Life and Family

Doing Your Job

What Trucking firms pay in US $ for Canadian owner-operators or drivers?

The question you should be asking here, Chris, is why don’t Canadian carriers pay their U.S.-bound owner-operators in American dollars, or the Canadian equivalent. Getting a cheque in U.S. dollars isn’t any advantage unless the rate paid to you is the same as the rate paid to an American owner-operator or driver.

J.B. Hunt, for example, pays up to 41¢ a mile for experienced drivers. That’s 41 cents U.S., which equals about 63¢ a mile in Canadian funds. So the question that you should be asking is why Canadian carriers don’t pay the same rate to Canadian drivers for similar loads.

The same applies to owner operators. The going rate paid to American lease operators is about 85¢. That’s a buck-thirty, Canadian. Compare that to the going Canadian rate of about $1.10. We still come up short when you consider that some shipper is paying some carrier enough to support a 40-cent driver’s wage, and 85 cents a mile for the owner-operator.

What ever those shippers are paying, it’ll be the same, whether it’s to an American or a Canadian carrier. The rate between Winnipeg and Dallas will be paid to someone, likely in U.S. dollars. The 1300 miles is the same, and whatever the rate is, say $1.60 per mile, is still $2080. Canadian drivers who are paid in Canadian funds are being paid less than their American counterparts to move that load, which might be why Canadians get most of the international freight.

Jim Park