How Much Does a Semi-truck Cost?

Anyone who has shopped for a new car knows that the advertised price is rarely the only cost involved. The same is true for semi-trucks. This article will explore the costs and earnings of owning a semi-truck.


How Much Does an 18-Wheeler Cost?

The cost of an 18-wheeler depends on several factors, such as whether you are buying a new or used truck, the make and model of the truck, and any additional features you might want. A new semi-truck can cost anywhere from $40,000 to $120,000, with other features and options that can increase the price. For example, a sleeper cab can add $5,000 to $10,000 to the cost of a new semi. Other popular options include automatic transmissions, air ride suspensions, and air conditioning.

However, a used truck typically costs between $45,000 and $100,000, while new trucks can cost about $125,000 to $150,000, depending on the make and model. Those who want a top-of-the-line truck with all the bells and whistles can expect to pay closer to the higher end of that range. However, a great deal on a used truck can be found for those willing to sacrifice some luxury for a lower price tag. Researching and understanding all the costs involved is essential before deciding on a major purchase.

How Much Money Can You Make With a Semi-truck?

The amount of money you can make as a truck driver with a semi-truck depends on various factors, such as the company you work for, your experience level, and the type of freight you are hauling. Truck drivers expect to earn anywhere from $30,000 to $100,000 annually. However, the average salary for a truck driver is closer to $45,000 to $50,000. It is crucial to note that this is a rough estimate, and your earnings will depend on the abovementioned factors. To get a better idea of what to expect based on personal experience, it is best to speak with someone already in the industry.

Is Owning a Semi-truck Profitable?

The upfront cost of buying a semi-truck may be daunting, but the profit potential is significant. On average, an owner-operator can earn a take-home pay of $2,000 to $5,000 per week, while an investor can expect a return of $500 to $2,000 per truck per week. The amount of earnings will vary depending on factors such as the type of freight being hauled; the distance traveled, and the current state of the economy. Nevertheless, owning a semi-truck can be highly profitable for those with the capital to invest and the willingness to work hard.

How Much Can Semi-Truck Owners Make Annually?

Semi-truck owner-operators can earn anywhere from $72,000 to $196,000 annually, with top earners making up to $330,000 annually. The earnings potential of a semi-truck owner-operator is influenced by various factors, including the type of equipment they use, their experience level, and their employment status. Self-employed people are responsible for finding their loads and arranging their financing. At the same time, those who work for trucking companies are typically given a set route and schedule. Some owner-operators lease their trucks from trucking companies, while others own their vehicles outright.

Effect of Equipment on Earnings Potential

The type of equipment that an owner-operator uses can also impact their earnings potential. For instance, refrigerated trailers often command higher rates than those haul dry goods. Ultimately, the amount of money a semi-truck owner-operator makes depends on several factors.

How Do Owner-operators Get Paid?

Owner-operators can get paid in three different ways. They can take a percentage of the load’s total revenue, which ranges from 25% to 85%. This provides a relatively stable income, but it does not consider how far the driver has to travel. The second way is by mileage, where they are paid a fixed amount per mile regardless of the load’s value. This method can benefit drivers hauling high-value loads over long distances, but it can be unpredictable. The third method combines percentage and mileage pay, which is helpful for low-value loads. Owner-operators must decide which payment method works best for them based on what they are hauling, how far they travel, and personal preferences.

Considerations for Owning a Semi-truck

Owning a semi-truck can be profitable, but it is essential to understand the cost of ownership. The average cost of owning a semi-truck is between $100,000 and $200,000, including the purchase price, necessary repairs and maintenance, fuel, insurance, and licenses. With all these expenses taken into account, it’s crucial to determine if owning a semi-truck is the right decision.


Semi-truck owner-operators can make a good living, with some earning a significant amount annually. The earning potential is influenced by various factors, including the type of equipment used and the payment method chosen. It is also essential to understand the cost of ownership, including purchase price, repairs, maintenance, fuel, insurance, and licenses. By considering all these factors, one can determine whether owning a semi-truck is a viable option for them.

About the author, Laurence Perkins

Laurence Perkins is the passionate car enthusiast behind the blog My Auto Machine. With over a decade of experience in the automotive industry, Perkins has knowledge and experience with a wide range of car makes and models. His particular interests lie in performance and modification, and his blog covers these topics in-depth. In addition to his own blog, Perkins is a respected voice in the automotive community and writes for various automotive publications. His insights and opinions on cars are highly sought-after.