I am excited to announce three updates to our driver pay package.
First, we are increasing all mileage scales by an average of 4.5%. Also, we are increasing hourly detention and loads below 150 miles rates by $1 per hour. This increase will be effective April 30th.
Second, we are introducing a Per Diem program available to all drivers. This program will allow you to have $63 of your daily pay become nontaxable when you are away from home. Drivers “net” or “take home” pay will be higher utilizing this plan. This program is the only way drivers will be able to have a tax advantage for their overnight stays in 2018 and the future. Drivers’ ability to deduct this amount on their tax returns is not part of the new federal tax laws of the Unites States. There will be separate announcements with more details about this plan. The Per Diem is effective May 7th.
Third, we are introducing a system driver premium of 5% of pay. This reflects our desire to reward the additional flexibility and sacrifice made by the system driver fleet who stay away from home for weeks at a time. The 5% of gross pay will be paid quarterly, at the end of the following quarter, to all system drivers who continue to work for Highway in the system fleet. There will be a separate announcement to the system drivers with more detailed information. The premium is effective for Highway’s 2nd quarter which we are currently in, so the first payment of this premium will be at the end of the 3rd quarter.
I am grateful for the ability to reward everyone’s hard work and dedication. We have the best drivers in the industry and we will continue to strive to reward you for your dedication to doing the best job possible.
Marshall Franklin, CPA
President & Chief Financial Officer