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Camo-route sheds light on driver pay, other compensation

Posted: September 1, 2019 by Steve Bouchard

MONTREAL, Que. – A typical longhaul truck driver based in Quebec makes $67,000 per year, while local haulers are paid $56,000, according to research conducted on behalf of the HR specialists at Camo-route.

The survey of 126 Quebec companies was completed by the PCI Perreault Conseil consulting firm and also offered insights into everything from benefits programs, to pension plans, vacation policies, and training.

“Overall, the survey collected reliable data on the state of the labour market in terms of pay and working conditions,” said Bernard Boulé, managing director of Camo-route.

“The survey reveals that several companies have put in place measures that meet the expectations of the new workforce and are in line with the new reality of the labour market,” he added.

The compensation figures covered drivers, mechanics, dispatchers, logisticians, and material handlers.

The typical longhaul driver was found to get a third week of vacation after four years of service, while employers pay half the cost of group insurance. Some fleets were also found to be shifting to hourly pay rather than pay per mile.

The average local driver made $20.60 per hour and worked 52.5 hours per week, the survey says. Overtime is paid after 60 hours, and a third week of vacation is added after four years of service.

In most fleets, dispatchers, logistics teams, mechanics, and material handlers worked a typical 40-hour week. The truck drivers worked 52.5 hours per week.

Almost all the surveyed businesses (89%) use the same holiday policy for all jobs, typically offering three weeks of vacation after four weeks on the job. Seventy-five percent offer a fourth week of vacation, and 60% offer a fifth week.

Half of the surveyed companies offer paid leave in addition to public holidays and annual holidays. In some organizations, the length of paid leave varies depending on seniority.

The majority of mechanics and handlers are eligible for overtime, with half of the pay in cash, and the remaining half in lieu time.

Drivers tend to see premiums for pick-ups and deliveries, dwell times, or travel within certain regions such as New York. Other bonuses are offered to team leaders and for referring job candidates.

According to the survey, 78% of the fleets offer group insurance. Retirement plans were offered by 60-70%, while about 1/3 offer short-term disability leave.

Boulé noted that 83% of survey participants said they face a labor shortage, and 92% said the driver shortage was an important issue to address.

“In addition, this issue represents a huge cost on many aspects of the business. Solutions will need to be put forward,” he said.

While compensation isn’t the only issue to affect the labor shortage, it is seen as an important factor when people decide whether to leave trucking. But flexible schedules, work-life balance, pensions, benefits, training, and vacation time all play a role as well, he said.

Other research is expected to follow.

“Already, the first edition highlighted aspects that need to be explored further, such as premiums, meal costs, and hourly pay over long distances. Moreover, given that the road freight sector is undergoing a transformation, it is essential to monitor the evolution of remuneration over the next few years,” Boule said.

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