2019 First Quarter Shows Less Pay Increases for Drivers
According to the latest Quarterly National Survey of Driver Wages from the National Transportation Institute, fleets are offering fewer drivers wage increases in this first quarter of 2019 in comparison to last year’s increases, but the ones that are being instituted will be quite significant. The trucking industry experienced a substantial boom in the last few years, so several fleets offered pay increases – some offered several. Rates hit as high as 65 cents per mile for solo drivers, according to NTI, a pay rate level that is uncharted.
“Our subscribers tell us that, while freight has dropped and driver churn (turnover) has increased, the need to monitor driver pay attributes that produce desired outcomes remains especially high. Some of these outcomes include referrals, safe, productive driving and fair compensation for downtime,” said Leah Shaver, NTI Chief Operating Officer. “We’re in a market with near full employment, and driver expectations are raised after a record year in 2018. In these conditions, the driver situation changes rapidly.”
Some fleets are beginning to believe that guaranteed pay and transition bonuses reflect a driver’s value more accurately while the quarterly survey found that sign-on bonuses were great for recruiting.
“Our observation is that in Q1 the size of signing bonuses continues to decrease, although the number of carriers offering bonuses continues to remain fairly high,” said Gordon Klemp, NTI chief executive officer, and founder. “At the same time, carriers that are utilizing some form of guaranteed pay are seeing a positive impact on turnover and hiring.”
The National Survey of Driver Wages surveys recruiting, retention, and compensation of executives at dry van, temperature-controlled, flatbed, and tanker fleets at an international level. It looks at both drivers and owner-operators at for-hire carriers to monitor important industry information on accessorial pay, mileage rates, benefits, bonuses, and corporate policies.