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January 12, 2017 3:00 PM, EST
CFI Raising Driver Pay
William Krebaum/Flickr

CFI, the truckload division of the former Con-way Freight, raised driver pay this month 2 cents per mile and announced the purchase of 626 new Kenworth tractors.

TFI International, formerly known as TransForce Inc. and which ranks No. 10 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest U.S. and Canadian for-hire carriers, bought CFI in late 2016 from XPO Logistics for $558 million in order to build up its North American truckload operations.

The raise increases the starting pay for a new-hire, one-year experienced driver to 44.5 cents per mile, the company said in a statement. It also announced that team drivers, independent contractors and hourly California drivers also received compensation increases.

CFI is just the latest top for-hire carrier to boost driver pay. Crete Carrier Corp., which ranks No. 33, increased pay at the beginning of the year. USA Truck, which ranks No. 53, announced raises last autumn. FirstExpress Inc., a truckload carrier in Nashville, Tennessee, did so too earlier this month, and a company executive said on a conference call with investment bank Cowen and Co. that he was looking to hire new drivers in 2017.

CFI also announced a contract with on-board communications system provider PeopleNet.

“The iconic CFI brand is back and returning to what made us great with our commitment to drivers, customers and service,” CFI President Tim Staroba said. “We take pride in providing competitive compensation, newer equipment and advanced technology. Our drivers are the company’s most important asset; we empower and incent them to operate our equipment as safely and efficiently as possible.”

The new tractors come with Cummins engines and automated manual transmissions.

“Kenworth and CFI have an excellent relationship, and we appreciate the company’s significant addition of Kenworth T680s with 76-inch sleepers — the driver’s truck,” said Kevin Baney, Kenworth assistant general manager for sales and marketing.

The new tractors are expected to begin arriving in March. Installation of the PeopleNet system will begin in April.