Average annual income and bonus situation of truck drivers in 2021

4 mn read

What is a truck driver?

A truck driver is the job of loading the requested luggage onto the truck at the departure point, driving to the destination, unloading the bags at the designated place, and handing it to the recipient. One driver is responsible for loading, driving, and loading and unloading luggage. There are various types of work depending on baggage, the amount to be carried, the distance traveled, and the truck’s size. If delivery is delayed due to an accident or illness, it will damage the client and related parties, so you must be careful about safe driving and health management.

I investigated the work contents and annual income of such a truck driver.

About the types of truck drivers

  1. Light truck (standard license, 18+ years old and over)
  2. Medium-duty truck (medium-sized permit, 20+ years old or older, ordinary license history of 2 years or more)
  3. Heavy-duty truck (large-sized license, 21+ years old or older, standard license history three years or more)
  4. Trailer (towing license, 18+ years old and over)

Truck drivers are subdivided into light trucks under 4.7 tons, medium trucks under 10 tons, heavy trucks over 11 tons, and trailers towed in conjunction with vehicles such as freight trailers. The compulsory license depends on the size of the truck.

Truck driver’s business

Light-duty trucks are a prevalent occupation because they are intended for trucks weighing less than 5 tons and can be driven with an ordinary driver’s license. In the courier case, the parcel delivered to the collection point by a heavy truck is given to the area in charge by the light truck. If you want to carry a small amount of luggage to a specific location, there is light freight delivery using a light truck.

Medium-duty trucks are for trucks weighing less than 11 tons and require a medium-duty vehicle license. Due to a large amount of transportation, forklifts are used for loading and unloading, so obtaining a four-lift license allows you to work efficiently. Since you carry a lot, you will travel a long distance. When passing through urban areas, we use scheduling in the early morning and at night when there is little traffic, but basically, it is work that can be done on a day trip.

Heavy-duty trucks are for trucks of 11 tons or more and require a heavy-duty vehicle license. Since we often carry large amounts of luggage or large luggage over long distances, we run while sleeping in the truck. Due to the large size of the vehicle, the routes and places where it can be stopped are limited.

Since trailers tow containers with wheels and tank trucks, a towing license is required in addition to a large vehicle license. As with heavy trucks, travel is often long distances.

About the ability required of truck drivers

  • Driving skills
  • Health / physical strength
  • communication ability
  • Calm judgment ability
  • Experience

Driving skills are an essential skill for drivers. It is vital to gain experience through work, not immediately after obtaining a license. The larger the vehicle size, the more advanced driving skills are required.

Health and physical strength are also necessary. I work alone, so if I take a rest due to illness, it will cause great damage to the company. It is crucial always to manage your health. For light truck drivers, loading and unloading of luggage are often carried out by hand, and in the case of courier, it is usually carried on and off to the destination. Many medium- and heavy-duty truck drivers suffer from back pain because they often drive long distances with the same system for a long time. Depending on traffic conditions, you may go early in the morning or late at night, so it is suitable for confident people in their physical strength.

Communication skills may also be required. Since truck drivers drive alone, long-distance drivers tend to have less communication, but touch with the community is essential in courier services.

Finally, calm judgment is important. Depending on the road conditions, such as traffic jams, the schedule often does not go according to plan. It is also vital to change priorities and routes according to the situation flexibly. If you get impatient, it may lead to a traffic accident.

About the average annual income of a truck driver

For light trucks, the truck driver’s annual income can be increased depending on the amount and time of work. In the courier industry, online shopping’s popularity has made the driver shortage severe, and efforts are being made to solve the redelivery problem. The unit price of medium- and heavy-duty trucks is often high, but the amount of work tends to decrease.

According to a 2016 survey by the Transport Labor Union, the average age of light truck drivers is 44.2 years, and the average annual income is 4.8 million.

About bonuses

Unlike ordinary companies, many truck drivers have a commission system, and many companies do not have a bonus system. Bonuses vary depending on the contract and the company, but many companies will not be paid.

About salary increase

Unlike ordinary companies, truck drivers often have a commission system. Also, it can be said that the occupations are equal regardless of age or gender. The salary for working will increase. On the other hand, if you take a rest or cannot get a job, your salary will be reduced. In light trucks, it is possible to take on duties other than the driver and aim for a salary increase.


The type of work, working hours, and salary differ depending on the truck you drive, but it exceeded the average annual income. The seniority system is fading in public companies, but the pay tends to increase with age and truck driving school training.

However, although truck drivers often get a high salary for the younger generation due to the extensive commission system, there are many cases where wages and bonuses are not paid, so comprehensive judgment and comparison are required. It is also essential to consider that your physical fitness becomes narrower as you get older and your income decreases.

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