How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Truck Driver in Canada?

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The trucking industry is completely tied into the Canadian economy, and a vital component for the success of other industries. And while almost every industry needs trucking (and truckers), some companies are reluctant to increase salaries or add benefits to improve driver retention. That is a mistake. They should instead be looking more closely at the big picture.

The experts at our truck driving agency have their finger on the pulse when it comes to transportation, logistics and supply chain industries. Below is some helpful information, statistics and industry news to facilitate more educated decisions when hiring trucking staff.

How Much Do Truck Drivers Charge per Hour?

The average cost per hour for a truck driver in Canada is approximately $45,000 per year or $23 per hour. Entry-level positions are for drivers with less than two years experience, and they tend to start lower, around $30,000 per year. Experienced drivers can make up to $80,000 per year.

Note: Salary statistics are dependent on the reported salaries, and salaries will vary according to experience, region, and job titles.

In an industry struggling to meet the demand for more drivers, shouldn’t employers increase wages or offer incentives to attract more people to enter this workforce?

Does Paying Truck Drivers More Make Sense in Canada?

According to, “Trucking and logistics has a 6.6% vacancy rate, one of the highest across all industries and more than double the national average of 3.2%. This is despite the fact that the driver workforce, which is approximately 318,000 people, is at a five-year high. Studies suggest that there are more than 20,000 vacant driver positions today.”

While it might seem like increasing driver wages is a cost you can’t afford, think of it this way: if more trucks are built, and more orders are made, but shipments are waiting to be picked up from warehouses, and there are no drivers to make the deliveries, you’re actually losing money. 

Drivers are the lifeblood of the transportation industry. They’re the ones who keep business moving. In this context, signing up with companies like Truckker makes perfect sense, whether you’re a driver looking for work or a company that needs help filling truck drivers jobs.

Ways to Increase Drivers’ Pay

Depending on the carrier, drivers are either paid hourly or by mileage. But that does not apply to every type of truck driver. For example, delivery drivers don’t get paid when they’re not delivering. 

Hiring a truck driver to be a driver trainer or to haul oversize freight and hazardous materials are other ways to increase their salary. Employers could offer a percentage of each load run as a bonus or incentive. But beyond different tactics, it’s essential to recognize that drivers are doing more than ever before and an increase in compensation is an appropriate acknowledgement of their increased responsibilities.

‍Responsibilities Beyond Driving

There’s so much more now to driving a truck than there used to be. While some technological advancements ultimately help truck drivers and carriers save time and money, there’s still a learning curve to master these technologies and more hoops to jump through for drivers to get loads to their final destination. 

Truck drivers now must learn to use Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs), apply for Free And Secure Trade (FAST) cards, and put in longer run times, up from even five years ago.

Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs)

Carriers must now comply with a mandate to use ELDs, which are used to track a driver’s hours-of-service (HOS). They also help streamline workflow and communication. Connected to a truck’s engine control module (ECM), an ELD is hardware that tracks HOS compliance and transfers stored information to dispatch or DOT/MTO officers during inspections. ELDs store driving information in an unalterable, standardized format. 

Proper use of an ELD benefits drivers by improving downtime, and it enables quicker roadside inspections by Multimodal Transport Operator (MTO) officers. The faster and more efficient drivers can deliver their freight, the more cost savings can be passed on to customers. 

And companies that have already integrated ELDs into their systems are seeing increased driver retention, improved road safety, and decreased violations, which all contribute to even more cost savings.

Free And Secure Trade (FAST) Cards

Truck drivers who cross the American border for work can apply for a FAST Card. It’s an identity document that allows drivers and their trucks to be pre-cleared for customs when crossing the Canada-US borders. It’s for American or Canadian citizens, as well as permanent residents of either country. The card gives drivers access to special lanes at certain border crossings.

Hours of Service (HOS)

A truck driver’s days aren’t the typical 9-5. Many drivers are expected to work up to 70 hours over an eight-day period. While setting their own schedule is common for long-distance Over-the-Road (OTR) drivers, many delivery drivers must put the time in during morning and evening rush hours. 

Drivers are only human, so once we cap how long someone can spend behind the wheel daily (11 hours max.) and how long they need to rest before driving again (10 hours min.), how can we add value to their time and compensate them fairly? It’s a problem the industry will have to figure out and fast if we want to keep pace with the demand for more drivers. 

Reduce Driver Turnover with Truckker’s Recruitment

Employers may see increasing driver salaries or wages as additional costs, but it’s really an investment. The cost of driver turnover is higher than the added incentives businesses should provide drivers to keep the trucking industry going. 

The better you pay your drivers, the more likely they’ll stay with the company, reducing turnover and increases productivity. The more drivers you have, the more orders you’ll be able to fulfill, ultimately growing your business. 

Truckker job-matching software and recruiters improve the search for experienced personnel. Our recruiters vet candidates, reviewing their background and qualifications while comparing them to a company’s job criteria. We ensure that you hire drivers that know how to get the job done on time and with ease. 

Sign up for your free Truckker profile to find truck drivers for hire!

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