January 14, 2016 10:05 AM, EST

U.S. Xpress Enterprises Announces 13.5% Safety-Based Performance Pay Increase

Tom Biery/Trans Pixs

U.S. Xpress Enterprises announced it will raise base mileage pay March 1 by an average of 13.5% for solo over-the-road drivers who have not had accidents, tickets or Compliance, Safety, Accountability violations for a 12-month period in an effort to reward safe operation as well as retain drivers.

The increase announced by the carrier that ranks No. 18 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest U.S. and Canadian for-hire carriers will enable drivers with five years’ experience to top $70,000 annual compensation if they qualify for the raise.

“The safety of both our drivers and the general public is of the utmost importance, and we feel that tying driver pay to safety performance is the best way to reward and incent safe driving,” said Eric Fuller, president of U.S. Xpress, who termed the move “a profound step.”

“This increase not only rewards our current drivers for their efforts but establishes us as the carrier of choice for safe, career-minded professional truck drivers in the industry. U.S. Xpress wants to lead the way on this issue," he added.

U.S. Xpress in the third quarter 2014 made a 13% increase for some drivers that kicked off a round of pay increases that reached a record pace in that quarter, according to the National Transportation Institute.

The move by U.S. Xpress was announced two days after No. 23 C.R. England said it was raising pay 12.3% for drivers into a newly created Phase 2 of its revised training program.