Covenant Transport (40th on Commercial Carrier Journal’s Top 250 Ranking) this week announced a new pay package for its HazMat OTR team drivers.
The pay package, which includes a $1,000 per week minimum guarantee for drivers with at least one year of experience, went into effect Monday (June 1) for the more than 1,000 HazMat team drivers working for the company.
Covenant, which is based in Chattanooga, Tenn., said in a statement that this is believed to be the largest guaranteed minimum program in the industry.
“We’ve been working for the past year to make sure everything is in place to guarantee our HazMat OTR team drivers a minimum of $1,000 per week each and every week,” said Rob Hatchett, vice president of recruiting for Covenant. “It is a huge step for a large carrier to put their money where their mouth is in this way. We are so confident in the freight network we have that has allowed us to offer such a generous guarantee to such a large number of drivers.”
The company said its HazMat team drivers will typically earn an average of $1,200-1,300 per week, but the guaranteed weekly minimum pay will allow these drivers to know the absolute minimum they will earn each week.
According to Hatchett, drivers also want consistency of pay. He said Covenant is willing to step up and guarantee $1,000 weekly even during the uncommon weeks when drivers have to battle weather, non-ideal road conditions, or equipment issues.
“We are looking forward to paying these additional funds because it shows our drivers we truly want to maximize their income,” Hatchett said.
The minimum guarantee for HazMat team drivers with less than a year of experience is $850 per week.
The new pay package also features guaranteed home time, company-paid HazMat endorsement, an improvement in earned home-time to two days earned for 12 worked, and starting pay for new trainers increased to 72 cents per mile.
Covenant’s guaranteed home time policy also pays drivers $100 for each day they are late for their scheduled home time. In addition, the company also hires individual drivers without their HazMat certification, pays for them to get certified and has a program to pair them up with a compatible team driving partner.
The company said its HazMat team driver compensation package makes it possible for drivers to earn
more as a team than if they were running solo.
“This is an exciting time at Covenant Transport because we are growing,” said Hatchett. “We are up almost 200 professional drivers over this time last year and it’s largely because our pay has gone up so much. We understand that there is a driver shortage happening in the industry, but Covenant has been growing and that makes it very exciting around here.”