Smokey Point Distributing (SPD) announced that starting June 1, it will pay qualified solo over-the-road drivers with flatbed hauling experience an annual salary of $65,000 and each qualified and experienced member of a driving team an annual salary of $75,000.
According to CEO of Smokey Point Distributing Dan Wirkkala, competitive solo drivers could reach a mileage bonus of $7,000 and each driver that’s part of a team could earn up to $16,000.
“One driver on our beta test program is on track to exceed $16,000 and is closer to $20,000 at his one-year mark, if he remains as focused as he is today,” Wirkkala said.
Regardless of miles, hours, or other performance indicators, the salary-based pay guarantees Smokey Point drivers a regular income. And in addition to salary, drivers can earn further pay for meeting certain milestones in terms of mileage, safety and referrals.
Wirkkala said the pay increase benefits drivers in multiple ways, and extends beyond time at work to consider their personal lives.
“By offering drivers consistent paychecks, we are providing drivers and their families financial stability, comfort and peace-of-mind, while also providing them the opportunity to earn additional pay and annual bonuses that could be incredibly rewarding,” Wirkkala said.
This new pay scale also addresses elements outside driver’s control.
“Our drivers will no longer be financially affected by a temporary lack of sales, delays due to weather or equipment maintenance requirements or delays in loading or unloading,” Wirkkala continued.
Smokey Point’s manager of driver services Sean McManama offered his perspective. Prior to his administrative position, he worked as a driver for the company. McManama said he thinks some drivers have grown weary of cyclical pay typical of these over-the-road positions, and will be relieved to find Smokey Point’s renovated pay structure.
“Inconsistent pay, pay cuts or paychecks that aren’t enough to support themselves and their families have historically led to high driver turnover rates in our industry,” McManama said. “Through this new pay program, drivers can experience the freedom of financial independence and some true stability without those ultra-lows that happen often at no fault of their own.”