• Apr 22, 2012
If you've ever had visions of telling your boss exactly where he can put his TPS reports and heading off to reenact your favorite scenes from classic trucking movies like Smokey and the Bandit, Convoy or Over the Top, we have bad news for you: Trucking is prohibitively expensive.

The crew at TheTruckersReport.com worked up an infographic filled with examples of just how pricey it can be to operate an eighteen wheeler. According to the information, only eight percent of all trucks on the road are privately operated. The rest are run by larger trucking companies.

No surprise there. A new cab can cost upwards of $100,000, while a trailer will set you back $50,000. Companies typically pay around $30,000 a year on their truck loans, which actually makes it the third largest expense in operating a big rig. Number one? Diesel fuel. A single truck can suck down 20,500 gallons of fuel in a year, which can add up to over $70,000 depending on location. Driver pay falls second, with operators earning around $0.36 per mile. Maintenance, meanwhile, can cost around $15,000 annually.

Hit the jump
to check out the full graphic for yourself. Now if you'll excuse us, we have some reports to file...

++ Click to Enlarge Image ++
The Truckers Report & Featured By Easy Lift Drum Handling Equipment


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 253 Comments
      Lastchance
      • 2 Years Ago
      Another less expensive option to making trucks more fuel efficient is too design trailers with better aerodynamics than the current types. Manufactures have done a good job on making the cabs more aerodynamic now it's the trailer's turn. For example I recently noticed a box trailer that had panel extensions on the back that folded open to create a more aerodynamic profile instead of the standard flat back end. The trailer also had panels underneath to redirect wind from going under the trailer.
        spdracerut
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Lastchance
        There's a program called "Super Truck" that exactly address all the areas for truck improvement. From improving engine efficiency, waste heat recovery, and aerodynamics. Mercedes has been working on a complete aerodynamic package for its trucks for the Super Truck program.
      dsldriver
      • 2 Years Ago
      They haven't bought tires lately! $250 might buy you a good recap.
        R L Baker
        • 2 Years Ago
        @dsldriver
        They can not use caps on the front wheels, all the rest okay.
          jamestaylorm
          • 2 Years Ago
          @R L Baker
          Unless it gets over a 100 degrees,then they don't last long.
          nhrafan1953
          • 2 Years Ago
          @R L Baker
          Mr RL, I hate to tell you this, but you can use recapped tires on a front axile depending on the state you live in, and the job you're using the truck for.
      hughesdebl
      • 2 Years Ago
      If you are not in the trucking industry your comments should be left out of this article. If trucking stops... you will not eat, nothing will be grown , hay corn , wheat etc. Almost everything is delivered by truck. Peanut butter, tampax.. they are trucked to bulk break centers, or distribution centers. Trucks carrying 50,000 lbs of goods can sometimes manage 4 miles to the gallon on a straight highway.. at $5.00 a gallon, since you know everything.. you figure the math. Truckers ""are"" considerate on the roadways, it is the rude car driver that does want to move over, merge into traffic, rather go like hell and know it can not make it and almost STOP on the side of the truck. The amount of time to "stop" a truck ( legal : truck , trailer and load - 80,000 lbs, sometimes 80 ft long overall ) if you are stupid enough to think you can drive get in front of them, and decide to take the next off ramp....only to find the ramp backed up with 12 cars.. you better go to the next exit. You will be killed period. Car drivers are pathetically rude when it comes to truckers. Do you like fresh fruits? Fresh Veggies? New furniture? Clothing? New wooden fence around your NEW home? Diapers? They are ALL delivered by trucks... They need to be paid correctly to get the job done safely and on time... So the next time you are in the slow lane, and a big rig is trying to enter the freeway... give them a break.. move over and let them on the road !!
      tldurado
      • 2 Years Ago
      Your fuel cost per mile isn't even in the ball park,the avg newer truck only gets 5.5 miles per gallon and with diesel at 4.50 per gallon is 82 cents per mile and if your hauling food in a reefer add 10 more cents.
      Aleem
      • 2 Years Ago
      I actually have a tractor-trailers license and only got it with the intention someday of having my own truck. I'm 28 years old and when I checked insurance rates for me it came up to $15,000 a year with a 2007 Kenworth T2000 (I don't own it just a random truck I came up with for a quote) with the intention of only wanting to run from New York City to Florida and back. Running all over the country does not necessarily earn you more money so I figured one straight shot from two places I know with good freight would help but high fuel prices and competition for good freight kind of turned me away but not entirely shutting my idea down. All this information just let's you if the trucker suffers, YOU suffer when it's time to cash out at the store.
