’re in Massachusetts. You also can’t know about the jobs within your perimeter without the right tools.
As an owner-operator, it’s likely you have many jobs lined up. But what happens when your business hits a lull? Down seasons are owner operator’s worst nightmare.
However, there is new technology that can help. Software like TRUX can help truckers find work. Whether it’s filling a night shift after a busy afternoon or hauling winter snow. TRUX connects highly qualified truckers with contractors who need dump trucks. TRUX not only gives dump truck drivers access to more work in their area, but they help take the “busy work” out of the equation. Truckers punch-in and -out in app and receive weekly invoices automatically. Software like TRUX is a huge asset for owner-operators because it streamlines the invoicing process and provides transparency. TRUX keeps invoices on file, allows truckers to file disputes in app, and best of all - TRUX guarantees pay weekly via direct deposit so you can get your hands on working capital quicker.