Short on Drivers, Truckers Offer Perks
PHILADELPHIA – The trucking industry is facing one of the worst labor shortages in its history as a result of retirements, according to the New York Times. The American Trucking Associations said the current shortage of 20,000 drivers will grow to 100,000 within a decade.
In order to draw in drivers, trucking companies are now offering 401(k), stock option, and health care packages. They are also offering cash bonuses and prizes to drivers for viable referrals. They are also upfitting vehicles with the latest technology for satellite radio and television. Some are now even allowing drivers to bring pets and spouses on the road, all in an effort to make life on the road less grueling.
Since 2000, drivers’ wages have started to rebound. In 2004, the average annual pay for a truck driver was $34,920, compared with $37,890 for a construction worker, according to figures provided by the Department of Labor. Union truck drivers make on average about $60,000; however, only about 10 percent of all U.S. truck drivers are unionized.