A recent driver compensation study showed that since 2013, the median salary paid to a driver on an irregular national route has gone up by $7,000 yearly. It means that driver salaries have risen by 15 percent from 2013.
The study conducted by the American Trucking Associations (ATA) pegged the driver pay average at $53,000. It’s been over four years since the last research was done by the ATA.
The research likewise showed that private fleet drivers are now receiving an average of $86,000 — instead of $73,000.
“This latest survey, which includes data from more than 100,000 drivers, shows that fleets are reacting to an increasingly tight market for drivers by boosting pay, improving benefit packages and offering other enticements to recruit and retain safe and experienced drivers,” said Bob Costello, ATA’s Chief Economist.
“Carriers are offering thousands of dollars in bonuses to attract new drivers. And once drivers are in the door, fleets are offering benefits like paid leave, health insurance and 401(k)s to keep them.”
The survey’s findings coincide with the American Transportation Research Institute’s report which pointed out that fleets’ wage expenses have been rising in recent years.
To recall, Avery Vise, Vice President of Research for FTR Transportation Intelligence, said that salary hikes for drivers would be the most significant “cost pressure” on fleets for 2018.
Vise added that improved market conditions, effective planning, and better management as a result of the ELD rule implementation could prompt motor carrier operators to increase driver salaries.
The electronic logging device mandate took effect on December 18, 2017, and its hard enforcement started on Sunday, April 1.
Recently, three of the top 250 fleets – Cargo Transporters, K&B Transportation, and American Central Transport raised the amount of salaries they pay to their drivers.
It’s important to remember that the ATA survey is backed by data gathered by the National Transportation Institute from the Quarterly National Survey of Driver Wages. The NTI research revealed that the trucking industry is “experiencing unusually aggressive and volatile movement” in driver pay.
According to the NTI study, truckload driver salaries went up by 2.9 cents per mile between January and March. Flatbed drivers received a pay hike of 3 cents per mile while reefer drivers benefited from a salary increase of 3.3 cents per mile.
The ATA’s study shows that driver salaries have increased by 15 percent since 2013.
With the help of ELDs, fleets can reduce operational costs and increase profitability, which would allow them to share some of that profit with drivers by increasing their pay.