Average pay for company drivers rose in 2019

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Pay and benefits improved for company drivers last year.

The latest version of the American Trucking Associations Driver Compensation Study shows average driver pay, including bonuses, rose nearly $6,000 in 2019 since the last study in 2017, according to a statement from the association.

“These results show that fleets did exactly what we would expect them to in the face of a tightening market for drivers: they raised pay and increased benefits in order to attract talent,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello.

ATA says according to its survey, which was based on data from 2019, the average pay for truckload national, irregular route solo van drivers was roughly $58,000, up $6,000 from 2017.

“We saw large carriers hire more entry-level drivers in 2019, including drivers directly from driver training school, which lowered the average pay for these carriers, but they did not reduce pay rates. It was just a different driver experience pool,” Costello said.

Fleets responding to the survey also reported offering significant benefit packages in order to attract drivers including paid leave, insurance, meals and other incidentals and retirement plans, according to the ATA. For example, more than 90% of truckload carriers, less-than-truckload carriers and private fleets surveyed offered drivers paid leave and health insurance, the survey found.

“With the long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic crisis not yet fully clear, we can say that a career in trucking could be a well-paying solution for some of the millions of Americans who have lost their jobs so far this year,” Costello said.