Is Increasing CDL-A Pay the Best Driver Recruiting Strategy?

For decades trucking companies have been battling the never-ending problem that is the truck driver shortage.

The driver shortage was bad, and then COVID hit.

CDL schools were shut down, mandatory drug testing was severely backed up, and truck driver recruiters were forced to run hiring orientations online.

In response to the difficult hiring market, carriers nationwide increased their wages and bonuses for CDL drivers.


Are record-setting driver pay structures solving the issues at hand? Is increasing CDL A pay the best driver recruiting strategy like some claim it is?

Let’s take a look.

  • How much has truck driver pay increased?
  • Is the increased pay attracting new drivers?
  • How to use pay to attract CDL A drivers

How Much Has Truck Driver Pay Increased?

Graph used to show the increasing pay for truck drivers

In 2019, the average truck driver’s pay was $57,564 per year.

In 2022, the average truck driver’s pay is $69,583 per year.

Three years have passed and the average drive pay has increased by $12,019. That is a 20.88% increase. 

To put that into perspective, average recruiter pay has decreased 11.58% from $56,845 to $50,260 in the last two years.

An arms race has taken place amongst carriers and drivers are benefiting greatly because of it. Few careers have seen an average pay increase similar to the one truck driving has seen since 2019. 

These numbers don’t take into account the massive signing bonuses drivers are receiving.

Is The Increased Pay Attracting New Drivers?

A survey of 519 carriers conducted in 2018 by the National Transportation Institute found that 85% of the carriers did not attract new drivers despite increasing wages

How could this be? 

How can high pay increases fail to attract new truck drivers? 

There are a few reasons why this is the case. 

The first reason is that everyone is increasing their pay. Unless your company creates national news with your pay increases (Walmart), drivers likely will not notice your offer. 

Next, higher wages only address a few of the problems drivers face. If you want to have a special job offer you need to combine high pay with other benefits, like consistent home time. 

The final reason why increasing pay is failing to attract new hires is that wages alone do not sell drivers on working for a new employer. 

Job offers hook driver’s interest. True driver lead generation convinces drivers that your company is where they want to work.

A professional website, testimonial content, and truck company advertising are how you get drivers interested in being your employee. The job offer only gets them interested in your offer.

How To Use Pay To Attract CDL A Drivers

Increasing pay alone does not solve your hiring woes.


Pay is an important piece of the puzzle. Having great pay can hook drivers’ interest and the other variables will get them hired. 

The best way to use pay to attract CDL A drivers is by running a Facebook Advertising campaign. 

Facebook advertising for driver recruiting will reach the highest amount of drivers with your increased offer. 

Once the drivers see your offer online they will begin to research your company. At this point, it is up to the other aspects of your recruiting efforts to sell the driver on your company.

Facebook is the largest pond to fish from. Ads with your high pay are the bait. Your company culture and hiring processes are the rod and reel that pull the fish in. 


Unfortunately, increasing driver wages is not solving the driver shortage or your company’s hiring problems.

Fortunately, increasing CDL A pay in combination with effective truck company advertising can help your hiring problems. 

Fill out the form below to speak with a Meramec Specialist and learn how to get drivers sold on your company!

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