Download the free spreadsheet: trucking cost per mile calculator

Updated on February 23, 2024 by Alina Kostukova

trucking cost per mile calculator

If you’re in the business of transporting goods in heavy vehicles, you will know that the costs of running your operation can mount up very quickly. It pays to manage your day-to-day costs so that you have a clear view of your operations and how to manage them effectively.

Keeping track of your costs means that you will have the visibility necessary to make informed decisions about your fleet: reduce expenses, optimize fleet performance, and assess your return on investment.

Here at Track-POD, we understand the challenges that fleet managers face, and we have a feel for the types of interventions that can make a significant difference when it comes to the effective management of your fleet.

To this end, we have created a freight cost calculator Excel sheet that will help you calculate your trucking cost per mile by simply filling in a few relevant details. The spreadsheet will do the rest and present you with a comprehensive breakdown of your costs per mile.

The importance of accurate cost analysis

Tracking costs per mile is not just about fuel and maintenance. You should be factoring in drivers’ wages, insurance, trailer costs, and breakdown expenses, if any. The route the truck takes can also have a bearing on the cost, and so too can the weight of the load. 

It is important to break down your logistic cost per vehicle so that you get a feel for the performance of the various trucks in your fleet and perhaps even the routes that they take. It will also pay you to replace trucks when they reach a certain age, and the maintenance and repair costs begin to mount up. 

For the cost per mile calculator Excel, as provided below, you should have at least one month’s mileage and fuel consumption data available per truck. You will also need to factor in drivers’ wages, depreciation, insurance, and any other expenses pertaining to your fleet. If you are just starting out, you will need to do some cost estimates based on the type of vehicle you plan on buying and the manufacturer’s claims regarding fuel consumption and the age of the vehicle.

Download the Cost per Mile Calculator

How to use the trucking cost per mile calculator

To begin with, download the Trucking Cost per Mile Calculator spreadsheet here. 

The calculator has columns on the left-hand side for your input, and the results will be displayed in the box on the right-hand side.

On the left-hand side of the spreadsheet, you will see a description of the figures you need to complete. Capture your figures in the yellow block, overwriting what is already in there. 

There are three sections to the calculator: 

  • Monthly mileage, fuel, and driver cost per truck.
  • Monthly overhead costs.
  • Annual overhead costs.

Your monthly overhead costs include insurance, workmen’s compensation, repairs and maintenance, and the cost of a tractor and trailer, if applicable.

The annual overhead costs include accounting fees, the cost of business subscriptions, and truck registration fees. These fields only need to be changed when the annual fees are increased.

Mileage Details

Monthly miles driven: take the vehicle’s mileage at the beginning of the month and then again at the end.

Truck’s MPG: This is the number of miles done in the month divided by the number of gallons your vehicle used for the month.

Fuel price per gallon: If you don’t have the exact records obtained when filling up, check the average price in your area for the month in question. 

Driver’s wage per mile: Calculate the driver’s monthly wage and divide by the number of miles driven in that period.

Monthly Overhead Items

Monthly insurance premium: Enter the figure per truck.

Monthly Worker’s Compensation Insurance/Occupational Accident Insurance: Enter the figure per truck.

Monthly Tractor Payment: If applicable.

Monthly Trailor Payment: If applicable.

Monthly repairs and maintenance: If you don’t have actual figures for this you can do an estimate based on the type and age of the vehicle. The vehicle manufacturer should be able to help you with thiese costs.

Annual Overhead Items

Accounting: this is the cost of your accounting services, divided by the number of trucks. 

If your accounting services cater for other divisions as well as your truck division, asscertain the costs of the accounting services for the trucking division only. (There should be a cost center set up per division.)

IRP: The annual registration figure per truck.

Subscriptions: This is the annual fee you pay for business licensing, divided by the number of trucks. Again, if this fee includes other divisions, you will need to separate them out by division. 

Plan ahead and save costs

If you are still doing tedious manual calculations, now is the time to consider automating your systems. By installing software that can accurately plan your routes and optimize the number of deliveries that your trucks can handle, you will save on time, fuel, and vehicle repairs too.

Track-POD’s route planning software allows you to plot your delivery routes, taking into account the weight and nature of the load, prioritizing urgent deliveries and perishables, and providing customers with accurate delivery times. In addition, their vehicle tracking module empowers logistics managers to monitor their vehicles and routes, keeping in touch with drivers and redirecting routes if necessary.

Žeimantas Strakauskas, owner of courier company Eagleship, states that managing four to five cars without a system is prohibitive to the growth of the company. SIUNTŲ PILOTAI implemented Track-POD’s customer portal and generated an extra 20% of the company’s revenue through the acquisition of just one additional customer. They have also managed to reduce their operational expenses by 75%, thanks to the Track-POD systems.

