superservice1 Photo: Super Service

More TL pay package, bonus plans on the way

TL carriers continue the hunt to find and keep experienced truck drivers.

TL carriers continue to roll out pay increases and new bonus offerings to attract drivers – the latest being Kentucky-based Super Service and Covenant Transport.

Super Service, which is primarily a regional and dedicated operator, is raising its company driver and team pay by four cents per mile, with students and regional drivers getting a two cent-per-mile increase. That’s in addition to a $5,000 sign-on-bonus.

“Not only does that significantly boost the drivers’ paychecks, when it’s combined with our groundbreaking P3 [Performance Plus Pay] program, we’re talking the potential for a 10 cent-per-mile raise,” noted Vaughn Yow, Super Service’s vice president of operations.

He added that the company’s P3 program enables drivers to increase their pay through performance by as much as six cents per mile above their base rate of pay based on certain incentives: HazMat endorsement, worth an extra penny per mile, with the endorsement reimbursed by Super Service; a two cent-per-mile safety bonus; and “availability” bonus of one cent per mile; a fuel economy bonus of one cent per mile; and a service performance bones worth another penny per mile.

Yow added that, every month, Super Service drivers are evaluated on each of those incentive areas. 

In terms of bonuses, Covenant Transport is introducing a $40,000 “team bonus” program aimed at teams and single drivers willing who are convert to team operation.

The new program – which goes into effect Feb. 1 – pays $2,000 in bonus money to driving teams every time a team eclipses 60,000 paid miles together. The team drivers will receive $1,000 each, up to a total combined $40,000, or $20,000 each.

To be eligible for the new $40,000 teaming bonus, new drivers are not required to bring a team partner to Covenant. Rather, the company said its “team matching program” will match single drivers in search of driving partners. Following orientation, newly-formed teams are immediately eligible to begin earning under the $40,000 bonus program.

Covenant is greenlighting this bonus package as part of an effort to grow its team truck count. In 2017, the company employed an average of 980 teams and the motor carrier expects demand for team capacity in 2018 to keep climbing.

“We have team freight,” noted David Parker, Covenant’s founder and CEO. “That’s important to note, because a lot of carriers bring on team drivers and put them on solo lanes. One of the most frustrating things for a team is being underutilized. Teams want long lengths of haul, and that’s what we are focused on giving them.”

Joey Hogan, Covenant’s president, added that in this “increasingly-competitive labor market,” the new bonus program should help attract top driver employers.

“Rewarding people for doing the work you ask them to do is what attracts and retains the type of drivers you are looking for,” he explained. “Throughout 2017, we felt growing competition for team drivers, so we knew we had to start off the year by putting our stamp on what we specialize in, and that’s teaming.”

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