By: DickinsonFleet On: January 17, 2018 In: Industry news Comments: 0

It’s happening. Just look all around…

“Trucking firms offer up to $8000 bonus and other deals to lure drivers”

“Truck lines toss cash at drivers to ease turnover, shortages”

“Roehl Transport Announces Significant Driver Pay Increase”

“More TL pay package, bonus plans on the way”

News of trucking companies raising driver pay are dominating the headlines as 2017 closed and 2018 begins. With the driver shortage increasing, lack of new qualified drivers entering the workforce and more drivers reaching retirement age than ever before – companies are feeling the pressure to get drivers on board.

Many drivers are in their 50s and 60s. As they retire the shortage could exceed 174,000 drivers in seven years if the recruiting efforts fall short, ATA predicts.”Unless steps are taken to make it easier for individuals to pursue careers in trucking, demand for drivers will continue to outstrip supply — eventually even leading to supply chain disruptions,” Bob Costello warned.

Pay Competition Begins

There has always been an opportunity to make great money in trucking with experience, but all too often the trucking lifestyle proves to be too much for new drivers. So how much of a pay increase is needed to entice just the right candidate to consider trucking (who may have never looked at it before)? That’s the question fleets are asking during this crucial time in the transportation industry.

Pay packages vary from carrier to carrier as each on tries to find their perfect mix. Many are simply raising starting base CPM pay, some are offering huge sign on bonuses, and still others are providing substantial performance based pay increases. But the bottom line is, the needle is moving and average overall pay for truck drivers continues to rise along with the demand.

It’s becoming a very competitive market as companies go up against one another to attract the best of the best. Drivers at all experience levels are now being recruited away from Carrier A to come work for Carrier B every single day. Trucking companies also tying special bonuses to the particular niche they serve – for example Team driving or incentives for endorsements such as the HazMat endorsement. What fleets are finding is simple – truck drivers want to be rewarded for a job well done by having access to increased earning potential.

Who Is Going To Win?

As trucking companies race to get their pay increases in place, it seems they’re all trying to find the “right” answer to the same question, “how do we attract and retain good drivers?” This really comes down to figuring out what type of pay package can bring more new drivers on board and what does it take to get an experienced trucker to jump ship. Both are tough questions to answer, but it certainly seems are though fleets are scrambling to come up with something before it’s too late.

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