CRST Expedited Drives Up Competition With its Biggest Pay Increase

by Jana Ritter - Published: 10/04/2013

CRST Expedited, the largest operating company of CRST International, has announced that Oct. 15 the carrier would begin delivering the largest pay increase in its 58-year history - $10 million over the next 12 months - to its truck drivers. The raises are designed to retain current drivers and recruit new ones in a highly competitive marketplace, according to Cameron Holzer, president of CRST Expedited, who explained the reasons behind the move.

Crst trucks

“As we continue to grow our fleet of team drivers, we realize the pressures that Hours of Service, CSA and being away from home for extended periods of time have placed on our drivers,” Holzer said. “With this pay increase, qualified drivers will have the opportunity to raise their weekly take-home pay, depending upon the length and types of routes driven, as well as tenure.

The pay hike is for new and existing drivers with all experience levels and is based on several factors including tenure, experience and incremental pay for performance.  “Our investment in our drivers is intended to help attract new drivers to the industry, as well as retain our existing drivers for the long term. Our drivers are the heart of our organization and need to be compensated for the hard work and dedication they provide. Unfortunately, all of the government regulations placed on the industry are having a negative impact on professional truck drivers. Our increase is necessary to protect them from the regulation that is impeding their ability to make a competitive salary,” he adds.

In addition to the pay raise, Holzer said CRST had invested in drivers in other ways over the past year by building a $13 million state-of-the-art driver training and truck repair facility in Riverside, Calif.; a $1.6 million expansion of the driver training facility in Cedar Rapids; and a new $10 million Commercial Drivers License (CDL) training academy (the North American Driver Training Academy) in Cedar Rapids.

CRST trains up to 250 new drivers each week in its modern facilities that offer on-campus lodging, classrooms, affordable quality meals and entertainment. And, the company offers best-in-class safety training to its drivers, stated a company news release. Holzer explains how this has allowed CRST to become one of the largest driver training organizations in the truck transportation industry.

In the past few years CRST has grown through acquisitions and organic business growth to become one of the largest and most diversified transportation companies in the U.S. with projected 2013 annual revenues in excess of $1.3 billion.  It currently employs more than 5,100 drivers and office personnel, and an additional 2,700 independent contractors across the nation. The company operates more than 4,450 tractors, with an average age of 18 months, and 7,300 trailers.