Article from Truckers News
BY DAVID HOLLIS
"When the American Transportation Research Institute released its report on the Critical Issues In The Trucking Industry for 2020, driver compensation ranked second out of the top 10 issues overall.
While drivers ranked pay that high, behind only truck parking availability, respondents from the companies they drive for did not even place trucker compensation in their top 10 list.
A recent survey of readers of Truckers News and its sister publication Overdrive illuminates the issue of what truck drivers are paid and their perceptions about how it affects driver retention and recruiting.
When asked, “What was your net income last year?”
That compares to an annual median income of an American worker of $48,672, according to data compiled by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- 43% of respondents said between $50,001 and $75,000
- 24% said $75,001 to $100,000
- 17% said $35,001 to $50,000
- 10% said more than $100,000
- 5% said $35,000 or less
Drivers in the Truckers News/Overdrive survey were also asked to estimate their current income based on their miles or loads so far this year. The survey found:
- 42% expected to make the same amount of money they did in 2019
- 33% expected to make less than they did in 2019
- 25% expected to make more
And, it’s not just personal financial issues that are on the minds of truckers. They also think carriers are having trouble recruiting and retaining drivers because of pay."
Read the whole article here...
Most drivers making same or less than they did last year
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I've been on record posting about this very topic. You could pay drivers all the money in the world but we will always have this same discussion. Driver retention is an issue because the lifestyle is not appealing. Being a truck driver is not a respected profession for real. It isn't a "sexy" line of work. Companies arent going to pay more because nobody stays anymore. So many folks hop from one company to another and they are pretty much the same. Anybody making 90k and up....those jobs are few and far between. Also, we are in a wave where people want to make big money, but are unwilling to put in the time to do it. People think you should make 100k or better without working more than 40 hrs weekly. Sounds good. You combine the lifestyle change, plus having to work longer and harder for your money, and homesickness(particularly for OTR drivers), there's the real reason why drivers don't stay.
There's something to be said about the line in the article that says drivers worry about finances. Perhaps they are spending too recklessly? The average is 50 to 75k yearly for OTR. I'm probably at about 60k yearly. That's good money, at least to me it is. Point being, the ones that are most worried about finances are the ones saying trucking doesn't pay enough. They will be the ones to say that about every industry. It ain't what you make, it's how you spend(considering if you make a decent wage).
The American Transportation Research Institute is the "research" arm of, and fully funded by, the ATA. So I would look at their report but take it with a grain of salt.
Even so, to see that driver compensation is not one of the megas top 10 concerns, show that they are fine with their business model of cheap meat in the seat. That they can hire and train hundreds of thousands of new drivers every year while still making money shows this.
Those income ranges on the survey don’t offer enough insight on pay. 50,000 to 75,000 is far too wide a range. I just made 51,000 finishing my first year, and that is an entirely different pay than 71,000.
That said I’m actually staying where I’m at although I can probably only expect maybe 58,000 next year. I know I can make more elsewhere but I like where I’m at for other reasons. To me pay isn’t everything, I won’t hop to another job for 10k more for the uncertainty of not knowing if I’d like the job.
Last year I made $61k... This year I will be about $15k less than that, but that shortfall is purely due to having to take a total of 6 extra weeks off this year for personal reasons.
Live out of a truck. Long load window so you sit and wait. In a truck not getting paid. WTF. I'll never understand why so many drivers value their time so little.
Give me 70 hours of work and I'll do 70 hours of work.
If dispatch and managers can't find a full 70 hours of work why should the driver suffer for that.They don't get a pay cut for not finding work. If you are required to be with the truck then you are working.
You end your day early so you can find a parking space. That'll cost you miles so you lose money there too. You can't go home. You're there to forward the companies Goals. All while not being paid. And there are drivers here that'll say that's the way it should be.
With ELD there's no reason a driver shouldn't be paid hourly.
A full 70 when OTR.
I've heard the argument that some drivers will milk the clock. So what.
It's a managers responsibility to manage. Lazy drivers will be weeded out by good managers. I've been paid by the hour and slow drivers did get canned.
Some say "But I make top pay". Well what makes you think you wouldn't still make top pay.
The reason truckers get paid so little for their time is truckers don't value their own time. So why wouldn't a company pay as little as possible. Someone will take the job. After all they have to pay their dues don't they? Then they'll get another, and another.
Truckers will never band together so the companies really don't have a reason to change.
CPM used to be high enough to cover the non driving part. Not anymore. The way we're paid OTR needs to change. But it won't. The companies are smart. 100%+ turnover rate is more profitable than better wages.
That's why pay is not in companies top ten.
To me, an outsider, CPM seems like such a ripoff. Now winter's here you have to drive slower, sling iron, possibly shut down early due to more crashes, bad weather etc. Why should a driver have to put in just as many hours for less miles (essentially less pay)? Its a joke as far as I'm concerned.
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