News, Interviews, and Happenings From The Trucking World
Decision on California drivers' employee/contractor status coming down to the wire
UPS jumps on autonomous bandwagon with TuSimple investment
FMCSA publishes proposed HOS rule changes
Fleets, drivers coming to like automated manual transmissions
CVSA asks for new truck crash study
Friday Short Haul - HOS revisions delayed, AEB mandate proposed, Koch sued for sex discrimination
Kodiak Robotics takes lead in autonomous truck industry race
New York City combats rash of cyclist/truck clashes
Friday Short Haul - CRST wins lawsuit, OOIDA opposes insurance hike, UPSNav
Mechanics shortage equals driver shortage in intensity
DOT announces almost 1$ billion in grants to fix infrastructure
Friday Short Haul - DOL on sleeper pay, UPS drone delivery, Geowiz ELDs
FMCSA takes a look at assault, harassment of female and minority drivers
It's hot out there, what's a trucker to do? Can't idle.
Friday Short Haul - Utah truck rollovers, aging truckers, lifetime CDL bans
Truck-mounted LED billboards coming under fire
Trucker 'drones on' with unique approach to teaching driving skills
Friday Short Haul - Rhode Island tolls, human smuggling, contractor vs employee status
ELD mandate deadline looming, many still not compliant
New "boot" device being deployed to threaten Walmart overnighters
Friday Short Haul - Prime Inc vs Amazon, mother fights HOS changes, truck drivers appreciation week
Proper way to fly the American flag on your truck this Fourth of July
Roundabouts are becoming popular; but are they best for trucks?
Friday Short Haul - Skills test proposal, driver shortage, hemp sentencing, driverless trucks
Experts warn of active wildland fire season
More states signing on to enlist truckers against human trafficking
Friday Short Haul - Shippers of Choice, insurance rates, wheel spikes, WIT award
Freight numbers not holding up to 2018's highs
Truck safety group urges purges of drug abuse drivers
Friday Short Haul - Self-driving certificate, truck platooning, trade war stacking up cargo
HOS waiver coming soon for fireworks haulers
FMCSA takes a further look at detention time
Friday Short Haul - Autonomous delivery, HOS rules changes, CDL retest
Roadcheck 2019 in effect this week
Hemp arrest prompts USDA memo
Friday Short Haul - Waymo big rigs, Move over sting, Under-21 comments
Severe weather prompts renewed emergency declaration
Memorial Day holiday is prime time for cargo thefts
Friday Short Haul - Hauling hemp, road rage fatality, new rules for autonomous vehicles
Autonomous trucks on USPS test run
Future era of cab-less trucks will be the end of HOS rules
Friday Short Haul - FMCSA under-21 comments, Tesla autonomous car crash, 24,000 drivers sign contract with YRC
Under-21 interstate drivers getting serious look by FMCSA
Trucker Buddy program matches drivers with a classroom; everyone wins
Friday Short Haul - Driver awarded $80 million, ODFL driver wins, loading dock black hole
Storm breaks out from Rockies, slams into Midwest, South
Capacity issues have shippers looking at private fleets
Friday Short Haul - HOS rules, dark skies, Falcon drivers
'Bug' permits now required for four eastern states
Simulator use is catching on for schools, carriers
Friday Short Haul - Thinking electric, Penske opens charging station, border crossing crisis, railroads taking trucking business
ELDs might not be the panacea that was hoped for
Truck drivers may soon see "phantoms" driving yard trucks
Friday Short Haul - Nikola big rigs, WIT welcomes Peterbilt, Oregon crashes, Border crossings
Carriers claim financial benefit of putting up drivers in hotels
Uber's IPO application reveals interesting data about its freight brokerage business
Friday Short Haul - CDL examiner arrested, tolls proposed for trucks, marijuana use on the rise
Smart Load Board will get carriers the loads they need
Huge lines and long wait times greet carriers at Mexico border
Friday Short Haul - Marijuana, ATA campaign, personal conveyance rules
Over-the-air downloads revolutionize parameter updates
