Pay

October 20, 2014

The old saying about keeping drivers happy is “get them miles, get them paid and get them home!”  This is something we work hard on every day.  In the one way truckload world, this can be a challenge but I think we’re pretty dang good at it.

I saw a survey recently that rated “pay” as the number one thing that attracts drivers to a company.  Our philosophy at ACT for as long as I have been here (which is quite a while) is that ACT offers top pay rates in the trucking industry for drivers.  Why?  We, at ACT have always prided ourselves on being legal, being one of the safest carriers, and having the best customer service.  We feel that in order to do this, we need to hire the best drivers in the industry.  If you want to hire the best, you must pay the best.  Even though we pay more for drivers than other trucking companies, we feel that in the long run, it actually costs us less…Why?  Because by hiring the best, we obtain the best in safety and service, miles and mpg.  This saves money.  The circle is completed when we are able to offer the highest pay due to the savings.  Make sense?  We think so.

When I talk about pay, I’m not talking about sign on bonuses, although we offer these as well.  I’m talking about the long haul, the big picture!  In our competitive business, many companies offer sign on bonuses.  But read the fine print.  Very few actually pay them.  The big picture you should focus on is the total compensation package.  Let’s talk about ACT’s…

For owner operators, we pay $1.03 per mile if you have a hazmat endorsement, $ .97 if you don’t for loaded miles and $.90 for empty miles (less than 5% of our freight is hazmat, but we pay the premium on all loaded miles).  We also pay a very generous fuel surcharge on all miles.  A fuel surcharge is intended to help pay for some of your fuel and deal with fluctuations in fuel prices.  Many of our contractors have figured out that if they buy fuel right and get good mpg, they can actually make money on our fuel surcharge. We also pay on to contractors 100% of the fuel discounts we get at the pump….and ours are pretty sweet!  If you choose to use our fuel network, those savings are yours!  It can add up to quite a bit of money.  This year it averages almost $ .28 cents per gallon.  Fuel is an independent contractor’s largest expense by far.  If you ran 120,000 miles per year, hit our fleet average of 7.5 mpg and used our fuel network, you would save another $ 4500 per year on fuel.  At ACT playing the fuel game right can make you a whole lot of money.

There are some other items that ACT offers that may get overlooked.  We pay for things other than miles.  For example, after two hours we will pay detention….whether we get the money from the shipper or not!  We pay for time taking a trailer for repair. And the products we offer to contractors, such as physical damage insurance, occupational accident insurance, legal protection insurance and others are very competitively priced.  We pay for QUALCOMM’s.  Our parts and service for work done in our shop are priced way below what you would pay on the road.

Do the math… add it up, and I think you will find that no dry van truckload carrier pays a higher rate than ACT!  Of this we are confident!

Company drivers get top industry pay as well.  Our company drivers can earn up to $ .46 per mile if their performance is good.  What are the performance factors?  It is the things we are about….safety, service, legal compliance and we recognize that some employees work harder than others.  We see this in miles.  We believe that hard workers should be paid more…not treated the same as other who don’t work as hard.  We also reward those who save the company money by getting good mpg and fueling at the cheapest fuel stops on route.  Those drivers produce savings, and we are more than happy to pay them more for their efforts.

Look at our benefits packages and compare those to other carriers.  Other carriers offer drivers a skinnied down medical plan which is not the same as insurance given to office employees and doesn’t cover as much.  At ACT, our drivers are offered the same plans as those in the office.  We offer health, dental, vision, disability, both long and short term, 401k (where we match your contribution up to 4% of your pay) and legal insurance.  No one in the dry van space offers better benefits than ACT!

For both company drivers and contractors we offer the opportunity to make additional money as a recruiter.  Why?  Because our drivers can tell others better than anyone what it is like at ACT.  In keeping with our philosophy, we’d much rather pay our drivers to help us than pay ads in a recruiting magazine.

And last, but not least…we have more freight that we know what to do with!

I know drivers have a lot of aggressive recruiters calling.  They are often incentivized by the numbers they bring in.  Some are pretty aggressive in sugar coating things.  Take your time, do your homework, sharpen your pencil and you will find that no over the road dry van carrier offers a higher compensation opportunity than ACT…..NOBODY!  It has always been that way…and it always will be.

Happy Trucking!  ~ Tom