Bonus Pay for Truck Drivers

Truck Drivers are sometimes offered different bonuses. These could be one time, such as Sign On Bonuses or could be earned repeatedly such as Safe Driver Bonuses. Not all companies offer bonuses and earning the bonuses can sometimes be fickle. The best way to treat bonuses when considering where to drive for – assume you will never see them. Then if you get a bonus, it is just that it – a bonus. Check with the company and get information about bonuses in writing.

Sign On Bonuses

Sign on Bonuses are commonly advertized by companies. But signing the agreement does not put the money in your bank account. Also, Sign On Bonuses are often only available to experienced drivers. Generally Sign On Bonuses require a minimum duration of working for the company, with 1 year not uncommon. Other performance requirements such as no accidents, a minimum number of miles driven or other requirements may be tied to earning the bonus. Sign On Bonuses may be available to company drivers and owner/operators.

Truck Driving School Reimbursement

Not technically a bonus, some companies will reimburse truck driving school graduates for their tuition costs. This is almost a form of Sign On Bonuses, since it is designed to recruit drivers to the company. Again, the new driver will nominally be required to meet employment requirements including performance and longevity minimums. Tuition reimbursement and sign on bonuses are seldom both paid to the same driver. You will qualify for one or the other – or neither.

Safety Bonuses

Truck Drivers that get tickets or are in accidents create headaches for companies. Truck drivers that don’t add value to the company. As a result, some companies will offer safety bonuses to drivers that follow the rules and stay out of trouble. Correct log books and correct daily logs generally can be an indication that the driver is playing by the rules. Each company that offers such rewards use numerous different rules to figure who gets bonuses. Some Safety Bonuses are awarded to every driver that makes the cut, some companies only offer the bonus to one or more of all the drivers who qualify, such a Top Driver.

Fuel Bonuses

Fuel costs are one of the largest expenses for all trucking companies. Truck Drivers can save – or cost – their company a lot of money depending on their driving habits. There are numerous ways to figure fuel bonuses. Some companies will calculate a fleet fuel average and reward drivers that achieve some amount better then the fleet’s numbers. Another method used by a few companies is to allow the driver to option to set truck’s speed governor at lower speeds, i.e. 60MPH. The company then reward the driver with 1 or 2 cents per mile in their earnings. Fuel bonuses can be additional pay to the base rate or it could be cash at the end of the year. Seldom do Owner Operators qualify for company fuel bonuses. The O/O pays for the fuel and so any owner that saves on fuel is cutting their own costs.

Longevity Bonuses

Trucking Companies spend a lot of money recruiting and training new drivers. When truck drivers stay with the company longer, it can cut those costs. Depending on the company, both company drivers and occasionally Owner/Operators, can earn bonuses based on their time with the company. Occasionally referred to as seniority bonuses, these bonuses can be additional money added to the base rate or cash bonuses paid annually.

Recruiting Bonuses

Every business knows that word of mouth is best advertising. Be it finding new customers or quality new employees, employees of the company can provide valuable input. Since companies realize that most people will only refer honest, trustworthy and reliable co-workers, they will pay a bonus to the current driver and may also pay a sign on bonus to the new driver.

As with all matters regarding your trucking career, get it in writing.

Happy Trucking, John