Driv­ers of­fered bonus

Com­pa­nies scram­ble to lure staff

Big Rigs - - GREAT AMERICAN TRUCKING SHOW - James Graham James.Graham@bi­grigs.com.au

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”.

PHOTO: JAMES GRAHAM

IN­CEN­TIVES: Sign-on bonuses were all the rage at GATS in an ag­gres­sive push to hook driv­ers.

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