Truck owner operators make more than average payroll person, because they have choice to rock it hard and make more money. Means it depends on how much money they need, they can make. How they do it all- running more miles, staying away from home for a longer period of time, having no benefit plans, type of work they do and keep driving despite weather and road conditions. Now a days average owner operator pay is 1.55 cents per mile for dry van owner operators. So if they run 12000 miles a month (12000 miles is 1000 km every day for five days a week) they will have 18600 per month gross.
How much they take home after all expenses, here is a little explanation on average monthly basis.
Per month earnings = 18600(1.55 cents per mile and 12000 miles a month).
Fuel expenses = 5000(average 2.5 miles per liter).
Installments = 2500 (financing a tractor valued 100000 for 5 years).
Meals = 500 (extra meals if you are away from home).
Unexpected expenses = 500(keep it spare per month).
Truck value = 1000 (equipment value decreases as gets older).
So total earnings – total expenses.
18600 – 10500 = 8100 (after this you need to pay the taxes).
You may be take home 8100 if all other expenses are covered by company, like insurance, tolls, plates, bridges, stickers. If you are going to pay all these it averages from 800 to 1500 a month.
So it is all if you continue to drive for whole year despite your personal, health and road conditions. If anything goes wrong your average goes down. As your equipment grow older it needs more fuel to run, more money for maintenance. Some people like home cooked food only, someone may not be able to eat outside due to religious beliefs. Eating outside may be unhealthy also will create health problems for you. Still more points to consider are home sickness, unexpected layovers,and road and weather conditions, etc.
Trucking is getting harder as fuel expenses are increasing day by day, more over there is lots of competition in trucking companies to grab contracts. So whoever quotes minimum, gets the contract. If a trucking company picked up on lowest rate how they going to pay more their owner operators.