CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - CRST Van Expedited, which will invest over $12 million this year to train 5,000 students to become truck driversis meeting the driver shortage head-on by offering pay increases for first year drivers. Drivers with a CDL who have funded their own training will receive a $.04 per mile or 15 percent increase in their first year with CRST. Co-drivers who graduated from CRST-funded contract training schools and have 7-12 months of experience will receive a 7 percent increase and lead drivers will receive a 6 percent increase. The rate increase, combined with 4,000-6,000 weekly team miles, offers Van Expedited drivers with three months of experience the chance to earn a weekly wage of $660-$990. The rate increases go into effect November 1, 2005.
"The competition for drivers is tough," said Brian Miller, Van Expedited's director of capacity development. "We are committed to offering top pay so that drivers want to work for CRST and once here, they want to stay." The increased compensation for first year drivers is part of an effort to enhance compensation for drivers of all experience levels. The company implemented pay increases in January and March for drivers with more than one year of experience.
In the past, CRST Van Expedited focused on recruiting people with no truck driving experience and enrolling them in one of 30 training schools across the country with which the company has a contract. The schooling is contracted by CRST Van Expedited, which has trained 26,000 drivers over the past five years.
While the company will continue to utilize this method of recruitment, it is also placing its energies on two additional sources for drivers. A driver with a minimum of one month and less than one year of experience who comes to CRST Van Expedited with CDL in hand and needing OTR experience will qualify for $.31-$.33 per mile. CRST Van Expedited is also offering a pay increase to drivers who graduate from private driving schools such as those accredited by the Professional Truck Driver Institute, the Commercial Vehicle Training Association or the many accredited driver training schools that are affiliated with community colleges across the nation. "These driving schools teach over 45,000 students each year," said CRST Carrier Group President Dave Rusch, who is responsible for CRST Van Expedited, CRST Premier Transport and CRST Malone operations. "This offers us a stable of qualified drivers from which to recruit. Truck driving is one of the toughest professions around, and we are pleased to reward these hardworking men and women with top dollar and job security. "
CRST Van Expedited, a company of CRST International, is the largest team operation in the nation, with a fleet of over 1,600 trucks and 3,000 professional drivers.