Trucking company Averitt Express has announced a pay increase for its newly hired regional truckload and flatbed drivers.
Regional drivers will now start at a rate of 50 cents per mile, $1,200 assuming a five-day week, the carrier announced on Monday. Flatbed associates will start at 52 cents per mile, $1,375 for the full week. Both regional and flatbed drivers will see a 2-cent-per-mile increase after a year if they have received their hazmat endorsement.
The Cookeville, Tennessee-based carrier said it is also offering a referral program for drivers with a payout of up to $2,750. Averitt allows regional drivers to transfer to other local and dedicated positions after six months as a regional driver with the company.
“We are so excited to be able to provide our regional drivers with competitive pay, as well as a strong benefits package, company culture and working environment,” said Danny Crooks, vice president of corporate transportation.
Averitt Express is one of the top less-than-truckload providers in the nation. The nearly 50-year-old company operates roughly 5,500 trucks out of more than 100 locations.
Many carriers announced driver pay increases at the end of 2020 and in early 2021 as the industry’s pool of qualified candidates declined.
Last year, driver schools produced 40% fewer graduates and the Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse recorded 56,000 driver violations, with more than 80% of those violations related to failed drug tests. Transportation employment remains below levels seen prior to the pandemic as competition from other sectors, like construction, has made it difficult for carriers to seat tractors.
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