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Schneider’s Intermodal truck driver pay: Regional vs. Local

Two Intermodal trucks are parked facing each other. The truck on the left is a Regional sleeper truck and the truck on the right is a Local day cab truck.

Pay is one of the most important factors to consider when searching for a job. However, it can be hard to see the whole picture when it comes to truck driver pay because it is usually made up of a variety of elements.

Do you focus on cents per mile? Pay per load? Value of benefits? It all matters and can make it hard to get an idea of exactly how much you’ll earn while driving.

Determining Intermodal truck driver pay can be especially tricky due to the additional differences between Local and Regional Intermodal pay structures.

So, to clear up the confusion around Intermodal driver pay, we’ll take a closer look at Local and Regional pay configurations and show you how much Schneider Intermodal drivers can earn.

Local vs. Regional Intermodal pay

Intermodal drivers are responsible for maneuvering freight in some of the nation’s most congested markets and rail hubs and earn competitive pay to reward their hard work. In fact, top Intermodal drivers at Schneider can earn up to $90,000 a year.

However, the average Intermodal driver income can differ depending if you drive locally or regionally. Pay may also vary based on if drivers take advantage of additional income opportunities, like performance pay.

The following is a comprehensive breakdown of what you can expect to earn as either a Local or Regional Schneider Intermodal driver:

Local Intermodal pay

Local Intermodal truck drivers haul freight to rail yards that are no more than a day’s drive from home. This allows drivers to get home daily. Local Intermodal drivers earn an average annual income of about $67,766.

The list below outlines the factors that impact Local Intermodal driver pay:

  • Load pay:
    • Average load pay: $19-$68 per shipment.
    • Shipments per day: average 2-4, varies by market.
  • Mileage pay:
    • Average length of haul: 77 miles.
  • Performance pay: up to $6 per shipment.
  • Long-haul premium: about $2350 per year
  • Live load/unload pay: about $900 per year.
  • Other pay:
    • Training pay: roughly $130 per year.
    • Detention pay: about $750 per year.
A pie chart titled "Schneider Intermodal Local Driver" breaks down pay by percentages. Salary consists of: 51% load pay, 26% mileage pay, 5% performance pay, 4% long haul premiums, 3% live loads and unloads and 11% other.

Regional Intermodal pay

Regional Intermodal truck drivers primarily haul freight between rail yards in a specific area of the country. These drivers travel farther than Local drivers to deliver freight but stay close enough to home to get back between one and five times each week. Regional Intermodal drivers earn an average of about $71,205 annually.

The list below outlines the factors that impact Regional Intermodal driver pay:

  • Load pay:
    • Average load pay: $40 per shipment.
    • Average shipments per day: 1-2, varies by market.
  • Mileage pay:
    • Average length of haul: 275 miles.
    • Average mileage pay: $0.19-$0.61 cents/mile.
  • Performance pay: up to $0.06 cents per mile.
  • Short-haul premium: about $3610 per year.
  • Live load/unload pay: about $750 per year.
  • Other pay: 
    • Training pay: roughly $155 per year.
    • Detention pay: about $800 per year.
A pie chart titled "Schneider Intermodal Regional Driver" breaks down driver pay. Salary consists of: 72% mileage pay, 10% mileage pay, 6% performance pay, 4% short haul premiums, 1% live loads and unloads and 7% other.

Rates, loads and miles vary by market, so you will need to review the Intermodal driving opportunities near you to view your top pay potential.

Additional Intermodal pay variables to consider

Top-earning drivers make it a priority to work hard and take advantage of any opportunity they can to increase their income. For Intermodal drivers, this means maximizing pay their pay by earning the following forms of additional income:

Performance pay

Performance pay rewards drivers for efficiency and overall safety. Drivers earn higher performance pay through work time compliance, overall days worked, and having no preventable accidents.

Performance pay can either be paid in cents per mile or dollars per load, as shown in the Local and Regional driver pay configurations above. Drivers can learn even more about this pay structure by reading the blog outlining performance pay and automatic pay increases.

Detention pay

Detention pay is designed to compensate drivers for the time spent waiting instead of driving (at no fault of their own). These waiting periods occur when a driver is unable to load or unload their freight in the allotted time due to an issue with the shipper or receiver.

Loading and unloading pay

Although about 98% of Schneider’s Intermodal drivers haul no-touch freight, there may be a rare occasion where drivers are required to load or unload their own freight. These drivers have the opportunity to earn additional pay for loading or unloading freight.

Long and short-haul premiums

Drivers can earn flat-rate long or short-haul premiums by delivering loads either under or over the mileage band set by the market. Local drivers earn a long-haul premium by delivering loads over the set mileage band (example >100 miles) and Regional drivers earn a short-haul premium when they deliver loads that are under the set mileage band (example <100 miles).

Extra load pay

Drivers can also maximize their income by transporting extra shipments. Intermodal drivers can pick up extra loads as long as they have remaining Hours of Service time.

Picking up extra loads results in more load pay and a significantly higher paycheck. So, divers who plan ahead by considering traffic, rail yard congestion and customer requirements can earn well-above-average market wages.

Guarantee Pay for new drivers

The Schneider Guarantee Pay Program is designed to ensure new Schneider drivers are guaranteed to earn a specific amount of money each week during their first few months at the company. This means Intermodal drivers are guaranteed to earn the following amounts within their first 120 days of driving with Schneider:

  • Local Intermodal drivers working 45 hours or more are guaranteed to earn $900 per week.
  • Regional Intermodal drivers working 50 hours are guaranteed to earn $1,000 per week.

This program only dictates the minimum amount that new drivers can earn, meaning drivers can exceed the $900 or $1,000 Guarantee Pay amounts.

Interested in becoming an Intermodal driver?

Get your driving career on track and increase your home time by becoming a Schneider Intermodal driver. Find a Local or Regional Intermodal jobs in your area today.

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Schneider Guy loves the "Big Orange." He's passionate about the trucking industry and connecting people to rewarding careers within it. He's been the eyes and ears of our company since our founding in 1935, and he's excited to interact with prospective and current Schneider associates through "A Slice of Orange."

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