Survey: Most drivers say the deserve bonus; only half expect to get one

Updated Dec 1, 2023
Tractor-trailer on highway in the snow

For many truckers, the upcoming holiday season will be more about a continued work routine and less about enjoying the festivities with family and friends. 

This time of year will also find many truckers expecting additional pay and/or a holiday bonus. However, many also figure such added compensation will not be forthcoming, and may change jobs if it isn't.

Those are a few of the overall impressions gathered by a new survey of truckers by Lance Surety Bonds. The key takeaways include:

  • 38% of truck drivers expect to be working on Christmas this year
  • 51% of truckers expect a holiday bonus this year, and just over half of this group would consider looking for another job if they don’t receive one
  • 25% of truckers are considering looking for another job before the holiday season
  • 65% of truckers say their demanding schedule strains their relationships with their family
  • 74% have delayed holiday celebrations due to work

According to the survey, on average, truckers anticipate working an extra 15 hours per week during the holidays, and for good reason. The survey found 44% of truckers predict this holiday season will be busier than the same time last year. 

Because of this, the vast majority -- 74% -- of trucklers expect to work at least one holiday between now and the end of the year. Almost half -- 49% -- expected to be working on Thanksgiving. Fully 43% say they expect to be working on New Year's, 39% suspect they'll be on the job on Hunukkah, and 38% say they'll be behind the while on Christmas.

The survey also found that three out of four truckers expect to delay holiday celebrations because of their jobs.

This is also the time of year for many workers to receive Christmas or end-of-the-year bonuses. The  Lance Surety Bonds survey found that almost all truckers -- 92% -- believe they deserve additional pay or a bonus during the holidays. However, just a bit more than half -- 51% -- actually expect to receive one.

Almost all of the truckers in the survey -- 89% -- said they deserve a bump in pay because of an increased workload. Almost the same amount -- 84% -- said they deserve added pay for working long hours, and 82% said added pay ought to be forthcoming because they're working the holidays. Hazardous weather conditions ought to mean additional pay, according to 75% of drivers.

How big ought the bonuses or additional pay be? 

  • 32% said more than $2,000
  • 14% said $1,501 to $2,000
  • 25% said $1,01 to 1,500
  • 25% said $500 to $1,000
  • 4% said less than $500

"Just over half of those who think a holiday bonus is coming their way this year also said they’d consider looking for another job if it doesn’t," said the results of the survey posted to the Risk Strategies website. "Regardless, one-quarter of truck drivers -- 25% -- were thinking about looking for another job before the holiday season hits, and nearly as many -- 23% -- shared that they’re considering changing industries altogether."

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All is not rosy for some truckers this time of year. The survey found 26% of responding truckers felt their companies do not "provide adequate support for their safety and well-being during this time of year." Truckers in the survey wanted:

  • Better tires
  • Alternate routes and longer breaks during bad weather
  • Hiring more drivers to reduce individual work hours
  • Keeping trucks conditioned for severe weather
  • Mental health resources
  • More days off during the holidays

Lance Surety Bonds said they contacted 142 truckers for the survey.