L o a d i n g

Negotiating Truck Driver Pay

Jul 08, 2022

Are you negotiating your job offers? The truth is many candidates are leaving money on the table because they are afraid to or don't know how to negotiate truck driver pay. However, companies have a salary range for each position that is sometimes more than the rate listed online. After all, you're a hard worker who deserves fair benefits and wages! We have put together tools to help you navigate the process of truck driver negotiation to help you receive your max earning potential.

Common Negotiation Mistakes for Truck Driver Pay

Lack of Research

This goes for any job, but for truck drivers specifically, you need to know the going rate for jobs to see if you are being offered a fair deal. Interview with more than one company to see how the trucker pay ranges compare. Conducting research will prevent you from accepting a position without knowing if it is a fair deal or not.

Searching online will also give you a better idea of what other drivers are being paid in your area and your state's average. Don't focus on only dollar amounts either; benefits are just as essential and can be the difference between taking a job that pays less with great benefits and a job that pays more with none. Understanding the cost value of any offered benefits can help you make an informed decision.

Premature Negotiation

Don't make the mistake of negotiating until you have been offered a job and a salary/rate. When you voice our pay expectations first, you are giving the employer the insight to offer you something that you are comfortable with, even if they have a bigger budget in mind for the trucking position.

If they ask about your salary expectations before an official offer has been written, ask them what their budget is. You will need to look over salary trends and truck driver pay after fully understanding the criteria for the job before getting back to them.

Negotiating Against Yourself

Once you have been offered the job, do your market research, and have a number in mind that you are comfortable with, submit your counter offer and wait for a response. This is not the time to second guess yourself and submit a counter offer to your counter offer.

Be firm and build your case. After researching salary trends, build your case in your counter offer for why you are asking for more money. Include factors like driving experience, previous truck driver pay, endorsements, and offers from other positions if you have them to justify what you are asking for.

Truck Driver Salary

Now that you have the tools to negotiate let’s take a look at truck driver salaries so you know what range you should be negotiating for. Truck drivers can get paid in a multitude of different ways including, per mile, salary, per hour, etc. The type of pay structure that you receive is likely related to what type of driver you are. Here we have broken down pay ranges for OTR, local, and flatbed drivers.

While tanker, HazMat, ice road, owner/operators, and oversized load haulers are the highest-paid truck driving jobs, these are some of the most common positions that you will need to negotiate for.


The average salary of OTR drivers is $64,000 in the United States, with the bottom 10% making $44,000 per year and the highest 10% making $94,000 per year. The average hourly pay is $31.09.

Local -

$56,000 is the average salary of local truck drivers in the U.S. The bottom 10% make roughly $39,000 and the highest-paid earn around $82,000. The average hourly pay is $27.28.

Flatbed -

Flatbed truck drivers earn an average of $61,000 in the U.S, with the highest-paid drivers earning $91,000 and the lowest-paid earning $40,000.


Negotiating can sound like a daunting task, but by avoiding these three common negotiation mistakes and remaining polite and grateful for the offer that you have received, you should have no issue starting the conversation for higher pay, benefits, home time, PTO, and Holidays. Be sure to research how much similar positions in your area are going for so you can enter the negotiation knowledgeable of what is a fair deal. Happy Negotiating!

Posted: Jul 08, 2022

Edited: Jul 12, 2022

More from the Money Blog

7/22/2022 4:29:17 PM



A Truck Driver Discount and Rewards Guide

7/8/2022 2:01:23 AM



Your guide to negotiating truck driver pay

3/11/2022 12:00:00 AM



A truckers tax guide: eleven deductions to save you money

12/30/2021 12:00:00 AM



Take a look at the top truck driver goals for 2022

10/8/2021 2:38:41 PM



Here's how you can grab a budget-friendly meal from truck stops.

10/4/2021 12:00:00 AM



Get 5 truck driver money saving tips to put more money in your wallet.

10/8/2021 2:34:43 PM



Take these 3 simple steps to save money while trucking.

10/8/2021 2:33:10 PM



Easy steps to create a budget & save money as a trucker.

10/11/2021 12:00:00 AM



Find financial advice for truckers on how to pay bills when not at home.

More Blogs