Give it a year, possibly two, and the truck driver shortage will be over. Well, unless “president” Gropey, the US Congress, or some other goobermint official or agency steps in to “fix” everything.
Walmart increases salary for truck drivers to over $100,000
(KTVX) – As the U.S. deals with a nationwide shortage of truck drivers, Walmart has announced that the company will be offering their long-haul drivers a salary of up to $110,000 per year.
In a press release, the company said the latest investment not only gives first-year truck drivers the ability to make up to $110,000 but also gives drivers who have been with Walmart the opportunity to earn even more.
The average salary for a long-haul driver is $63,433 (base salary plus additional pay) per year, but “most likely” ranges between $28,000 and $149,000 annually, according to a Glassdoor study.
In raising its truckers’ salaries, Walmart is now on the same playing field as Sysco, which also advertises that its employees can make up to $110,000 a year.
Walmart also announced the launch of the first Walmart Private Fleet Development Program, a 12-week program where supply-chain associates in the Dallas, Texas, and Dover, Delaware, areas earned their commercial driver’s license (CDL) and became full-fledged Private Fleet Walmart drivers.
My brother told me about this earlier today, saying he was strongly considering applying for one of those jobs. And why the hell not? Sure, he’d be giving up the single biggest reason he decided to go with being an owner-operator and haul containers in the first place, ie, the near-total freedom to set his own hours and decide when he would work or not work. That is NOT nothing.
On the other hand, he’d also be losing the weight of responsibility currently hanging around his neck like an anchor from the USS Missouri: reponsibility for everything from paying for diesel to repairs of every kind on the truck to the thousand and one fees, licenses, endorsements, and of course taxes which eat up his earnings like a glutton at an AYCE buffet. Last year, for example, the truck made 100k or slightly over, if I remember right. My brother, pitifully enough, made 30-35k himself. That is by no means an insignificant comedown.
So jump from that not-entirely-enticing scenario to this one: 100k in salary, 150k for experienced road dogs, for 2-3 weeks on the road, then home for a week or somewhat less. Wal Mart handles your plates, IFTA stickers, endorsements, and inspections for ya. All you gotta do is show up at the yard, give your assigned rig a walk-around to kick tires, check underneath for puddles of truck-related fluids, and hit the highway. When it breaks down on the road—and trust me, it’s going to—you call the dispatcher, tell them where you are and what’s happened, and wait for the tow-truck to arrive. While cooling your heels lying on that big condo-cab bunk in back, you can think about all the money the tow, the repair, and everything else is gonna cost somebody else.
A pain in the ass? Of course it is, nothing but. It sucks; been there done that too many damned times myself, and it does indeed just pure-tee suck, especially when it’s freezing or sweltering out and your motor won’t run, depriving you of the comfort of the A/C or heat. But the suckage is profoundly attenuated when the bank account being drained by the aforementioned PITA ain’t yours.
- BAD: Having to call for a tow
- WORSE: Having to call for a tow which you must then pay for
So yeah, there are pros and cons to the deal, with which my brother will surely wrestle and agonize over before deciding which way to jump. But with Wal Mart also offering help for new drivers with getting their Class A and HazMat certification, you can bet there’ll be a goodly number of guys suddenly discovering a newly-kindled interest in this trucking thing that they’d never felt before. As for people who are piloting big rigs now, unless they’re in an owner-operator situation akin to my brother’s, this news from Wal Mart would have to hit home as a total no-brainer.
Oh, and did I mention that my brother is confident he can put an additional 80k into his kick by selling his Freightshaker Classic XL glider-truck too?
For drivers, the trucking field is a seller’s market right now, has been for several years. With this announcement, Wal Mart is providing a pluperfect example of how markets and capitalism are supposed to work. Even in a market so severely hogtied and strangulated by the ten thumbs of Big Bad Government, the market will always find a way of straightening itself out somehow, if there is one to be found. Mark my words: it may take a minute, yes, but the truck driver shortage is coming to an end.
Update! Straight from the horse’s mouth.
These latest investments mean Walmart drivers can now make up to $110,000 in their first year with the company. And that’s just a start – drivers who have been with Walmart longer can earn even more, based on factors like tenure and location.
The investments make driving for Walmart’s Private Fleet even more enticing than before, so we’re creating new ways to offer existing Walmart associates opportunities to drive with us. Here’s how our new Fleet Development Program works.
Working at Walmart already includes access to the Live Better U program, where Walmart covers the cost of tuition and books for a college degree, and our nationwide network of Walmart Academies. Now, we have launched the first-ever Walmart Private Fleet Development Program. Over the course of a 12-week program, supply chain associates in the Dallas, Texas, and Dover, Delaware, areas earned their commercial driver’s license (CDL) and became full-fledged Private Fleet Walmart drivers.
The investments in pay and training build on multiple recent driver bonuses and improved schedules that enable drivers to spend more time at home. There’s never been a better time to join our fleet. Once drivers are on board, this is a job many leave only for retirement.
I imagine so, yeah.
Given that most people can learn to drive a truck, this is a nice job. Sucks being gone, but it sucks worse being home and broke. Even my late friends brother, retired for the last couple years from the long haul world, is thinking he might just have to give it a couple more years.
And he doesn’t need the money.