Raising Pay: A New Trend? - News

Raising Pay: A New Trend?

Brandon Scott - Staff Writer
Apr 22nd 2022 8:00AM

Walmart, the third-largest private carrier in North America, recently committed to increasing driver pay and instituting an integrated training program. What this means is that new hires can make upwards of $110,000 per year, and they’ll even train current company associates and help them earn their truck driving certificates. In a sense this keeps employment opportunities enticing for potential new hires and allows current employees the potential to significantly increase their earnings.

Will Other Carriers Follow?

Logic would insist that if Walmart’s move is the trend setter, other companies and carriers will soon follow suit. But we don’t exactly live in a logical world anymore, do we?

The driver shortage has been ballyhooed ad nauseum, and the amount of freight that desperately needs its transporters is exponentially expanding. Walmart has decided to do something about it, and their move may just set a new precedent for how drivers are compensated for their time and efforts.

It would make sense that other carriers are looking at this situation and taking notes. Those who don’t want to, or say they can’t, boost their driver pay packages risk wearing egg on their collective faces should this program really take off for the retail giant. Some companies are also, probably, viewing this as the right time to incorporate just such an income increase for their drivers. Even if it means doing so incrementally.

How Will This Effect the Driver Hiring Market?

Think of it in terms of sports and the contracts elite athletes are awarded. We’ll use the NFL as an example.

A team that may be desperate to find their franchise quarterback (truck drivers), may be willing to break the bank and offer the highest contract in pro football history (Walmart). Now, that player who signs such a lucrative agreement shouldn’t be held accountable for the team’s willingness to cough up such coinage. But what this does is set a benchmark for future QBs (drivers) who are looking to capitalize on the market.

Other teams and organizations (companies and carriers) may scoff at spending such a chunk, but if they’re going to stay competitive and relevant, they’ll have to swallow their pride and pony up where the financial rubber meets the road.

What Walmart has done is set the high-water mark for what could be considered the new industry standard when it comes to company driver pay.

Read the Fine Print

As with anything that can be considered too good to be true, be sure to tread lightly until this program has seen its first successful run of qualified drivers on the road. It’s one thing to promise and promote a high paying job or position, but it’s hard to believe everyone is going to be rewarded so handsomely.

Stipulations are always at play. A company wouldn’t necessarily stake its reputation on an unproven coven of under-qualified drivers if there aren’t a few caveats in the wording of a contract.

But for now, kudos to Walmart for setting an example of just how we should revere our trucking community. Here’s hoping this is just the beginning of a renaissance in transportation employment.

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