Don't get scammed by skimmers
Friday Short Haul -- New Cascadias honored, motorist survey, U.S, Xpress awarded, rest stop parking
Legislators address underride collisions, propose more underguards for trucks, trailers
Motorists soon may encounter a different kind of truck convoy
Friday Short Haul -- Women in Trucking, irate motorist, FMCSA eases HOS, Safe-Cap
Recent survey shows cost of roadside repairs is rising
FMCSA announces drug and alcohol clearinghouse website
Friday Short Haul - Swift settlement, driver shortage myth, TCA Best Fleet award
The hidden danger of looking but not seeing
Accident scammers target trucks for financial payout
Friday Short Haul - Snow on the roof, bypassing toll road, Waze under fire
Retailers blame driver shortage for price increases
Drivers' smartphones may be clue to road roughness
Friday Short Haul -- Freight rates, HOS changes, tonnage reports
New tax changes hit drivers hard
FMCSA to implement under-21 interstate driver program for former military
Friday Short Haul -- Connecticut tolls proposed, hydrogen fuel-cell trucks, cell phone use
Congress committee looks at state of America's highways
Number of cargo thefts is down; but dollar value about the same
Friday Short Haul -- Crossing the border, CA sues FMCSA, Lobbying against larger trucks
Detention - A problem still in search of a solution
February Highway Angels honorees named
Friday Short Haul -- C.R. England announces pay raises, eCommerce impact on trucking, TCA announces best fleets
Is a guaranteed minimum pay the solution to the driver shortage?
Long CDL testing wait times cost economy billions of dollars; not helping driver shortage
Friday Short Haul -- Walmart hiring, Uber Freight App, Speed-limiter Law, America's Road Team
Cranking -- The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
California survives challenge to its low-carbon fuel standards
Friday Short Haul - Highway robbery ... autonomous trucks ... new trailers
LithiumHub enters jump-starter market with Jumpbooster JP30
2019 Looks Good For The Transportation Industry
Raymond Burt named TMC Trainer of the Month for February 2018
TMC Transportation Announces Recipient of Prestigious Wheel Master Award
TMC Transportation Named The Home Depot’s Flatbed Carrier of the Year For Fourth Straight Year
Pay Raises & New Peterbilts for PAM Drivers
New DOT Drug Testing Rules Effective Jan 1, 2018
Amtrak Derailment: Trucks Haul 270,000 Pound Locomotive Engine During Cleanup
Pepsi Places Largest Order Yet For Tesla Electric Trucks
Kavin Hallett named Trainer of the Month for October 2017
Over 100,000 Truck Drivers Likely Have Undiagnosed Sleep Apnea And More Testing Is On The Way
Drivers Share Their Best Tips, Tricks, And Secrets For Life On The Road
Drivers Are Losing Money By Taking The Wrong Approach
Truckers and Guns: What Is and Is Not Legal
Preparing To Go Solo For The First Time? Experienced Drivers Share Their Best Advice
The Truck Stop Survival Guide: Advice From Experienced Drivers
The Worst Cities For Traffic In The U.S. For 2017
We Ask Drivers How They Would Make The Logbook Rules Better
Self Driving Trucks Are Not Coming Anytime Soon
Is a guaranteed minimum pay the solution to the driver shortage?
Last Updated: Tue, February 5, 2019
In the ongoing effort to alleviate the driver shortage trucking companies are beginning to consider a new strategy to entice new drivers – they are taking a hard look at their reasoning behind sign-on bonuses. They are asking whether they should ditch them entirely in favor of offering guaranteed pay.
This article examines this new train of thought, and takes a look at some of the problems that drivers say they have with the existing sign-on bonus programs.
The sign-on bonus
Traditionally the sign-on bonus has been a factor that many prospective drivers consider in starting a driving career and in picking their first company to drive for. And it's also a consideration for current drivers who are thinking about jumping ship and moving to another company.
