Refrigerated carrier Pride Transport announced Tuesday it is implementing its third driver pay increase in the last 12 months. Starting Friday, cumulative pay increases totaling 10 cents per mile will allow its drivers to make $70,000 annually.
The midsized Salt Lake City-based carrier said over-the-road drivers will now earn between 51 cents and 75 cents per mile. The new fleetwide pay scale represents a 20% increase from rates paid prior to the pandemic. The carrier’s prior two increases were implemented in July and December.
The 40-year-old company also provides a $10,000 sign-on bonus, which is paid out at a rate of $100 a week for drivers during their first two years with Pride.
“We truly value our drivers and are thrilled to announce this pay increase,” said Steve Schelin, director of recruiting. “We take pride in knowing that our drivers can count on us for a long, stable career with great pay.”
Strong consumer spending and a need for inventory replenishment have kept freight volumes at elevated levels for more than a year. However, since the onset of the pandemic many drivers have either retired or sought employment in other industries. Add in test violations captured by the Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse and the need for additional drivers continues to climb, hence the sustained period of pay increases.
According to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration data, violations, mostly positive drug or alcohol tests or driver refusals to take the test, increased 13% year-over-year in August.
Since the inception of the registry, 95,980 total violations have been recorded with only 20% of drivers returning to a “not-prohibited” status. Further, some 53,000 drivers have yet to start the return-to-duty process, suggesting they have likely left the industry at least for the time being.
Pride operates a fleet of more than 500 trucks and offers dedicated, regional and team driving positions in addition to OTR.