|On Thursday afternoon, Tim Hoag stood in the arrivals area at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport looking for a truck driver.|
The man he was waiting for, Bill McMahon, had previously driven trucks for Hoag’s company, Copeland Trucking of Fridley, and Hoag made a deal to lure him back.
Because McMahon now lives in California, Hoag agreed to let him drive out there once a month, even though Copeland avoids jobs in California because of the state’s burdensome regulations. But finding drivers is so difficult these days that Hoag was willing accommodate McMahon’s desire for regular visits home.
“It will be worth it just to have him available here in the Midwest for those three weeks of every month,” Hoag said. “That is what you have to do in today’s environment.”
McMahon is thrilled. “I think it’s awesome. They are going to take care of me and I am going to take care of them,” he said Thursday. “That’s what we agreed on. That’s why I’m here.”
Across the country, trucking companies, and manufacturers and retailers with their own fleets, are resorting to an array of incentives, including higher wages, to attract drivers.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the nation’s biggest retailer and operator of one of its biggest truck fleets, is using radio ads to appeal to qualified truck drivers with an offer of a $76,000 salary plus benefits to join the company. That’s far above the national...