In the world of trucking, it’s difficult to speak about an average flatbed truck driver salary. The range of compensation varies greatly depending on the hauling type, the driver's qualifications, the location, and many other factors. As a result, when looking for a job, you should consider all these factors in order to arrive at the approximate amount you may receive. However, the two factors affecting rates the most are the hauling type and location. Today, we will try to answer the question, “How much do flatbed truck drivers make?”
- What Are the Average Flatbed Rates?
- What Is a Flatbed Truck Driver Salary by Related Titles?
- What Are the Highest-Paying States for Flatbed Truck Drivers?
- What Are the Highest-Paying Cities for Flatbed Truck Drivers?
What Are the Average Flatbed Rates?
Flatbed Truck Driver Salaries in Numbers
Flatbed trucking salaries in the United States typically range from $54,671 to $70,662 annually, as reported by Salary.com. These figures are derived from the standard flatbed rate of approximately 55 cents per mile.
It should be noted that large and trustworthy companies do not normally give specific CPM rates, sticking to yearly or monthly amounts instead. That is why all CPM rates in this article are based on an average of 50 weeks of driving per year with 2,300 miles per week.
However, this is just an approximation. The actual flatbed driver salary ranges from $41,000 at entry-level to $92,000 for top professionals, who are able to carry the most complex loads on a flatbed trailer. It also might depend on whether a driver works solo or in a team or whether he has his own truck and trailer. Rates might also greatly vary from state to state. You can read more about this below.
What Is a Flatbed Truck Driver Salary by Related Titles?
Even within the highlighted range, salary prospects can differ depending on job complexity. Below are the rates broken down into categories for you to grasp the general idea.
How Much Is an OTR Flatbed Driver Salary?
According to ZipRecruiter, the average yearly income for OTR (Over-the-Road) flatbed drivers is slightly higher than the general flatbed driver salary, sitting at around $97,245. This salary is based on an average rate of 55 cents per mile. Beginners in this field can earn up to $31,500 annually, assuming they cover an average of 2300 miles each week. On the other hand, the top 10% of seasoned drivers can earn as much as $140,000 per year. The starting salary and the difference between entry-level and top-tier earnings are notably substantial, indicating that drivers can expect a considerable salary increase as they gain more experience over the years.
How Much Is a Local Flatbed Truck Driver Salary?
Drivers in this category typically earn about $1,258 per week, which equates to an annual salary of around $65,405. In certain companies, the base weekly pay for these positions can range between $1,500 and $1,700. Unlike many other driving jobs, several companies do not set a fixed weekly mileage for flatbed truck drivers. As a result, their compensation is often calculated based on the number of hours worked rather than on a cents per mile (CPM) basis.
How Much Is a Solo Flatbed Truck Driver Salary?
Looking at the pure rates, solo drivers get less than team drivers. Their salaries are tied directly to the CPM rate, with the most common flatbed driver pay per mile around 65 cents. However, their actual salaries can be higher than that. The secret behind this lies with the additional bonuses. Respectable companies who understand the tricky character of the job usually cover empty miles, detentions, extra stops, and layovers. All those bonuses are typically listed in job offers.
How Much Is a Team Flatbed Truck Driver Salary?
The compensation for team flatbed drivers is typically calculated for the team as a whole. Recent figures from ZipRecruiter.com indicate that the average pay for such teams is about $1,736 weekly, or $90,312 annually, which corresponds to an average rate of 75 cents per mile (CPM). Some companies, like HMD, offer a higher rate of 77 CPM. For instance, a team working for HMD can earn approximately $4,000 per week, breaking down to $2,000 per week for each driver. This includes additional benefits such as load pay and a safety productivity bonus of +5 CPM. When selecting a company to work for, it's crucial to carefully consider these extra payments and bonuses, as they can account for more than 10% of your total earnings.
How Much Is a Flatbed Company Driver Salary?
After analyzing around a dozen offers at Glassdoor.com we concluded that a company driver makes 50-60 CPM on average. This basically coincides with the results obtained by Indeed.com, giving even a wider range of 40-64 CPM.
The figure is generally lower than that for an owner operator. That is a national tendency. However, do not forget that they have to allocate a significant amount of money for the costs of running the business and truck maintenance. The salaries of company workers greatly depend on the type of work they do. All those types are outlined above, so you can check the figures once again and think of the best pay-to-effort ratio for you.
How Much Is a Flatbed Owner Operator Salary?
ZipRecruiter.com reports that the annual earnings for an owner-operator in the trucking industry can reach as high as $294,048. The standard cents per mile (CPM) rate for these professionals averages at $1.40. In addition to this, owner-operators often receive a fuel surcharge, which serves as extra compensation to help offset the costs of rising fuel prices. For instance, at HMD, owner-operators are compensated at a rate of $1.50 plus a fuel surcharge (FSC) of 45 CPM, along with a safety/productivity bonus of 10 CPM.
Their hourly pay rate is approximately $141, translating to a monthly income of about $24,504. The salary range for flatbed owner-operators varies significantly based on experience. It can start at around $92,000 annually for those new to the field and go up to $351,000 per year for highly experienced drivers.
The compensation rates for drivers are influenced by several factors, including the type of hauling, their experience, and notably, their location. According to Talent.com the states with the highest pay for drivers are Wyoming, Rhode Island, and Vermont, where the average annual salary is around $96,200. Idaho also offers competitive pay, with an average annual income of $93,050 as reported by Zippia.com.
In contrast, other states like South Dakota, Illinois, Delaware, Massachusetts, and Arkansas have a lower average income for freight truckers, typically around $75,000, with only minor variations between these states. This data also comes from sources like Talent.com and Zippia.com. On the lower end of the spectrum, South Carolina has some of the least lucrative rates for truckers, where the average salary is approximately $56,267 for similar work, as indicated by Zippia.com. This highlights the significant impact that geographic location can have on a trucker's earning potential.
What Are the Highest-Paying Cities for Flatbed Truck Drivers?
A city can also affect the final amount you put in your pocket. Zippia.com gives the top five cities that offer the best-paying opportunities for dedicated drivers:
- Montana ($73,174);
- Connecticut ($69,259);
- District of Columbia ($68,879);
- Rhode Island ($68,627);
- Wyoming ($68,387).
So if you are blessed to be a resident of one of these cities or would not mind moving there, you can find better career prospects and more attractive figures in the bill. Sometimes, the change in location can result in a significant income increase and become a strong impetus for your career. If you really like driving but you are not satisfied with your current employer, do not be afraid to consider this option.
So, like in any other driving job, the rates for flatbed truck driving differ depending on the location, driver title, and qualifications. The best thing you can do before applying for a job is to conduct a little research of your own and decide for yourself whether you are ready to change your place of residence for higher pay. Trucking companies are abundant, however we suggest checking out HMD Trucking, which offers above-average compensation always paid on time, while letting you maintain a healthy work-life balance with ample hometime. If you want to become a flatbed truck driver, then we recommend that you read our article on the pros and cons of flatbed trucking.
Working with HMD, you will be making as much as:
- Solo: 65 CPM
- Team: 77 CPM
- +5 CPM safety productivity bonus
- Health, dental, vision, 401k, paid time off
- Load pay for tarping or just securing
- Orientation, clean inspection pay, and referral bonus.
There is a lease purchase option available with multiple down payment options including 0 (zero) down, and you can also join our company as an owner operator with your own truck and trailer.
Feel free to contact us for any details!
On long trips, truckers need to somehow pass the time. To do this, we advise you to study our article on the best trucking songs, in which you will find a playlist on Spotify.