Truck drivers’ salaries increasing with industry demand

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Truck drivers’ pay has increased with freight transportation services demand and competition has grown as companies compete for a smaller pool of available drivers, according to the American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) latest Driver Compensation Study.

The study compared wages to 2013, when ATA conducted its last survey.

Private fleet drivers had salaries increase from $73,000 to more than $86,000, an 18 percent spike. Drivers working a national, irregular route had salaries rise from $46,000 to more than $53,000, a 15 percent growth.

In addition, fleets are offering generous benefits packages that include paid leave, health insurance, and 401(k)s and signing bonuses worth thousands of dollars.

“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,” ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said.

The ATA Trucking Activity Report found turnover rates for the truckload carriers, those with revenue more than $30 million, decreased the fourth quarter of 2017 by seven points to 88 percent and decreased four points to 80 percent for small truckload fleets.

Despite the first declines since the first quarter 2017, these rates are 14 points higher than the prior year.