The American Trucking Associations released the ATA Driver Compensation Study with data from 2007 and 2008 operations, its first report on driver compensation since 2003.

"The trucking industry faces many challenges in 2009," said Bill Graves, ATA president and CEO. "Appropriately compensating and retaining top-notch drivers is a necessity for companies trying to weather the current economic storm. This study provides very important national and regional data the industry desperately needs today and during the subsequent economic recovery."

Graves pointed to a number of important areas in the 97-page study, including data on:

• Employee driver salaries on national and regional levels
• Employee driver salaries by carrier type (flatbed, refrigerated, tank truck, and more)
• Employee driver benefits, including bonuses, insurance, retirement, and vacation
• Employee driver recruitment, training, and retention practices
• Owner-operator employment and compensation structure
• Technician employment, salaries, and benefits

In all, 159 motor carriers from across the country participated in the ATA Driver Compensation Study. These organizations included publicly held or privately owned companies, such as nationwide less-than-truckload, regional LTL, nationwide truckload, regional truckload, dedicated carriers, logistic providers, and others.

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