Truck Drivers Demand Payby Jana Ritter - Published: 8/27/2014
With the truck driver drought increasing over the last few years, trucking companies have been putting their recruiting efforts into full gear in order to fill job vacancies. Now one company is driving the initiative to find solutions by addressing truck drivers head on.NRS is a family-owned trucking and third-party logistics provider employing 1,000 drivers. Recently they worked with a number of trucking websites and blogs to survey 2000 truck drivers in order to get a clear picture of what makes drivers choose one job over another.
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The survey says: Pay is priority number one. In fact a whopping 79% of the respondents said pay is their top reason for deciding where to work. But Chris Saville, NRS marketing director said this comes as no surprise and really the survey only reinforces the current predicament of trucking companies. Joe Brady, vice president at NRS further explains, “Market conditions will not allow transportation companies to increase pay beyond a certain level. Customers resist price increases, forcing carriers to absorb higher costs.” Nevertheless, NRS isn’t ignoring the reality painted by the survey. You have to pay to play or high driver turnover will continue to compromise a company’s capacity and service.
The NRS survey also found that pay was the main reason 43% of drivers had left their previous jobs and many trucking companies are already on this and starting to do what they have to do to retain their drivers as well. Carries such as Con-way Truckload and Swift Transportation have recently announced pay increases and just a few days ago U.S. Express raised their pay by 13% for solo over-the-road drivers, which has increased the annual salary to the high $40,000s-low $50,000 range. Some companies have also boosted paid waiting time for drivers or owner-operators who are paid by the trip.
Also not surprising, was that the survey indicated home time as the second priority for truck drivers. What did surprise Chris Saville, however, was that sign-on bonuses (such as the $500 NRS pays new drivers) and were ranked so low.
Another interesting finding was that 42% of drivers indicated that they’ve had three to five jobs in the last decade. “This just shows how in demand drivers are,” David Bullin NRS East Coast recruitment officer said. “They can work for a company, and if they aren’t happy with the color of their tractor or the tone of a dispatcher it is as easy as going down the street to pick up the new job.”