SRT3 Photo: SRT

KLLM, SRT plot out driver pay raise

Both say rising freight demand is pushing up the need to hire more drivers.

KLLM Transport Services, LLC, and Southern Refrigerated Transport (SRT) are the latest motor carriers unveiling pay increases for their respective drivers.

KLLM is boosting pay for its company drivers as well as independent and lease purchase contractors. Effective immediately, KLLM solo company drivers will be paid 38 cents to 50 cents per mile depending on experience, with driver teams receiving 48 cents to 53 cents per mile depending on experience.

Effective February 5 this year, the Jackson, MS-based carrier said its independent and lease purchase contractors will receive 95 cents per mile with fuel surcharge (FSC) revenue added on loaded miles.

“This represents the largest pay increase in KLLM's 53-year history,” said Jim Richards, the motor carrier’s president and CEO, in a statement.

“Freight is very strong right now and we need additional drivers to handle our freight requirements,” he added.

Richards also pointed to KLLM's driving academies as an affordable way for prospective truck drivers to become trained and be able to take advantage of KLLM's higher wages.

“We are very proud of the three schools we operate in partnership with community colleges,” he said. “We can offer a skill and a job to workers who would like to get a well-paying job with KLLM and, with our focus on safety, we know they will be in safe equipment and will be safe on the road."

Meanwhile, Texarkana, AR-based SRT is offering an up to six-cent-per-mile increase in pay to its drivers, depending on experience; the second pay bump in six months at the refrigerated carrier.

It comes on the heels of a one cent-per-mile driver pay hike SRT rolled out last October.

Billy Cartright, COO at SRT, said in a statement that those recent pay increases reflect the company’s dedication to “treating its people right” and to ensuring SRT is a great place to work for both current and future drivers.

“Our drivers didn’t want another bonus, which you see so often throughout the industry,” he added. “They wanted a pay increase they can see every week on their paycheck.”

Cartright also noted that utilization at the company is up, which means drivers can expect to make more money and move more miles in 2018.

Terri Lafayette, SRT’s director of recruiting at SRT, pointed out that the new pay raise can be combined with the carrier’s existing bonuses – which pay up to 12 cents-per-mile -- and recently-announced winter holiday pay.

She added that SRT’s new pay raise is adjusted for factors including experience and tenure with the company, and officially goes into effect for all mileage-based SRT drivers on March 11.

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