Heartland raises its driver pay, doubles its referral bonus; top number of 67.5 cts/mile

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Trucking companies don’t always announce changes in their pay practices. But it has become more frequent as employers do anything and everything to recruit drivers during the current squeeze that nobody thinks is going away anytime soon.

Heartland Express on Friday announced its own increase in pay. It goes into effect on Saturday, July 7. Scrolling through the news section of the Heartland Express website reveals no similar announcement; this looks like the first time it has publicized a pay hike. Heartland’s Twitter feed also has a post about the pay increase, the first time the company has said anything on Twitter since mid-May.

The percentage increase was not disclosed in the release, and Heartland did not list a contact for further questions. But among the pay features in the new compensation structure cited by Heartland are:

--The range—or what Heartland calls “the bar” for drivers—will be 40 to 49 cts per mile. That range is based on the division and what Heartland calls the Household Goods mileage scale. The pay rate is for drivers with at least 6 months of over the road driving experience.  Heartland has three divisions: long haul truckload, regional truckload, team & dedicated.

--A safety bonus of 1 cts to 3 cts per mile will continue to be paid for safe driving. Heartland will pay a Northeast region “Green Mile” bonus of 5 cts per mile and an identical bonus for a Canadian mile. An additional 1 ct bonus is available for hazmat transportation. Heartland’s statement said these would “continue” with no indication that they had been changed.

--The referral bonus for new drivers hired was doubled to $2,000. New hires have a weekly pay guarantee for 13 weeks.

--Heartland will recognize up to ten years of past experience for newly hired drivers, and will offer them 45.5 cts to 53.5 cts on the Household Goods mileage scale. Annual longevity increases will be paid for up to 20 years, but Heartland did not indicate whether that was a change.

--What all this adds up, Heartland said, is that the “safest, most experienced drivers” for Heartland can earn up to 67.5 cts per mile “in targeted areas of the country.”