Drivers offered bonus
Companies scramble to lure staff
IF you were an out of work driver, or one looking for more return on your toil, GATS 2018 was the place to be.
There was a VIP jobs service on site ready to match up your skill set and preferred location with a fleet recruiter.
You could also win a ton of instant prizes by taking part in a pre-trip inspection challenge that tested knowledge of possible problems a truck might have before taking off.
But by far the most visible allure was the wall-to-wall booths touting all manner of sign-on bonuses, some as high as US$12,000.
As competition heats up for drivers in the US, companies are scrambling to offer incentives, from insurance, vacations to minimum weekly pay guarantees.
Big Rigs stopped by the booth of DriveAtlas, a nationwide freight mover using owner-operators across 48 states, to find out more.
Aaron Chenoweth, manager corporate resources administration and terminal services, said the amounts some companies are offering may sound tempting but they weren’t always what they seemed.
“The $5000 sign-on bonus might look great, but you might not get the last two or three thousand of that until you’ve been with that company for an entire year,” said Aaron.
He said DriveAtlas gets around that by offering recruits a $3250 bonus that is paid from the first day behind the wheel in the form of a 5c per mile above the standard contract rate.
“So what we’re saying with our bonus is you don’t have to wait for a year to get it all paid out. You’re actually getting it paid out as you go.”
Bud Hathcox, safety supervisor at TNT Hauling based in Birmingham, Alabama, also didn’t see any need to offer upfront cash sweeteners to drivers.
He said TNT preferred to let the equipment - all new Peterbilts and Kenworths and guaranteed miles, starting at 48c per mile (plus a 5c performance bonus) do the talking.
It also offered a tarp fee, insurance, oversized pay, and “six major holidays”.
INCENTIVES: Sign-on bonuses were all the rage at GATS in an aggressive push to hook drivers.