CDL Truck Driver Pay Continues to Rise

We are seeing aggressive increases in driver pay. In fact we have been watching the trends in CDL Driver pay for a long time, and can’t remember anything quite like it.

Here’s what we know so far.

Freight Waves recently wrote in an article (where they go on to cite numerous specific wage increases at carriers across the country) –

“Demand for truck capacity remains high but the lack of qualified drivers to meet the need is even greater. Elevated consumer spending has resulted in a peaklike freight market for more than a year now, and the reasons why driver employment has been lagging are well known.

Many of the drivers who left the industry at the pandemic’s onset over fears of contracting the virus have yet to return. Low driver school enrollments due to COVID protocols and some 85,000 operators with failed drug tests (according to Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse data) are just some of the obstacles the fleets face.

The result has been a race to raise pay in efforts to recruit and retain drivers even as the driver market may be loosening somewhat.” – FULL ARTICLE

According to BulkTransport Kim Beck vice president of benefits consulting at Cottingham & Butler said –

“average pay increased 10% year-over-year in the tank/bulk segment. “We’ve seen this driver-pay average increase every year now since we’ve been doing this survey, and this year was the most significant increase we’ve seen,” she said.

Average per-mile pay was 55 cents for tank/bulk drivers with less than three years of tenure, 58 cents for three to six years, and 61 cents for more than six years. Those numbers are lower in other segments, Beck said. Forty-five percent of per-mile drivers made $60,000 to $69,999—and no carriers that pay by the mile had drivers averaging more than $100,000 per year.

Compensation by revenue or load increased the most. “We saw a 10-15% increase over the last 18 months in the amount of average pay for the drivers they’re paying by percentage of revenue or load,” Beck said. “On the tank side they were slightly higher, at $74,700 average annual pay, and bulk was $68,300.” As with mileage, 45% averaged $60,000 to $69,999 per year, but 4% of carriers paying by percentage reported drivers averaging more than $100,000 per year.

Hourly tank/bulk drivers averaged $63,400 annually, up 3.4% from 2020, and salaried, or per diem drivers averaged $55,700. “In over-the-road trucking—dry van, refrigerated, and the other segments of trucking—per diem is a little more popular and a little higher pay because they’re out longer,” Beck said. “There’s more of a justified reason for paying per diem.”… FULL ARTICLE

According to Matt Cole writing for CCJ company drivers are looking for more than just immediate pay –

“A recent study by the American Transportation Research Institute into truck drivers’ motivations for choosing a particular employment status – either company driver or independent contractor/owner-operator – found that fleets should consider bolstering healthcare and retirement savings options when looking to recruit and retain company drivers. The full survey report can be downloaded on ATRI’s website

A total of 2,097 truck drivers responded to ATRI’s survey, which was open from Aug. 18 through Sept. 17. The majority of respondents (66.2%) where either owner-operators leased to a carrier or owner-operators with their own authority. The remaining 33.8% of respondents were company drivers.

The study found that the top motivations for drivers choosing to be company drivers were: Job Security/Stability, Income, and Healthcare/Retirement Savings.” – FULL ARTICLE

To bring it a little closer to home, here at GoCDL.com we have seen steady increases across all segments of CDL truck driver pay. In fact our CDL drivers are averaging 50% more than just a few years ago, and we have literally dozens of jobs most local or regional with $1,600 – $1,800, and even $2000+ weekly guarantees. We have local delivery routes and shuttle runs with 40 – 5- hour weeks paying in excess of $1,600. These positions simply did not exist a few years ago.

When will driver pay stop growing, we estimate no time soon. We do foresee a tight job market for some time to come, and carriers will continue to respond with wage increases. In the short term this means CDL drivers and being shuffled from carrier to carrier, but with the cdl truck driver pay increasing regularly, it should attract new talent to the market, but if it will be enough, and soon enough is anybody’s guess.

Want to see any of the CDL Driver jobs we have? – VISIT OUR CDL TRUCK DRIVER JOBS.

