An alternative wage initiative for truck drivers has paid off for Dupré Logistics, the carrier claimed. By moving from a mileage-based pay scale to a program that compensates its more than 700 drivers for all time worked, the Louisiana-based company has slashed driver turnover rates nearly in half.
The company recently highlighted the pay structure during National Driver Appreciation Week, with claims that the program has lead to more efficient schedules and increased driver safety. The benefits bring a higher caliber of drivers with a dedication to staying with the company, said Tom Voelkel, company president. “It’s an initiative with benefits that far outweigh the cost to our bottom line.”
By paying drivers for all activities while on-duty, including driving, pre-trip inspections, wait time and loading, the driver feels valued. Over the four-year period since the hourly system took effect, Voelkel said driver turnover rates have steadily dropped.
The carrier’s 45 percent turnover in fiscal year 2006 shrank to 42 percent the next year, then dropped drastically to 30 percent in fiscal year 2008. Dupré reports a 25 percent turnover rate for fiscal year 2009.
Drivers who get paid by the hour are safer because instead of rushing through deliveries, the driver concentrates on taking time to be safe. Since 2006, the new pay program has helped cut the company’s risk management costs by 34 percent, said Voelkel. Added efficiency is another benefit, which can help the company target inefficiencies on its customers’ side, he said.