Highway Transport
Tom Frain Highway Transport Copy

Highway Transport hits 2022 driver recruiting, retention goals

March 21, 2022
Knoxville, Tenn.-based bulk chemical transporter says recent changes give drivers ‘the freedom and flexibility they want and deserve’

Highway Transport reports achieving a record number of professional drivers on staff thanks to its recent and ongoing efforts to “celebrate, support, and reward” its elite team of professional tank truck drivers.

The bulk chemical transportation company says it reached its 2022 driver-count goal, through both recruiting and retention, by enhancing programs that support individual drivers, owner-operators, and the entire team at all 15 of its U.S. service centers.

“We employ an elite class of drivers who consistently deliver on our promise to our customers every day, arriving safely and on time,” said Marshall Franklin, Highway Transport president and CFO. “They are hardworking and committed to our standard of excellence, and we are committed to making Highway Transport the best place for them to choose to work.

“We asked our drivers for feedback, and that led us to make significant, intentional changes aimed at giving drivers the freedom and flexibility they want and deserve.”

These efforts include:

  • Fostering Highway Transport’s family culture with meaningful communication, dedicated team member support, and the launch of the CARE program, committed to supporting drivers with an aim to “Communicate, Appreciate, Respect and Evaluate”
  • Supporting drivers in ways that make their daily lives easier and better, including changes to load planning with the driver’s schedule in mind in order to get drivers more flexible home time
  • Redesigning Highway Transport’s owner-operator program and creating a dedicated department to help these drivers achieve success as entrepreneurs
  • Investing in technology upgrades that support drivers, including a new fleet management system, redesigned driver app, enhanced customer portal, and TempTrack, a solar-powered real-time location and temperature monitoring system
  • Building on a 2021 pay increase with a “substantial” increase earlier this year for hourly, mileage, training, and holiday rates, representing a compensation boost up to 20% for drivers, depending on their experience and location

In addition to a culture of support and recognition, and an “historic” pay increase, Highway Transport says its drivers enjoy consistent weekly pay and miles, flexible options for home time, choice of driving positions, top-quality equipment and maintenance programs, and an assigned driver manager who provides one-on-one attention.

The company also offers benefits that include paid vacation and holidays; 401(k) with company match; group health plans; company-paid basic life insurance; supplemental life insurance; major medical, dental and life coverage; and flexible spending and health savings accounts. Highway Transport also is constructing new service centers and reimagining current facilities to provide drivers with best-in-class experience and support.

“We trust our drivers, value them and want to recognize, compensate, and reward them fittingly,” Franklin said. “Pay is one area we strive to show our commitment and gratitude, but equally important to our drivers are a supportive culture and a focus on getting them home each night. On top of that, we offer operational and other support through investments in technology to make drivers’ jobs easier and more efficient, focus on training, state-of-the-art equipment, our internal CARE program, and a continued emphasis on safety.”

Thanks to the diligence and safety record of its drivers, the company earned the 2021 Responsible Care Partner of the Year Award from the American Chemistry Council, and Highway Transport driver Tom Frain was selected as one of eight finalists for National Tank Truck Carriers’ 2021-22 Professional Tank Truck Driver of the Year award. The winner will be unveiled at NTTC’s 2022 Annual Conference, set for April 23-26 in San Diego, Calif.

Highway Transport also recently was recognized as a “Top 20 Company” for women by Women In Trucking.

“We’ve spent nearly 75 years in this business, so we know the heart of the driver,” Franklin said. “They give their best every day, and they deserve our best.”

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BT staff