Port Congestion Slows Trucks and Drivers

In a recent interview Danny Wan the executive director of the Port of Oakland and president of the California Association of Port Authorities was asked by NPR why the ports were backed up, he attributed the ports problems to numerous factors, including a lack of drivers, saying:

“Well, there are several chokepoints in the supply chain. Each link in the chain is contributing to this. One, there is space in the harbors on the land side in terms of availability to store the containers once they’re unloaded, then there’s shortages of truckers to move that container from the port onto these sites where the warehouses are. There’s limitations of warehousing space. And then, of course, there’s a rail connection that’s also a chokepoint, as well. So each link in the chain has its own problems that’s contributing to the backup. Of course, the main cause is the surge in the consumers buying these goods and inability for the capacity to accommodate that.” FULL INTERVIEW WITH NPR

Wan’s analysis jibes with what other industry insiders are seeing with port congestion and truck backlogs. Numerous sources are citing the lack of chassis for shipping containers as another constraint. Cargo Link reports:

“This particular issue proves to create a very problematic scenario for both the truckers and also for the shippers. So far, the industry has seen an enormous uprise in re-delivery costs, port storage, equipment and chassis storage because of the appointment system.

The average street dwell time has increased to 7+ days, and this means that a good portion of chassis are stuck at warehouses and trucker lots for more than a week. Especially with the import surge in September, port utilization rose to 90 percent, which ultimately contributed to the existing problems. ” ARTICLE

There is also another problem, empty containers are building up as well. According to news reports – “U.S. ports have been inundated with cargo since the pandemic shifted spending away from restricted entertainment like travel and dining out to physical goods. COVID-19 also reduced labor needed to keep goods flowing smoothly. Aging truckers retired early, while infection control measures have limited dock and warehouse staffing.

There are now roughly 65,000 empty containers on the Port of Los Angeles docks, up about 18% from just a couple of weeks ago, said the port’s executive director, Gene Seroka. He added that “sweeper” ships are inbound to shuttle some of those boxes back to factories in Asia.” REUTERS

Some commentators have laid the blame at the pay structure for truck drivers, where drivers are paid by the load and have to sit in their truck and wait idling at no expense to shippers. According to a NBC report:

“We don’t have a truck driver shortage at the ports,” said Steve Viscelli, an economic sociologist at the University of Pennsylvania. “The problem is that these truckers’ time is used so inefficiently. The cranes, the longshoreman labor, all that gets priced and used efficiently.”

In the port ecosystem, truck drivers are paid by the load, not by the hour, making them some of the most vulnerable workers, Viscelli said. Other port workers get overtime pay and belong to unions, but truckers are classified as independent contractors. As such, they aren’t considered employees and don’t get any of the benefits or protections associated with that status.

“Truck drivers are the shock absorbers,” he said. “If the cranes are running behind, you can just keep the trucker there idle. You can back them up for hours, because they’re not being paid.”

Because of how they’re classified and compensated, truck drivers wait around until they’re needed, at no cost to the shipping companies. That means there’s little incentive to change and use them more efficiently, Viscelli said. 

In contrast, efforts to reduce inefficiencies in other areas of the ports continue and have been successful. For instance, the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach announced a plan last month to fine shipping companies that leave their cargoes on the docks for too long. The promise of fines proved so successful that the ports have delayed implementing them because early compliance led to a 26 percent drop in lingering containers. FULL ARTICLE

Nimesh Modi, CEO of BookYourCargo in a recent opinion piece in Transport Dive argues that the whole model is broken when it comes to recruiting drivers for the ports. “One of the most critical issues for drayage operations, domestically, is the exodus of drivers and the lack of any real pipeline to recruit and retain new ones.

Though “driver shortage” tends to be a concept thought of mostly in terms of trucking’s long-haul segment, the driver shortage has become dire at the ports, where drivers have been fleeing drayage work in droves.

It’s time to figure out solutions that make drayage workable in the modern world, so that drayage carriers can attract and retain a vital driver workforce….

….Like the broader driver shortage plaguing other segments of trucking, it will take a multi-pronged approach. But first and foremost, we must listen to dray drivers, hear their concerns, and take these concerns seriously. FULL OPINION PIECE

We will be watching this topic closely, so watch for updates.

A shortage of 80,000 truck drivers is wreaking havoc on the supply chain

America needs to keep on trucking: The $791.7 billion industry hauls 72.5% of all freight transported in the United States and employs about 6% of all full-time workers. But an aging workforce combined with the recent surge in labor shortages could spell disaster for the vital industry.

