Fleet Focus: New pay packages for Watkins, Covenant, Super Service

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Watkins RefrigeratedWatkins Refrigerated rolled out a new pay package for company drivers. The base rate pay structure now includes a 16 percent increase in base mileage rate, increasing from 38 cents per mile to 44 cents, as well as an annual increase of 1 cent per mile through the first five years. Hazmat certification earns an additional 2 cents per mile. Company drivers also are receiving new 2016 Freightliner Cascadia tractors.

Local drivers received an 11 percent increase from $18 to $20 per hour and an annual increase of 50 cents per hour the first five years of employment. Hazmat certification earns an additional $1 per hour. Detention pay was increased 7 percent and is paid in 15-minute increments after two hours. Short haul pay now offers an additional $35 flat fee on pickup or delivery of any load less than 75 miles.

Another company upping the hazmat ante is Covenant Transport, which announced a new pay package for its hazmat over-the-road team drivers. The pay package includes a $1,000-per-week minimum guarantee for drivers with at least one year of experience and $850 per week for drivers with less than a year of experience. The Chattanooga, Tenn.-based company said its hazmat team drivers typically earn an average of $1,200 to 1,300 per week.

The new pay package also features guaranteed home time, a company-paid hazmat endorsement, an improvement in earned home time to two days earned for 12 worked and starting pay for new trainers increased to 72 cents per mile. Covenant’s guaranteed home time policy also pays drivers $100 for each day they are late for their scheduled home time.

Finally – and not to be outdone when it comes to ponying up for the best drivers – Super Service, a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based truckload carrier, has switched drivers to PC Miler-based practical mileage pay and is adding more compensation package enhancements.

The company anticipates the pay enhancements to add about 2 cents per mile on all paid miles compared to the short-route miles previously used.