Smokey Point Distributing, aiming to reduce the unpredictability of income for prospective truck drivers, has announced it will pay qualified solo over-the-road drivers with flatbed hauling experience and experienced driving team members a guaranteed annual salary.
Qualified solo OTR drivers will be able to earn an annual salary of $65,000 per year and driving team members can earn an annual salary of $75,000. The annual salary program will give drivers a consistent income regardless of the number of loaded miles an OTR driver runs each week.
By guaranteeing annual pay, ODFL hopes to entice qualified drivers by ensuring financial protection from unexpected issues such as a temporary lack of sales, weather delays, equipment maintenance requirements, and delays in loading or unloading.
Drivers will still be able to earn compensation and annual bonuses for certain accessorial, mileage, safety, and driver referrals. The potential mileage bonus for high-performing solo drivers is $7,000 to upwards of $16,000 on a high average and the same for each member of a driving team. Drivers with at least one to two years of experience hauling flatbeds are preferred.
“By offering drivers consistent paychecks, we are providing drivers and their families financial stability, comfort and peace-of-mind, while also providing them the opportunity to earn additional pay and annual bonuses that could be incredibly rewarding,” said Dan Wirkkala, CEO of Smokey Point Distributing “Our new annual salary pay program will mean more stable incomes so they won’t have to put off paying their rent, mortgage or car payment until their next paychecks.”
Smokey Point has consistently had a lower turnover rate than the industry average, according to the company, but the company is looking for ways to attract new drivers to meet increased freight demand. Sean McManama, manager of driver services for Smokey Point, hopes the change will be attractive to drivers who are tired of cyclical pay and desire more predictability.
“Inconsistent pay, pay cuts or paychecks that aren’t enough to support themselves and their families have historically led to high driver turnover rates in our industry,” said McManama. “Through this new pay program, drivers can experience the freedom of financial independence and some true stability without those ultra-lows that happen often at no fault of their own.”
Smokey Point Distributing is a Daseke company and was named one of the Best Fleets to Drive For in 2017 and 2018. The company also placed first in the Truckload Carrier Association’s National Fleet Safety Awards in its category for the second year in a row.