Increasing Driver Shortage forces Trucking Companies to increase Pay
Approximately 194,000 people in Arizona are searching for jobs. With jobs available in the trucking industry, not many are interested in becoming a truck driver. Due to the increased shortage of drivers, companies have even given up their requirement of hiring experienced drivers. So whether or not a person has driven a truck previously, a commercial license can earn him a driver’s job in the trucking industry.
Four major trucking companies in Phoenix, namely, Knight Transportation Incorporation, Swift Transportation Company, C.R. England Trucking and Gordon Trucking Incorporation, are looking for 200 drivers each for their company. The trucking industry faces huge driver shortage and in the next ten years, in order to meet the increasing demand and replace the retiring drivers, the industry will have to hire about 89,000 drivers!
With the shortage pushing the wages up, companies have significantly increased the pay scale for drivers in the trucking industry. Knight Transportation Incorporation pays its drivers more than $40,000 on an annual basis in their first year. In the second year, the pay increases and the drivers earn about $45,000. Other companies in the country are advertising jobs with an annual pay of about $60,000 and sign-on bonuses ranging from approximately $1,000 to $3,000.
The chief economist and senior vice president for the American Trucking Associations, Bob Costello said in an interview, “This is a blue collar job where we see pays going up rapidly and also includes a few good benefits.” He further added, “We have also seen reservations because not too many people are taking up this job. A number of factors contribute to this decision of the people. You see, this is not a regular 9-5 job. Once you take up this job, you will have to compromise on your lifestyle. You might not get to see your family for a few days or even a week. People do not like to work in tough conditions, but this increase in pay scale will surely change things in the trucking industry. We might now see an increase in the way people perceive a driver’s job and might even compromise their lifestyle for it.”
Trucking companies that specialize in irregular routes are the ones that face driver shortage the most because drivers usually have to haul a load to a completely different city. Difficult conditions and uncertainty are the major factors that cause driver shortage in these companies. Knight Transportation Incorporation also specializes in irregular routes, but with a change in pay scale rate the company might experience a positive change.
The company also provides unique offers that are in favor of the drivers. Knight sells trucks to experienced drivers who want to work as independent contractors. “New trucks cost about $130,000, and we sell them between $50,000 and $70,000 after they’ve been run with approximately 400,000 miles on them for four years.
Proper maintenance will increase the life of these vehicles and can achieve 1 million miles,” said Kevin Quast, chief operating officer and executive vice president for Knight.
Additionally, at Knight, two people can work as team drivers who work in one truck by splitting driving and can earn from $150,000 to $200,000 annually.
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