New Year, New Pay

Epes offers historic pay increase, GP Transco boosts profit sharing

Truckers, we made it. 2020 is behind us all. The year of lay-offs, grocery shelves that emptied like bottomless pits, and economic uncertainty across the world in the midst of a global pandemic finally came to an end.

Just a shift of the calendar does not make all the problems go away. It does, though, usher in a new hope of good things to come. The carriers that survived the pandemic are eager to reward their loyal and hardworking drivers in a way they more than deserve.

Epes steps

Epes Transport System is a truckload common and contract carrier headquartered in Greensboro, N.C. It is the largest privately-owned trucking company in the state with over 1,600 units.

Epes announced its largest pay increase in its near-centennial history across all divisions effective Jan. 3, 2021. 

“During 2020, our truck drivers really stepped up and showed the country what essential work they do every day,” says Phil Peck, Chief Operating Officer with Epes Transport System. “That’s why we’re so excited and proud to announce this historic pay raise.”

“The increase will impact the majority of our hourly and mileage positions, across multiple operations. It is well deserved to recognize our professional fleet for their service and dedication during a difficult year, as well as position ourselves for dynamic growth in 2021.”

The pay boost is in addition to other advantages offered by Epes, such as weekly home time, guaranteed miles and pay, full benefits, paid vacations/holidays, 401(k), late-model tractors and more. This company is able to offer competitive home time because of its very robust dedicated division with over 50 operations located in several Southeast and Gulf Coast states.

Not surprisingly, home time is an extremely important factor to drivers when looking for a new job. Thirty percent of HireMaster’s survey respondents said that home time is the most important factor to them when on the job search. 

Competitive company

Riding the dedicated wave, GP Transco can attribute much of its 2020 success to their dedicated customer base. The company even plans to increase the percentage of dedicated freight from 52 percent to 75 percent by the end of 2021, providing drivers with even more security and consistency.

Respondents to the HireMaster survey voted home time below only the top-ranking and most obvious choice: pay. Nearly 60 percent of our survey respondents said better pay would make them consider changing fleets. In an industry with such prominent turnover, this is something to pay close attention to.

Throughout 2019, GP Transco was already the highest paying non-private fleet trucking company. In addition to the industry-leading pay, it also offers an OTP Profit Sharing program for drivers. This program adds 6 CPM to well-performing drivers each week. 

“It is our priority to stay competitive with pay to make sure our truck drivers are compensated well for their work,” said Marija Jamontas, Vice President of Human Resources and Safety at GP Transco. “We think that the new OTP performance bonus program helps tremendously. This, combined with health benefits, 401k matching, life insurance, and other perks adds up to a compelling package.”

Now, company drivers can receive a 1 CPM pay raise biannually added to their OTP Profit Sharing program after a review. With their history of generous incentives and continuation of growth, GP Transco maintained a 70 percent driver retention rate last year.

Although our survey said 52 percent of drivers prefer hourly pay, GP Transco makes their CPM raises worthwhile. Last year the company increased the average driver’s weekly miles by 200 miles.

With companies working hard to keep hard-working truckers on the road, shelves will never stay empty for long. It’s the drivers that will carry the country through the end of this global pandemic.

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