Sept. 01--Related Information
Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers
MEDIAN PAY (2012): $18.37 an hour; $38,200 a year
TOP PAY: 10 percent of drivers earn more than $58,000 a year
EXPECTED JOB GROWTH: 11 percent
-- Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
EDITOR'S NOTE: The Yakima Herald-Republic begins a regular feature today that will focus on jobs in demand by local companies. "Employment Spotlight: Where the Jobs Are" will appear periodically in Monday's Marketplace section. Employers may submit story ideas to email@example.com
Demand for truck drivers nationwide is strong, and the Yakima Valley reflects that trend.
A combination of retiring baby boomers and consistent growth in the shipping of freight by truck has created a shortage of drivers, according to industry experts.
In a recent survey by National Retail Systems, a New Jersey-based freight company, 42 percent of drivers reported working from three to five different jobs in 10 years, which means drivers are shopping for the best situation.
"This just shows how in demand drivers are," said David Bullins, East Coast recruitment officer. "They can work for a company, and if they aren't happy with the color of their tractor or the tone of a dispatcher, it is as easy as going down the street to pick up a new job."
Haney Truck Line, which is celebrating its 90th year in the Yakima area and employs roughly 400 drivers in a six-state region and parts of Canada, has been hiring for full-time drivers, dispatchers, billing clerks and shop technicians.
The company recently lowered the age requirement for applicants to 23 from 25 in part to open up the pool of prospective employees, said Karen Luu, director of human resources.
In general, new drivers usually start by enrolling in a truck driving course or short-term training program. After gaining experience, they pursue a Commercial Driver's License, which requires them to demonstrate proficiency in handling the truck. They must also pass a written exam. The Class A CDL requires 160 hours (four weeks) of training.
At Haney, applicants must have a training program already under their belts. They also need a good motor vehicle record and must pass a pre-employment drug screen.
The company does not run a driving school but has its own training regimen for new hires, working with younger drivers just out of driving school or those with only a year or two of work experience.
"Some schools don't give them near enough time, so we work with them behind the wheel for up to four weeks," said Haney recruiter manager Ronda Knight.
According to National Retail Systems, "home time" is the second most important factor to drivers when considering a job, after pay.
Knight said as a regional heavy-haul line, Haney can offer shorter runs that get drivers back home within five to seven days.
"I get calls from drivers at other companies who say they haven't been home for three months," Knight said.
Working at Haney requires that employees embrace the culture of safety, teamwork, accountability and respect, said Luu.
"You have to have a culture fit," she said.
The company does not disclose its wage and benefit packages but offers a variety of incentive and bonus-pay programs that allow drivers to earn more.
Knight said she's encouraged to see more women applying for driving jobs, though nationally they still make up just 5 percent of the truck-driving workforce.
"Some come in who are in their late 40s or 50s, they've had a desk job all their lives, their last child has left the house and they want something different," she said.
"Women drivers are doing quite well."
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Visit Yakima Herald-Republic (Yakima, Wash.) at www.yakima-herald.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services
Original headline: Employment Spotlight: Haney Truck Line is hiring
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