The ongoing truck driver shortage is now estimated at 80,000, up from 61,000 just three years ago. A new study by Bob Costello, chief economist for the American Trucking Associations (ATA), estimates that the industry will have to recruit 1 million new drivers within the next nine years to replace retiring drivers.

Many factors contribute to a lack of drivers, said Costello, including….. READ ARTICLE

TRUCK DRIVERS WANTED – CDL Featured in News Report

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WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – One of the fastest growing sectors of Pennsylvania’s economy is Transportation and Logistics. Even so, companies simply cannot find enough truck drivers and warehouse workers to meet the demand in Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania. No matter where you turned, companies that move freight by truck or warehouse items for major retailers were advertising for employees today. Employers told Eyewitness News reporter Andy Mehalshick that the challenge was just getting people to even consider a career on the open road. In the past five years, Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania has become a major center for warehouse operations. Just about every industrial park in our area has distribution centers for nationally known companies. That translates to a lot of jobs but relatively few….  FULL STORY

Driverless Trucks expected to cost 1.6 million jobs?

Laws for computer controlled trucks are already being developed.

 

The driverless truck is coming fast.

A company created by former Google employees is working to introduce driverless trucks to highways around the country, taking self-driving technology even beyond the tech giant’s push for the widespread use of self-driving passenger cars. full article

 

According to Motor Trend:

With more than 1.6 million Americans working as truck drivers, truckers hold the most common job in 29 states. If those jobs are replaced by self-driving trucks, it would mean 1 percent of the U.S. workforce would be unemployed. But the ripple effects could be even more devastating to the American highway as we know it. Truck stops, motels, gas stations, diners, and many other businesses will struggle to stay open without a steady flow of truckers coming through. – full article

 

Truckers With Untreated OSA Have Higher Crash Risk reports MedPage Today.

Truck drivers with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) who were not adequately treated for the condition were five times more likely to be involved in preventable crashes than drivers without the sleep disorder, researchers reported.

Truck drivers who were non-adherent with positive airway pressure treatment had a crash rate for preventable U.S. Department of Transportation-reportable crashes of 0.070/100,000 miles that was nearly five-fold more that the rate of 0.014/100,000 miles for matched controls (without sleep apnea) and fully compliant drivers (incidence rate ratio 4.97, 95% CI, 2.09-10.63, P<0.001), according to…. – FULL STORY 

Of course you can see the full skinny on Sleep Apnea and BMI / Neck Size here….

What does the Department of Transportation say about “Medical Marijuana”?

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“Medical Marijuana”?

Short answer – No such thing for CDL drivers….

Long answer —

DOT ‘Medical’ Marijuana Notice

DOT Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance Notice

Recently, the Department of Justice (DOJ) issued guidelines for Federal prosecutors in states that have enacted laws authorizing the use of “medical marijuana.” http://www.justice.gov/opa/documents/medical-marijuana.pdf

We have had several inquiries about whether the DOJ advice to Federal prosecutors regarding pursuing criminal cases will have an impact upon the Department of Transportation’s longstanding regulation about the use of marijuana by safety‐sensitive transportation employees – pilots, school bus drivers, truck drivers, train engineers, subway operators, aircraft maintenance personnel, transit fire‐armed security personnel, ship captains, and pipeline emergency response personnel, among others.

We want to make it perfectly clear that the DOJ guidelines will have no bearing on the Department of Transportation’s regulated drug testing program. We will not change our regulated drug testing program based upon these guidelines to Federal prosecutors.

The Department of Transportation’s Drug and Alcohol Testing Regulation – 49 CFR Part 40, at 40.151(e) – does not authorize “medical marijuana” under a state law to be a valid medical explanation for a transportation employee’s positive drug test result.

That section states:

§ 40.151 What are MROs prohibited from doing as part of the verification process?
As an MRO, you are prohibited from doing the following as part of the verification process:
(e) You must not verify a test negative based on information that a physician recommended that the employee use a drug listed in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. (e.g., under a state law that purports to authorize such recommendations, such as the “medical marijuana” laws that some states have adopted.)

