How Much Do Truck Drivers Make In Ontario With An AZ License - Tri-County Training
How Much Do Truck Drivers Make Feature

How Much Do Truck Drivers Make In Ontario With An AZ License

How much do truck drivers make? It’s not a simple answer, but we’ll break it all down for you and show you what to expect in your first year as a truck driver with an AZ license in Ontario.

Not long ago, we sat down with three of Ontario’s top trucking companies to find out what a new truck driver can expect in their first year. During our conversation, we asked them how much do truck drivers make in their first year. The short answer we got was…

Between $45,000 and $55,000 a year.


It could be less. It could be more. It really depends. Depends on what? That’s what we’ll look at right now. But first, you need to know…

Time Is Money When Figuring Out How Much Truck Drivers Make

“If the wheels aren’t turning, I ain’t earning.”

It’s the mantra of every long-haul trucker.

How much you make as a long haul truck driver depends on how far you can travel in the time you have each day.

For many people coming from hourly pay jobs like construction and factory work, this can be a sobering fact. When you’re paid by the hour, you’re used to set 15-minute breaks, a half-hour for lunch at the same time, and you know that your day will be, for the most part, 8-hours long.

Not so with trucking.

In a way, trucking is like being paid on commission, and kilometres are your product. The more k’s you rack up in a day, the more pay in your pocket.

This is good news for you, the new truck driver. Here’s why…

Skills To Pay The Bills

Trucking is a skill like anything else. With experience, you get better and more efficient at it.

In your second year, you can expect to cover more ground, and make more money than the first, simply because you’ll be better at planning, loading, unloading, and managing your time.

Okay, now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s get down to it. Let’s answer your big question…

How Much Do Truck Drivers Make Right Out Of School?

Once you’ve graduated from a truck driving school with your AZ license, and found your first truck driving job, you’ll go through an orientation process with your new company.

During this orientation period, you’ll be paid on an hourly basis. The amount you earn varies from company to company, with the range being $12.50 – $17.00 per hour for orientation or in-class training.

How Much Do Truck Drivers Make During Training?

Once you’ve completed the orientation, you’ll enter into an in-house training program. Even though you’ve just completed your AZ license course, most companies require you to complete their own training program.

This training period can vary from 8-10 weeks. The type of driving you do will depend on the company but you can expect to make a little more per hour than the orientation period.

Expect to earn between $13.50 and $18.00 per hour for your training period. Again, how much you make depends on the company, and the type of driving you’ll be doing during your training.

How Much Do Truck Drivers Make After The Training Is Complete?

With your training period done, it’s time to start earning like money like a professional truck driver.

As a long-haul truck driver – driving routes that aren’t local – you’ll get paid in two ways:

  • Per mile
  • For sitting still

The real money in trucking is made when your wheels are turning. Expect to earn between $0.36 and $0.49 per mile driven.

For times when you sit still, performing pickups, drops, switches or waiting at the border to clear customs, expect to be paid a flat rate ranging from $10.00 per hour, all the way up to $18.00 per hour, depending on the company.

Other Ways To Earn Money As A Truck Driver

In addition to your regular earnings, there are other ways for you to earn money as a first-year truck driver:

Signing bonuses. Like a sports star, you’re services are in high demand. Some companies are willing to pay extra for good truck drivers in the form of a signing bonus. Even if it’s not clearly advertised, it is something you can negotiate. It never hurts to ask.

Safe driving bonus. In the trucking industry, two things reign supreme and most companies will tell you that safety is #1. They back this up too with safe driving bonuses.

Efficiency bonuses. The second thing truck driving companies covet is efficiency. Driving safely and conservatively will help you save on fuel. With fuel being as expensive as it is, a small increase in driving efficiency can save a company millions of dollars. And many companies are willing to pay out bonuses to drivers who consistently drive efficiently.

Kriska, for example, draws a name from a pool of all qualifying drivers to win $500.

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I hope we’ve helped answer the question “How much do truck drivers make?” If you have any other questions about getting your AZ license and becoming a truck driver, don’t hesitate to contact us.