But carriers are now recognizing that offering ever-larger sign-on bonuses comes with some unintended consequences. What they are finding is that these bonuses create an incentive for drivers to move from company to company – basically bonus shopping.
“Carriers throw sign-on bonuses at drivers like they’re candy, and they create a bit of a sugar high,” says Jeremy Reymer, CEO of DriverReach and a member of the American Trucking Associations’ Workforce Development Committee. “But that sugar high wears off.”
Reymer says that although carriers may successfully "poach drivers from other fleets" with their bonus offers, it creates a mentality in drivers to "to bounce around to continue grabbing sign-on bonuses."
Not all drivers are happy with bonus programs
Besides the "bounce effect" another problem being recognized about sign-on bonuses is that drivers -- new drivers especially – are increasingly finding the bonus payout process to be too complicated, and some are outright nearly fraudulent.
There are several complaints by drivers about sign-on bonus offerings:
- The sign-on bonus is rarely the financial windfall for the driver that carrier company advertising gives the impression that it is. Trucking companies will stretch payment of the bonus over a period of time in drivers' paychecks, thus ensuring they will keep those drivers behind the wheel of their company trucks. If the driver leaves that company before the bonus payout is complete he or she forfeits the remainder of the bonus.
- After drivers are lured to the company by the sign-on bonus they discover that payment of the bonus is tied to their driving safely. They find some of the bonus being stripped away as the result of anything requiring a notation in their safety record.
- Some drivers have found their bonus tied in with their fuel/mileage usage.
- In extreme, but not unheard-of, cases drivers are mistreated by employers who know that drivers will tolerate levels of abuse in order to maintain their lock on the bonus that they were promised.
Guaranteed minimum pay
Instead of bonuses, carriers are looking into offering drivers a guaranteed pay package; which would consist of a weekly minimum, but still reward drivers with pay for miles driven over the minimum.
Max Farrell, CEO and founder of WorkHound, a driver feedback platform, agrees. He says drivers tell them a predictable paycheck is more important than the occasional larger paycheck.
“Volatility in pay is polarizing,” he says. “On those weeks when drivers talk about low pay, they think ‘I could make more at McDonald’s and be home with my family’ or ‘I work for Uber'” and make just as much, he says.
In today's economy, and facing a seemingly unending driver shortage, carriers can not afford to lose potential new drivers to the non-trucking sector.
Toward that end DriverReach's Reymer says more fleets are moving to a guaranteed minimum pay package. Some 100 fleet companies use DriverReach's applicant tracking system, and about 25 percent of them are now on a guaranteed weekly pay program.
“You want to set drivers up to succeed,” he says. “If this week they make $1,200 and the next week they make $450 — they can’t live like that.”
Bonuses and pay raises are not alleviating the driver shortage
They just might be onto something with the idea of offering a guaranteed minimum pay. A recent Business Insider article reveals that large bonuses and increased driver pay have not had the positive effect on driver recruitment and retention that carriers had hoped for.
A survey by the National Transportation Institute found that of 519 trucking companies that were questioned some 85 percent reported that increasing wages had no effect on new-driver recruitment.
Business Insider reported also that pay is increasing across the trucking industry. Nearly half of truckers told Business Insider that their pay increased in 2018, more than four times that of 2017.
But despite increased pay and bonuses the driver shortage remains a problem. Industry leaders cite conditions that drivers must work and live under – days and weeks away from home, lack of exercise, nutritional issues, etc.
But spokespersons like Reymer think the solution is a guaranteed minimum pay.
“Where can we reconcile what’s in the best interest of the driver and what’s in the best interest of the fleet? If you have a guarantee that you never earn less than X but you’re also rewarded when you go above that — it makes so much sense. It fosters a mutual beneficial relationship between the driver and their employer,” he says.
Source: CCJ, Business Insider, Smart-Trucking
Choosing A Trucking Company
Truck Driver Salary
Trucking Industry Concerns