Truck driving is among the most popular professions in the United States and other parts of the world. Basically, all common goods are available for purchase depending on truck drivers transporting those goods from the manufacturer to shelves. This has led some to wonder, just how many miles do truck drivers drive in a day?
Truck drivers drive an average of 650 miles a day. This is the most that you can expect for a truck driver to be able to travel during their allotted eleven-hour shift. There are several other factors that can play into this milage estimate, including driving limits, loading, and unloading time, and the weather during the traveling process.
This guide will provide you with more information regarding the factors that influence this average mileage estimate.
How Many Hours Are Truck Drivers Allowed To Drive In A Day?
Truck drivers are only allowed to be actively driving for a maximum of eleven hours a day. This driving limit will heavily influence the number of total miles that a truck driver can travel in a day. These restrictions have been set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in an effort to ensure safer driving conditions for everyone on the road.
In optimal conditions, a truck driver can travel up to 650 miles safely in this amount of time. There are several other time restrictions and specifications that must be followed that can influence the number of miles a truck driver can travel in a day.
The table below contains the restriction information and what they entail for the truck drivers who must follow them.
|Driving Limit||Required Off-Time|
|8 hours||30 minutes|
|11 hours||10 hours|
|14 hours||10 hours|
|70 hours/week||34 hours|
How Speed Affects How Many Miles A Truck Driver Can Drive In A Day
The average speed of the truck driver can seriously influence the overall amount of miles that can be traveled in one day. The average speed a truck driver travels is 65 miles per hour. At this speed, truck drivers can travel an average of 650 miles a day.
That being said, more sensitive loads can call for reduced speed. There are also time-sensitive loads that could call for driving faster than 65 miles per hour. These speed factors can play into the overall distance that a truck driver can travel in one day.
The table below contains information regarding the average daily mileage a truck driver can get at the respective speed.
|Speed||Miles Per Day|
|55 miles per hour||575|
|65 miles per hour||650|
|75 miles per hour||745|
Other Factors That Affect How Many Miles A Truck Driver Can Drive In A Day
Other factors that can influence a driver’s total mileage are loading and unloading time, speed limit, weather, and traffic. All of these will heavily influence the overall driving time that a truck driver has available to them.
Available driving time will dictate the number of miles possible in a day. The next part of this guide will break down these factors in detail so you can better understand how they affect a truck driver’s total mileage.
Loading and Unloading Times
This is the most influential factor in the number of miles a truck driver will actually be able to travel in a day. While it is possible to estimate the time it will take to load and unload a shipment, there are often mitigating circumstances that can cause delays in the process.
When this happens, it can cut into the fourteen-hour workday restriction that truck drivers must adhere to. While the eleven-hour limitation applies to driving only, the fourteen-hour workday limit applies to all work-related activities that the truck driver must carry out.
Some loading and unloading times can reach upwards of several hours, which will severely cut down on the amount of driving time that will be available to the truck driver. The table below contains average loading times and how much they will affect the overall amount of miles driven for one day.
|Loading/Unloading Time Incurred||Adjusted Avg. Daily Miles Traveled|
Weather is another key factor that can determine the overall mileage a truck driver can travel in one day. In some cases, if the weather is severe enough, truck drivers will be directed by their company to cease driving operations and stay put until the inclement weather is over.
Truck drivers can expect severe rain and snowstorms to delay their travels by several hours for up to a few days. That being said, the weather will have to get pretty extreme for truck drivers to completely stop traveling.
Speed Limit And Traffic
The road conditions are another major factor in how many miles a truck driver can drive in a day. Truck drivers will be subject to the speed limit and traffic conditions of their travel path. Traffic delays can cause major delays, which can result in losing several hours of travel time.
The speed limit will dictate whether a truck driver can achieve the optimal 75-mile-per-hour speed to achieve the maximum amount of mileage. While truck drivers can get used to the speed limits of the routes they travel, it is extremely difficult to predict the traffic conditions at any given time.
Best Trucks For Truck Drivers For Maximum Mileage
If you are a truck driver interested in purchasing your own truck, the three best brands to consider are Freightliner, Peterbilt, and Kenworth. All of these brands manufacture trucks that have above-average gas mileage and driving features centered around fuel optimization
You can purchase your own truck for CDL driving purposes for an average cost of around $145,000. This can seem expensive but you will save money over time since you will no longer have to rent trucks to transport goods for your employer.
The table below contains some of the most popular models offered by these brands and how they compare on gas mileage. You can use this information to help you decide if purchasing your own truck for CDL driving is right for you.
|Make||Model||Price||Avg. Miles Per Gallon|
This guide has provided you with all of the information you need to better understand the average daily miles that a truck driver can drive. There are several factors that play into the daily miles a truck driver can travel, including loading and unloading time, weather, and traffic conditions.
The driving limit restrictions also play a key role in determining how many miles are allowable. These limitations are put in place to ensure that the roads are safe for both truck drivers and others traveling.
If you are considering purchasing your own truck for CDL driving purposes, then you can use the table of popular makes and models that have been optimized for fuel economy. This can help you decide if purchasing your own truck is the right decision for you, as well as what is the best option for your particular needs.
I’m William Guzenski, ASE certified master automobile technician & automotive expert. I love to attend race events and car shows throughout the country. I also loves to travel 40-foot motorhome, exploring abandoned mines and ghost towns. I’m currently building another car for Bonneville Salt Flats and will be campaigning a drag car at several events.