Therefore, Medical Review Officers will not verify a drug test as negative based upon information that a physician recommended that the employee use “medical marijuana.” Please note that marijuana remains a drug listed in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. It remains unacceptable for any safety‐sensitive employee subject to drug testing under the Department of Transportation’s drug testing regulations to use marijuana.

We want to assure the traveling public that our transportation system is the safest it can possibly be.

Jim L. Swart
Director
Office of the Secretary of Transportation
Office of Drug and Alcohol
Policy and Compliance
Department of Transportation
October 22, 2009

Updated: Thursday, November 19, 2015

– See more at: https://www.transportation.gov/odapc/medical-marijuana-notice#sthash.hbRH2xAr.dpuf

 

660 Minutes: How Improving Driver Efficiency Increases Capacity

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What happens to those 660 minutes in a driver’s day?

 

J.B. Hunt recently released a report on the full extent of the wasted time drivers spend as a result of inefficient practices. Mitigating such inefficiencies, the report notes, can increase capacity.  The report is directed at educating shippers and receivers, but the data and lessons apply to any operation or fleet.

The Hourglass vs. the Stopwatch

In many ways, capacity shortage and driver inefficiency are a result of misinformation surrounding Hours of Service. Think of a driver’s time as that of an hourglass, a perishable commodity which is continually diminishing. Whereas in the past a driver could, much like a stopwatch, start or stop his or her clock depending on the activity, a driver today cannot log time waiting at a shipper location or making a delivery as “off duty.” Once a driver begins his or her safety check at the start of the workday, the clock is running down without pause…  READ THE FULL REPORT

 

See through Trucks from Samsung? Check it out.

Safety_Main

Samsung has a new idea…

Here’s what they are saying;

Have you ever found yourself driving behind a semi-trailer truck? If you’re on a single-lane highway or road, it can be a nightmare. Even though the truck is driving relatively slowly, you cannot overtake it due to its size, and because you cannot see what is happening in front of the truck.

However, Samsung has developed a solution that may make this problem a thing of the past.

Argentina’s statistics on traffic accidents are among the highest in the world, with most of these accidents occurring on two-lane roads and particularly in situations of overtaking. With this in mind, Samsung developed a technology for trucks that seeks to enrich the lives of people through innovation. But more than that, this time the goal is more ambitious: to save lives.

How Does it Work?

The Safety Truck consists of a wireless camera attached to the front of the truck, which is connected to a video wall made out of four exterior monitors located on the back of the truck. The monitors give drivers behind the truck a view of what is going on ahead, even in the dark of night.

This allows drivers to have a better view when deciding whether it is safe to overtake. Another advantage of the Safety Truck is that it may reduce the risk of accidents caused by sudden braking or animals crossing the road.

Samsung led the prototype development by providing large format display samples, and conducted a test with a local B2B client

Next Steps

Currently, the prototype truck built is no longer operational. So far Samsung has been able to confirm that the technology works and that this idea can definitely save the lives of many people.

The next step is to perform the corresponding tests in order to comply with the existing national protocols and obtain the necessary permits and approvals. For this, Samsung is working together with safe driving NGOs and the government.

 

Now that’s something to see (through)…..

Getting ahead of the Problem(s) – Trucking Wisdom

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There is no magic wand to make all of life’s issues disappear.  And between career, family, and self, there is always too much to get done. But one thing a professional driver doesn’t have to do is reinvent the wheel.  (See what I did there?)  We can learn from others, and borrow their experience to make the road a little a smoother for ourselves. (Did it again…)

We have found a few web sites that are both informative and entertaining with information valuable to CDL drivers of all stripes.  So we wanted to share them with you.

Freightliner for instance has a great web site called – Team Run Smart, where drivers can find practicle articles like “Laundry Tips for Truckers” and “Dealing with a Debt Collector While You’re on the Road“.  They also have health tips, business tips, and general trucking know how, from a panel of experts.  Sure it’s a bit of an infomercial, but the practical information available is helpful.

A few other destinations with similar resources include:

Road King – http://roadking.com/

Healthy Trucker – https://www.thehealthytrucker.net/

The Trucking Truth (Forums) – http://www.truckingtruth.com/

 

Hope this was helpful.  Feel free to suggest any sites you like as well, so we can collect them.  – You can suggest them on our FACEBOOK PAGE HERE