The Real Cost of
Operating a Truck

I came across an interesting infographic about the "Real Cost of Trucking" from The Truckers Report. The site is a great source of information mainly aimed at truck drivers or those who are thinking about becoming truck drivers. Their goal is to help students and prospective drivers set realistic expectations and a realistic view of the profession.

As with any analysis, there are several points you should consider when asking the question, "Can I rely on this information?"

  • ⦁    What is the source of the information?
  • ⦁    How reliable is it?
  • ⦁    What motives does the source have?
  • ⦁    How skilled is the analyst?
  • ⦁    What are the motives of the analyst?

Look to the bottom of the graphic:  in very light gray print is the list of the sources.

  • ⦁  A information aggregation site/portal about trucking, in business since 1995
  • ⦁  The Federal Highway Administration - Part of the Department of Transportation
  • ⦁  Bureau of Labor Statistics - Part of the Department of Commerce
  • ⦁  Self reference
  • ⦁ (incorrect—it is actually  Part of the American Trucking Association
  • ⦁  reported to be an independent forum of trucking issues for commercial drivers

Look over the information here and apply those five questions to the information provided below. I know that there are a few points that I would challenge as potentially inaccurate, or perhaps marginal. Think of the cost of fuel per mile as one example. At $4.00 per gallon for ULSD at the pump, and 7 MPG, the cost of fuel is $0.57 per mile—not the $0.54 listed at the bottom of the page. How much do state taxes affect the costs? Well, that varies by state. As many truckers know, it is better to fuel from the pump in New Jersey or Virginia than in Pennsylvania or New York.

So what else do you see in this information chart that is not quite right? (Click to expand)



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