Walmart plans to hire 500 truck drivers this year

by Kim Souza ([email protected]) 3,341 views 

Walmart said it aims to hire at least 500 drivers this year focusing on East and West Coast regions. The company already employs more than 9,000 drivers who transport goods cross country and shorter hauls from distribution centers to stores.

The push to grow the driver base comes amid a national driver shortage, but Walmart is confident it will find the drivers it needs to support the company’s e-commerce business expected to expand 30% this year. Walmart also began allowing third-party marketplace sellers to store online products in its distribution centers to allow for fulfillment by Walmart. The retail giant said it also plans to add transportation services for third-party sellers later this year. This will require more drivers.

Walmart is well aware of the challenges of driver recruitment but has managed to keep ahead of the shortfall with an average driver wage of $87,500 and increases in per-mile rate, activity pay and training pay. Walmart recently spotlighted Robert Sullivan in a blog post on its corporate site. Sullivan joined Walmart two years ago, with 18 years of driving for other carriers.

Walmart said one of the biggest differences from other driving companies is Walmart drivers get paid in more ways than mileage pay. They receive training pay and activity pay for times when they are not logging miles, such as rest breaks.

“You get paid to sleep in a truck: $42 bucks to go to bed. That makes sleeping a whole lot better,” Sullivan said.

Walmart said its drivers can expect to work five days on the road and spend two days at home. The retailer said the paid rest breaks are part of the company’s effort to focus on safety.

Walmart’s minimum standards for hire are high with 30 months of evidence in the past three years with a clean safety record. Walmart said its drivers travel about 700 million miles each year and safety is the highest priority. Walmart the main reason drivers leave is retirement.

Despite the higher than average requirements, Walmart made national news in 2014 when Kevin Roper, a then-Walmart driver, collided with the vehicle of actor Tracy Morgan on a New Jersey Turnpike. This fatality crash killed comedian James McNair and seriously injured Tracy Morgan. Walmart settled privately with Morgan and the McNair family.

Following are the minimum requirements to be a Walmart driver.
• Interstate Class A Commercial driver’s license with hazmat endorsement
• Minimum of 30 months experience driving full-time within the past years
• No more than two moving violations in personal or commercial vehicles in the past three years
• No serious traffic violations in three years
• No DUI, DWI, OWU or reckless driving involving alcohol, drugs convictions within the last 10 years
• No preventable accidents while driving a commercial vehicle in the past three years

Walmart said interested drivers who meet its criteria can apply at Drive4Walmart.com.