Rates and costs schedules for owner drivers


Rates and costs schedules give owner drivers information on the typical running costs of a business and rates typically paid to employee drivers for similar work.

What are rates and costs schedules?

Rates and costs schedules are published by the Minister for Industrial Relations after advice from the Transport Industry Council. The schedules set out the typical operating costs of an owner driver business, including the vehicle operating costs (variable costs), and costs including registration, finance, administration, insurance and self funding of superannuation (fixed costs). The schedule also sets out the rates that would typically apply for the driver's own labour if he or she did the work as an employee.

Owner drivers can use the schedule to gain a better understanding of:

  • the operating cost items and the factors that affect how much each item will be
  • the market for transport services
  • the amount that they could expect to earn as an employee driver for the same kind of work.

Rates and cost schedules do not set minimum rates of pay. However, the schedules aim to help both owner drivers and hirers understand the overhead costs of the business to assess whether an offer will fully cover the operating costs, provide a return for the driver's own labour and provide a return on the investment in the business.

Hirer obligations

Hirers are required to provide owner drivers with the rates and cost schedule that most closely relates to the owner driver's vehicle.

The relevant schedule must be given:

  • at least three business days before the owner driver is engaged, if the owner driver will be engaged for a period of at least 30 days; or
  • on the thirtieth day, if the owner driver is engaged for a total period of at least 30 days in any three month period.

These requirements also apply to freight brokers and to tender situations.

Hirers must provide any revised schedule to all current owner drivers as soon as practicable after publication.

A hirer or freight broker, who is required under the Owner Drivers and Forestry Contractors Act 2005 to provide the applicable rates and costs schedule and information booklet to a contractor, may do so in hard copy or electronic form. If the document is given in electronic form, a copy of the document should be emailed to a direct email address of the contractor. Emailing only a link to this website or emailing to a generic email address will not satisfy the requirements of the Owner Drivers and Forestry Contractors Act 2005. A contractor should be provided with a hard copy of the rates and costs schedule or Information Booklet if the contractor has requested either document in hard copy rather than in electronic form.

In order to demonstrate compliance with the requirements of the Owner Drivers and Forestry Contractors Act 2005, it is important to keep good records. It is recommended that you obtain a notice of receipt or acknowledgement from a contractor when giving/emailing the rates and costs schedule or information booklet to them. 

Rates and cost schedules

Rates and costs schedules for owner drivers

  • 1 tonne vehicle courier/messenger
  • 1 tonne vehicle (GVM)
  • 4.5 tonne rigid vehicle (GVM)
  • 8 tonne rigid vehicle (GVM)
  • 12 tonne rigid vehicle (GVM) 2-axle
  • Prime mover (bogie drive)
  • Semi-trailer (bogie drive, 6-axle)

Page last updated: 20 July 2016