ATA: Competition driving up driver pay, benefits

The American Trucking Assns. (ATA) said today that median pay for truck drivers is now “on par with the national median for all U.S. households” and, what’s more, that rucking is also offering drivers “competitive” benefits. 

“The data in our Driver Compensation Study shows that now more than ever, trucking is an excellent career path,” remarked ATA chief economist Bob Costello.

ATA’s 2014 survey covered 130 fleets, more than 115,000 employee drivers and nearly 17,000 independent contractors, with data broken down by Private, For-Hire TL, LTL and Drayage segments. The association noted that the data is for the first half of 2014, except for annual compensation-- which was for 2013.

“Fleets are raising pay and offering generous benefit packages in order to attract and keep their drivers in the face of a growing driver shortage,” he continued.

Key findings of the study include: 

  • Median pay for drivers ranging from “just over $46,000” for national, irregular route dry van truckload drivers to more than $73,000 for private fleet van drivers.
  • In seven of the nine categories of drivers covered by the survey, pay met or exceeded the U.S. median household income of “just over $53,000.”
  • While mileage-based pay was a common method, three out of four fleets use multiple methods to pay drivers-- including the most frequent approach, paying some drivers by the mile and some by the hour.
  • Nearly 80% of truckload fleets offer drivers paid holidays.
  • 80% of private carriers not only offer a 401(k) retirement plan, but match employee contributions

“As the economy grows, we are seeing an ever more competitive driver market,” Costello also remarked. “The data in this report will be critical for fleets looking to recruit and retain the best drivers.”  

Click here for information on how to order a copy of ATA’s 2014 Driver Compensation Study.

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