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Truck Driver Salary in India: The Real Story

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The transportation sector in India has been on a steadfast rise for quite some time now, with the industry gaining momentum from the early 90s. While the industry continues to flourish, it is its backbone, the truck drivers of India, that have to face a multitude of problems.

The Indian transportation sector is well known for being harsh on the drivers behind the wheels of trucks. The industry lacks organisation and a proper support system for the drivers. It is because of that, and many other factors, why the profession of a truck driver in the country is one of the least respected ones. The culmination of all these problems lead to a surprising figure about a truck driver’s salary in India.

Going by the statistics, there are approximately 8.5 million trucks in function on the highways of India. So ideally, there should be an average of 8.5 to 9 million truck drivers available to take on the wheel. But the current scenario depicts that there are no more 5 million truck drivers available in India. Going by the concept of demand and supply, truck drivers in India must earn a lot as per the disparity between the number of trucks and drivers available. However, the average truck driver salary in India lies in the range of Rs. 10,000-15,000 per month. This shocking figure compels us to look for the reasons behind such a low pay scale for truck drivers in the country.

When we compare truck drivers in our country to the ones abroad, the numbers prove to be highly astonishing. An average truck driver abroad approximately earns $40,000 on an annual basis. On the other hand, truck drivers in India have a pay scale between $1,800-$2,400 on average annually. There are a few reasons that may point towards why truck drivers in our country have such a low income. To begin with, because of the fact that it is considered as such a thankless and lowly job, which is far from the actual truth, creates the idea that truck drivers do not deserve to get paid beyond the minimum amount. When uneducated people enter this profession, their value addition to the industry is not considered significant enough to pay them high amounts.

Secondly, since unemployment in India is at an all time high, people are desperate to get a job however they can. And thus transporters are able to employ people immediately who are more than willing to work for a meager amount of salary just to sustain themselves and their families. Readily available unskilled labour is another reason why truck drivers cannot quote a salary amount that is appropriately compensating.

Thirdly, in an overpopulated country such as India, there is little to no value for human life and the workforce. Transporters hold the monopoly when it comes to heavy truck driver jobs in India. In order to maintain their profit margins and reduce their business costs, they end up conveniently ignoring the long hours and physical efforts that are put in by truck drivers. In doing so, they end up paying them much less than they actually deserve. This is one of the prime reasons why truck drivers in India have salaries that are no match to what truck drivers earn in other countries.

In reality, truck drivers in India are grossly exploited and maligned. The minimum amount that they do actually get is not enough to bear their daily expenses sometimes, let alone allow them to have savings. As the transportation industry in India scales up, the humble truck driver in the country is forced to amble along with a shockingly low salary.

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