      sandykoot
      • 2 Years Ago
      Trucking is and had been a dog eat dog business for a long time. The costs are prohibitive and only getting worse. The people who drive these trucks are regarded as tools, just something to be used to get the job done. The abuse truckers take at the hands of their employers, the shippers, receivers, and law enforcement is horrendous. The trucking companies put you out there and won't let you come home, and guess what, a new episode of divorce court is created. I've been a driver since 1978 and it's amazing how much worse things are now. You are NOT allowed to live like a human being. Many shippers/receivers won't even let a driver use the restroom at their facility, even though they are responsible for holding him up by not getting him loaded/unloaded. I've spent as much as 28 hours waiting to pick up a load. What was my compensation? Not so much as a 'thanks for waiting'! The shippers and receivers don't give a rip because they're going to their own home at the end of their shift, eat their own food, sleep in a nice bed. Why should they care if the trucker gets held up, hell, he's just a TRUCK DRIVER! As to the economics, it is almost impossible for the owner operators these days. When you finance a rig for 5 years there are a LOT of disasterous things that can wipe you out. I bought a new rig in June of 2001. 9/11 happened 3 months later and trucking died.There I was with only 58 more payments. I survived only to encounter a chick named Katrina down on the Gulf Coast. She drove fuel prices through the roof. I survived again. Sold my rig in July, 2007 after 6 years of busting my hump and just barely broke even, and I was a lot luckier than thousands of my compadres. Even the largest companies all run lean and mean. Ever get mad at that truck who won't get out of your way? It's not because he doesn't want to, it's because his truck is governed at 65 mph to save fuel. Trucking was once a fun way to make a living but it has become a miserable occupation. As to the DOT regulation/enforcement, the new electronic on board recorders make you shut down when you run out of time, it doesn't matter that 30 minutes down the road is a truck stop where real food and a shower await. Ray LaHood knows ALL about safety. It's safer for me to go down the road hungry and stinking rather than well fed and freshly showered. Complying with Federal regulations force you to live like a refugee, just hunker down like a chicken on the side of the road wherever your clock runs out, doesn't matter it's a high crime area or a place with no services for a driver's comfort. 'nuff said!
        spitz222
        • 2 Years Ago
        @sandykoot
        that all is oh so true... i witness it all of the time with my company......
      cazyadad
      • 2 Years Ago
      Its been twenty years since I've drove over the road and staying out six to eight weeks at a time. The trucks are more comfortable to drive and live in but the pay is about the same and the regulations are stricter. Now I just wrench on heavy trucks. I worry the headache to reward ratio will become so bad no one will want the job. The DOT makes drivers feel like criminals that haven't been caught yet. Now drivers can't split sleeper time. What's with that? Are DOT personnel that math challenged they can review a log page with split sleeper time? Its a job where you drive when your're awake and sleep when you're tired. Done yapping, its time to get on my creeper again, grab the grease gun and contemplate my view of this industry from the bottom up.
        HELLO OLD MAN
        • 2 Years Ago
        @cazyadad
        amen brother, it seems a whole generation of dumb chits have somehow managed to be in charge...reckon it will have to run its course. like a dose of the clap, with only bad memories , but hope of a brighter future for our younguns
      Cricket
      • 2 Years Ago
      One last comment from me. The trucking companies themselves are making it extremely difficult for the drivers too. I won't mention the name of the company, but my husband drives for a company that makes it next to impossible for him to take a vacation. He's been with this company for over 6 years and has taken ONE one-week vacation, and that was only about a year after starting with this company. Sure he's "alloted" X number of days vacation each year, but if he stays out of his truck (home time or vacation) for more than 3 days he has to turn his truck in and be issued a different one (which is usually the worst lemon on the lot) when he comes back. So consequently, he cashes in his vacation time every year, which granted is nice for the money, but everyone