The supply-chain crisis has made long-haul truckers an increasingly valuable commodity — pushing recruiters to get creative.
Jerrett Sellers, a transportation manager for regional trucking company Merchants Foodservice, told The Los Angeles Times that he’s approaching individual truck drivers at gas stations, truck stops, and convenience stores. His pitch includes a $2,000 sign-on bonus and an additional $125 a week on top of their regular wages for drivers who show up on time, as well as medical and dental insurance.
And he doesn’t stop there. Sellers said he gets to know the drivers individually and told the publication that the pitching process for new drivers can take several weeks.
Sellers isn’t the only recruiter on the prowl. In August, it was reported that trucking companies were offering sign-on bonuses as high as $15,000.
The long-haul trucking industry’s over 90% turnover rate reflects that it is a difficult and unappealing job.
Insider spoke with five truck drivers who left the industry this year, despite high freight rates. The drivers said their decision came down to how they were treated on the road.
“What people sometimes fail to understand is it’s not always about the pay,” Josh Stephens, a former trucker who working in the industry for 23 years, told Insider. “It’s about being treated like a human being.”
Stephens and other truckers pointed to bathroom lines that could span hours, as well as a lack of truck stops that often forces drivers to take their chances parking on the side of the road.
Some trucking companies are looking to address the lack of amenities on the road, according to The LA Times. The publication reported that companies have begun advertising luxury truck terminals that include masseurs, entertainment rooms, and pet bathing stations. Meg Larcinese, national sales manager at the Trucker Media Group, told The Times some of the showers at the luxury locations are comparable to five-star hotel accommodations.
Prime Inc., one of the nation’s largest trucking companies, has 12 truck terminal stops, three of which they advertise as “amenities buildings.” The group’s most recent building was built in Salt Lake City last year. The three buildings include anything from a modern gym and full-sized basketball court to a spa and movie theater. The locations also have a daycare center and doctors office, as well as in-house dining facilities, laundry services and sleeping accommodations.
A Prime Inc. spokesperson, Clayton Brown, told The LA Times that the amenities appear to be paying off. The group’s turnover rate is around 50% — significantly lower than the industry’s 90% average turnover rate, according to the spokesperson.
A Prime trucker, Mark Dolson, told the publication he regularly spends $100 for a massage at the amenities buildings.
Story via Business Insider.