How Much Money Can I Make?

One of the most common questions Landstar recruiters receive is “How much money can I make leasing to Landstar?” 

First, before specific numbers are discussed, it is important to recognize that incomes vary widely among Landstar owner operators, because each is given the freedom to determine their own day-to-day operations. Landstar is a non-forced dispatch company where drivers pick and choose their own loads, when and where they want to work, and the equipment they drive and pull.

Secondly, Landstar typically offers 20,000 to 30,000 loads each day and the rates per mile posted vary by location, commodity, and equipment required. Because of Landstar's unique environment of total freedom, how much money you can make depends on you, your dedication, your work ethic, and how prudently you run your operation. 

Landstar drivers earning the highest incomes work fulltime, stay out on the road for periods of 1 to 2 weeks hauling to and from lucrative freight regions, and are proactive in utilizing Landstar’s cutting edge load board and load alert system to select high-paying loads shipping out of the same city in which they are about to deliver. 

Landstar Freight Bills (invoices customers receive) for van and non-permitted platform trailer shipments are typically comprised of two components:  Line Haul and Fuel Surcharge. Oftentimes, platform shipments also charge a Tarp Fee

Landstar drivers receive 100% of Fuel Surcharges and Tarp Fees. Fuel Surcharges have varied between $0.42 to $0.50 per mile over the past year. Landstar drivers also have the option of having 100% of the billed fuel surcharges advanced to them prior to picking up the shipment.  Tarp Fees vary from $75.00 to $350.00, depending on the size of the cargo requiring a tarp.

Line Haul charges typically range between $1.40 to $4.00 per mile and vary by location, commodity, and available capacity. Landstar deducts a portion of the line haul charges to support its 1,000 employees, cutting edge load board and load alert technology, agents that sell and book freight, and shareholder profit and equity.

Line Haul settlements paid to drivers vary by whether or not the driver is pulling a Landstar trailer or their own.

Payment percentages vary as follows:

  • 65% of Line Haul revenue goes to drivers pulling Landstar trailers.
  • 72% of Line Haul revenue goes to drivers pulling their own trailers.

Income scenario for Landstar driver pulling a Landstar trailer:

$1,500.00 freight bill invoiced to customer (500 miles x $ 3.00 per mile) 

The freight bill sent to the customer would be itemized as follows:

            $     225.00 Fuel Surcharge ($0.45/mile)

            $  1,275.00 Line Haul ($2.55/mile)

The driver settlement for this freight bill would be:

            $     225.00 Fuel Surcharge, 100% of what is billed.

            $     828.75 Line Haul settlement, 65% of what is billed.

            $  1,053.75  Total revenue paid to driver.

This equates to $ 2.10 per mile paid to the driver.


Income scenario for Landstar driver pulling their own trailer:

$1,500.00 freight bill invoiced to customer (500 miles x $ 3.00 per mile)

The freight bill sent to the customer would be itemized as follows:

            $     225.00 Fuel Surcharge ($0.45/mile)

            $  1,275.00 Line Haul ($2.55/mile)

The driver settlement for this freight bill would be:

            $     225.00 Fuel Surcharge, 100% of what is billed.

            $     918.00 Line Haul settlement, 72% of what is billed.

            $  1,143.00  Total revenue paid to driver.

This equates to $ 2.29 per mile paid to the driver.


Income scenario for Landstar driver pulling their own flatbed trailer and cargo requires tarp:

$1,700.00 freight bill invoiced to customer (500 miles x $ 3.00 per mile, plus tarp fee)

The freight bill sent to the customer would be itemized as follows:

            $     225.00 Fuel Surcharge ($0.45/mile)

            $  1,275.00 Line Haul ($2.55/mile)

            $     200.00 Tarp Charges

The driver settlement for this freight bill would be:

            $     225.00 Fuel Surcharge, 100% of what is billed.

            $     828.75 Line Haul settlement, 65% of what is billed.

            $     200.00 Tarp Charges, 100% of what is billed.

            $  1,253.75  Total revenue paid to driver.

This equates to $ 2.51 per mile paid to the driver.

Again, Landstar driver income varies by workload preferences, day to day choices, and discipline. The most successful Landstar drivers work smart, not hard, and Landstar provides the support staff and technology to help them succeed.  Learn more about Landstar pay and revenue potential. 

If you would like to speak to a Landstar recruiter, click here. If you would like to apply with Landstar, click here.