needs a break from their jobs once in a while! And even his home time isn't what it's supposed to be. Most companies, this one included, say "one day home for every one week out". Well this sounds good. BUT.... My husband likes to stay out 3 weeks at a time. But when he comes home, his average time home is 40-60 hours. In the six years he's been with this company, he's gotten his full 3 days home less than 5 TIMES! More times than not, he has to argue in order to get even 2 days home! You say why doesn't he quit and go with a different company? Because with this law that Congress passed saying the hiring companies can use our credit ratings as a reason not to hire (and I'll admit, we did get over-extended for a while but are now trying hard to recover and do better, but in the meantime our credit is shot for a while) then until we can improve our credit score, he's stuck with this company. Plus, the public probably doesn't realize it but truckers do. Changing companies in this industry is not like changing jobs in most other industries. A trucker has to quit one job, then go to the next company's orientation. And there's no guarantee that because he went to the new company's orientation that he will actually be hired! He may have quit the previous job only to find that the new company won't hire him for whatever reason! Plus, even if he IS hired, his pay will be nothing, or next to nothing till he gets past orientation and the training period. And for a worker who has to be rolling to get paid, that hurts!
      luanne garner
      • 2 Years Ago
      I've been off the road for 3 yrs and I sure don't miss it. I could not recommend to anyone buying a truck now, if anyone out there was thinking about doing so. The companies today don't really care about the driver, they just want their seats filled. Weeks or even months away from home. When you do get there they want you to hurry up and leave out again. Truck stops are getting too expensive to eat in anymore. The job just doesn't pay enough for what a person goes through. With that being said, if you are married and your wife wants to go, there are companies that allow that. But you could also train and become a team. But for myself, I want drive over the road anymore. Local yes, long haul no.
      Bobby
      • 2 Years Ago
      You know what, Hardly none of these comments mean nothing. I have been a teamster for over 45 years. Most of the time when a driver is dispatched, he is late before he leaves the terminal. Remember your freight and food is driven at the last point, to the stores and factories by a Truck. Be careful what you ask for, you might get it. Fuel needs to go way down, because you as consumers will pay for fuel in the end. BOB
        CMoo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Bobby
        You have been part of the problem for 45 years then.
      gwwh
      • 2 Years Ago
      these numbers add up to over 100%. pretty good trick. this article is so typical of people who have no idea what they are talking about. the "trucking" industry is not 1 business & shouldn't be thought of that way! a carpenter, an othopedic surgeon and lumberjack all use saws. THEY ARE NOT IN THE SAME BUSINESS!!!!!!!!!
        leftlaneglen
        • 2 Years Ago
        @gwwh
        It does not matter what you are hauling if it is in a truck, then it is the trucking industry. Yes, the number add up to that much when fuel is this high. At the best it cost $1.25 to $1.30 a mile. Rates on freight have not gone up in years. Why do you think so many small trucking companies have gone out of business? You may get a load for $1.50 a mile going to the west cost but can only find a load paying $0.95 going back east. My husband and I are lucky. We work in a specialized area of trucking and our bosses company continues to grow. He is lead driver and sometimes we have 20 trucks with us and it is my job to run these trucks as safely and cheaply as possible. Believe me I know running the roads of America better han 98 percent. I am not trying to sound smart. I learn somrthing everyday. I am just old and have been doing this way to long.
          leftlaneglen
          • 2 Years Ago
          @leftlaneglen
          I guess spelling is not something I learn everyday.
        geoedavis
        • 2 Years Ago
        @gwwh
        If a Carpenter and a Lumber Jack use the saw improperly then they could be considered in the same business as Surgeon.
      carl4369@aOL.COM
      • 2 Years Ago
      they forgot the trumped up fines and gov regulation bullshit imposed on the trucking industry that they rob from,
        micden3668
        • 2 Years Ago
        @carl4369@aOL.COM
        You got that right Carl. Like the one about you're allowed to pull a trailer thats 53 feet and thats legal but if you have the axles spread apart over 41 feet then you're over length. And that's even with an empty trailer.Why are the tires illegal at say 42 feet but not the overhang on the rest of the trailer. $218 dollar fine in Tn.
    • Load More Comments