Pay trends, part 1: Near-term forecast mixed
In addition, after taking a pay cut during the depths of the recession with a move to household goods miles from practical miles, Nussbaum-leased owner-operator Homer Kaiser says pay is back to a practical miles basis. And, Kaiser adds, equipment changes paid for by the carrier have yielded what amounts to a further pay increase with a boost in fuel mileage.
“I’m gaining at least a mile a gallon from what I was running,” says the owner-operator, who’s been leased there for seven years, with the addition of side skirts and trailer tails (pictured) to company-owned dry vans fleetwide. Today, Kaiser is up to a 7-7.25 mpg average in his 2006 Volvo, powered by a Cummins ISX15. That boost in fuel mileage for an owner-operator running 120,000 miles a year amounts to saving $11,400 a year, with diesel at $4 a gallon.
Nussbaum says “driver pay is up about 9 percent” from early 2011, well above the national average increase for vans.
At once, it can’t be said that all is rosy around the trucking world with regard to pay. While analysts continue to note mostly upward trends in owner-operator pay over the last few years, the following OverdriveOnline.com poll’s results suggested otherwise, with nearly 80 percent of operators reporting either no increase or negative pay movement within the last year.
Has your carrier increased any aspect of pay within the past year?
Yes, substantially 3%
Yes, minimally 10%
I’m paid percentage, rates are up 4%
I’m paid percentage, rates are down or flat 15%
Not sure 4%
Tune in Wednesday for Part 2 in our pay series, with a look at