Pay increases for company drivers at Watkins Refrigerated

Watkins Refrigerated began offering a new pay package for company drivers last month.

The new base rate pay structure, according to company President Steve Smith, will include a 16 percent increase in base mileage rate, increasing from $.38 to $.44 per mile. This also includes an annual increase of $.01 per mile each year throughout the first five years. An additional $.02 per mile will be added for Haz Mat certification.

Watkins Refrigerated recently improved driver pay, and is adding new trucks to its fleet.

In addition, local drivers for Watkins Refrigerated will receive an 11 percent increase from $18 to $20 per hour as well as an annual increase of 50 cents per hour the first five years of employment. A $1 per hour increase will be provided for drivers in this division with Haz Mat certification.

“We continuously review our pay programs to ensure that we provide those who join the Watkins family with industry-leading opportunities that will enable them to achieve a higher quality of life,” Smith said.

Also included in these rate changes is an increase in detention pay of 7 percent, said Smith. It will be paid in 15-minute increments after two hours. The company is also offering an additional $35 flat fee for short haul pay on pickup or delivery of any load that is less than 75 miles. Dedicated fleets may be paid differently based upon customer requirements.

“Along with new pay packages, company drivers will soon be receiving brand new 2016 Freightliner Cascadia tractors,” Smith said. “We are making these investments to improve our customer service, our image and the overall work environment. We appreciate the hard work and dedication of our fleet and are pleased to be able to reward them with better equipment and pay.”

Watkins Refrigerated operates in regional and inter-regional markets in the Eastern half of the U.S.