Eagleship achieves better operational efficiency while using Track-POD to manage their deliveries

Another satisfied customer, ACDC Dynamics, saved 4% in fuel costs with the implementation of Track-POD’s vehicle routing software while improving their operational efficiency and saving a significant amount of time.

In summary

Effective management of your business means tracking costs and efficiency in as much detail as possible. It may mean automation of your business, but you should realize those costs in a short space of time as you save on fuel, vehicle maintenance, and time. Free up your truck capacity and strategic personnel for other challenges, such as bringing in more business or handling extra deliveries.

Why not download our free Trucking Cost per Mile Calculator now and gain insights into what you can do to improve the productivity and financial status of your trucking business?

Frequently Asked Questions

The total cost per mile is calculated by adding together the following vehicle costs:

  • Cost of petrol used by the vehicle in the month
  • Cost of maintenance and repairs for the month
  • Driver’s wages for the month

Divide the total of the above costs by the number of miles that the vehicle traveled during the month.

You may need to add in the insurance premiums and licensing costs for the vehicle. In this case, calculate the monthly costs of each additional expense per vehicle and add them to the list above before dividing by the mileage. 

Monthly miles driven is the exact number of miles that the vehicle did in the month in question. In other words, this is the historical data for the previous month.

If you don’t have the exact fuel cost for the month, take the number of miles traveled and multiply by the cost of fuel per gallon.

If the cost fluctuates during the month, you need to break down the number of miles done per trip, and, using the actual cost of fuel on that day, multiply the number of miles per trip by the cost of fuel on that day. Then add up all of your figures for the various trips to get the total for the month.

The driver’s wage per mile includes the wages and any additional expenses, such as workmen’s compensation, medical insurance, food, and accommodation for long-haul journeys. Add these together and divide by the number of miles traveled in the month.

This may include vehicle insurance and liability insurance per truck, divided by the miles done per truck.

If there is specific cargo insurance, it would be per load and would differ depending on the load, so you would divide the cargo insurance by the miles done on that trip. You would have to calculate cargo insurance for each load in the month.

Any outstanding lease or purchase payments for your truck or trailer must be included. Divide the monthly portion of the payments by the number of miles done in the month.

Depreciation must be calculated per truck and trailer; if there is no breakdown of depreciation per truck or trailer, divide the total depreciation for the month by the number of trucks and trailers. Then divide by the number of miles done per truck or trailer.

Tolls, parking fees, traffic fines, and any other unplanned expenses can be classified as miscellaneous expenses.

If you don’t have exact figures for previous maintenance and repair costs per vehicle, you will need to use the average cost per vehicle. This can be done by dividing your maintenance and repair costs by the number of vehicles in your fleet. However, if some of your vehicles are older than the rest, you will need to apportion the values according to the ages of the vehicles.

Annual overheads are the costs of running your company, such as accounting fees, building and land rentals, or if the company owns the premises, insurance costs and rates, light, and water expenses. Anything that contributes towards the running of the business or the portion of costs that are associated with your fleet.

Miles per gallon can be an indication of a truck’s condition. If it needs a service, the MPG is going to decrease, costing the company more per load and affecting profit margins. If the entire fleet needs servicing, it can have a detrimental effect on company profits. It pays to have a regular maintenance schedule for each vehicle in the fleet.

MGP has a direct effect on the profit calculation per load. This may cause management to increase their prices, and customers will take their business elsewhere.

Long-haul loads may include additional driver costs, such as overtime, meals, accommodation, toll fees, and more.

Fuel consumption for long-haul trips may be lower due to fewer stops and starts. It would help to have route tracking statistics on regular long-haul trips so that you can make a comparison.

Local trips may be more fuel-intensive, particularly if you are scheduling multiple deliveries per trip. However, short trips with more deliveries are likely to be more profitable from a consignment point of view.

In the absence of actual figures on which to base your calculations, you will need to analyze any historical information you may have, such as last year’s financial statements: annual fuel costs, maintenance costs, depreciation, operating expenses, etc., that can be found on the expenditure statement.

If you are starting out and have not yet acquired your trucks or run up any significant fuel or maintenance costs, you can get estimates based on the type of truck you intend to buy.

Miles per gallon on new trucks should comply with the manufacturer’s claims. For older trucks, the MPG obtained will decrease by a small percentage per year.

Maintenance costs will increase by a percentage each year, according to the age of your trucks.

Tracking the cost of fuel and maintenance, in particular, gives you an indication of the condition of each vehicle. Running an old vehicle that is costing more money may mean that your profit margins per load are reduced. You could even be losing on the deal, but you won’t realize that unless you do an accurate costing exercise. 

Insurance costs, driver’s wages, licensing fees, and other factors could also tip the scale in terms of making a loss. You may need to take a careful look at saving costs in these areas as well, so it’s just as important to include these costs in your calculations.