Oct. 9 – U.S. Xpress, based in Chattanooga, TN, has a new independent contractor program designed to attract more owner-operators.
The recent acquisition of PST Vans brought a major influx of owner-operators to the company. Although the company previously had more than 150 owner-operators, it was only a small portion of the fleet of one of the largest carriers in the country. “We sort of had our toe in the water,” says spokesman Greg Thompson.
In charge of the new program is Al Hingst of U.S. Xpress’s Lincoln, NE, operation, where some of U.S. Xpress’s owner-operators were based before the PST Vans deal.
Pay will be up to $1 per mile, depending on length of haul, region of the country and other factors. The program will include benefits such as a group insurance program, free base plates and permits and emergency roadside breakdown support. U.S. Xpress will get owner-operators through orientation and processing quickly, and dedicated runs are available.
In addition, Thompson says, contractors for U.S. Xpress will benefit from the same “driver-friendly” atmosphere that company drivers enjoy. “Our organizational chart is set up like a target,” he says. “Customers are at the center of the target, and the next ring is drivers, because they have the most contact with the customers.”