Drivers Beginning to Reap Benefits of Trucking Boom

Average pay is up 17 percent in less than two years as freight haulers fight to meet hiring needs

The Wall Street Journal
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Oct. 13, 2015—After years of spending long hours behind the wheel without seeing their paychecks grow, U.S. truck drivers now have employers fighting for their services.

Many freight haulers, in the past year, pushed through their biggest raises in decades. Truck-stop job boards and satellite radio airwaves are saturated with want ads, some offering sign-on bonuses topping $5,000 and free bus tickets to drivers willing to switch employers. Companies are equipping their fleets with satellite televisions and other amenities to make life on the road more comfortable.

It is a bonanza for drivers like Alex Topolse. The 34-year-old Auburn, Maine resident said he went from flipping burgers and doing seasonal warehouse work to driving a chemical tanker truck in 2013. He said he liked the work but moved to a company based closer to home—and was offered a 50 percent raise. He said he already received two small raises with his new employer and is on track to earn nearly $70,000 this year.

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