What is the Real Cost of Operating a Commercial Truck in the USA?

Posted on March 7th, by Ted Hogan in Trucking News. Comments Off on What is the Real Cost of Operating a Commercial Truck in the USA?

Truck stops sell more coffee than convenience stores. The average commercial truck driver spends more than $0.004 per mile on coffee, resulting in over $600 a year on coffee per industry driver according to  The Truckers Report.

Cost of Operating a Commercial Truck Per Mile

The Real Cost of Trucking

$1.38 The average per mile operating cost for the trucking industry

$180,000 The average total yearly cost of operating a commercial truck

The largest operating expense is diesel fuel. A commercial truck can easily consume more than $70,000 of diesel fuel per year.

Driver Salary is the second largest operating cost. Standard commercial truck driver salaries are based on the distance driven, per mile. Although drivers spend a fair amount of time in docks and traffic, their operating costs are only derived from miles traveled. 26% of overall expenses ($0.36 per mile)

Repairs & Maintenance – issues with air line/hoses, alternators, wiring, and brakes are all common in commercial trucks, and can cost $15,000 annually ($0.12 per mile)

Insurance – There are more than 9 different types of insurance policies for the industry. Multiple insurance policies can cause coverages to cost over $6,500 a year ($0.05 per mile)

Tires – Retreading is less expensive than new tires and is a large portion of this cost. Although mere pennies per mile, an average tire can cost over $250 and annual tire expenses can exceed $4,000 ($0.03 per mile), enough to purchase 16 new tires annually, but still not enough to replace every tire of an 18-wheeler.

Permits, Licenses, and Tolls – Required permits and licenses for the industry and equipment, as well as continuous travel on toll roads, are cause for this expense $3,600 annually ($0.02 per mile)

There are additional expenses that are harder to quantify on a per mile basis, such as the expense of finding loads, either by paying commission or salary to a dispatcher, or using freight matching services. Other expenses, such as freight factoring services that help trucking companies receive faster payment on invoicing, are only used by some trucking companies.

Trucking Infographics by TruckersReport

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What is the Real Cost of Operating a Commercial Truck in the USA?

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