Central Oregon Trucking Company raises driver salaries, changes pay structure

  (Photo: Central Oregon Trucking Company)

(Photo: Central Oregon Trucking Company)

Central Oregon Trucking Company has announced a new pay structure that paves the way for driver salary increases of up to $15,000 per year.

The Daseke company’s new pay structure has been dubbed “Weekly Driver Salary Pay,” and it guarantees solo drivers a weekly paycheck of at least $1,250, according to a media release from COTC.

The company promises drivers at least 2,430 miles each week, which means they can count on a minimum gross weekly paycheck amount, but it does not cap them at $1,250. Drivers are allowed to drive further and earn more if they so choose.

“That’s the minimum, and for drivers who want more home or rest time, this provides a stable living wage,” COTC CEO Rick Williams said. “But, for other drivers who want to run more miles, this program is great too. If a driver runs 3,000 miles for the week, that salary would increase to $1,575--escalating up to $2,000 a week for solo drivers.”

Williams said the program offers new drivers a base salary of $65,000 per year, while giving more experienced drivers the opportunity to earn over $90,000 annually.

The new pay structure is intended to provide certainty for drivers, and Williams said current drivers are “loving it” so far.

“The goal was to simplify so that a driver would know exactly what his or her check would be each week the minute the payroll cut-off hit,” Williams continued. “Now, all our drivers have to do is track their miles. Overall, this means a $10,000 to $15,000 a-year jump for our drivers. We also offer ‘loyalty pay,’ which is an additional one to three cents per mile driven.”

Pay increases have been common industry-wide in 2018. Earlier this month, FreightWaves reported that multiple companies issued pay raises this year in response to the driver shortage.  

COTC also recently introduced a team pay program. Team drivers can earn between $2,350 and $3,345 each week, for an annual salary between $122,000 to $173,000, according to the release. 

Williams called the program a “game changer for the industry,” noting that companies have to be efficient to afford to pay at such high levels.

COTC also offers other perks to its drivers, including employer-paid health benefits and free  per diem enrollment. Per diem is paid at a flat $68 per day for five nights each week under the new pay structure.

 The company was named the 2018 overall winner of the Best Fleet to Drive For in the small category program by the Truckload Carriers Association and CarriersEdge. It has landed in the top 20 each of the past five years.

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