Signing Bonus

A signing bonus can be a big deal. As of November 2018 the range is ($2,500-10,000) dollars. There are a few companies paying more. I just saw an ad today offering a $25,000 sign on bonus if you have at least 3 years experience. Drivers with less than 3 years are being offered $12,000. They are also offering $6,000 for inexperienced drivers. 

At one time I considered doing local intermodal. I would be home every day and the rail yard is only about 4 miles from my house. This is about as convenient as you can get for a local driving job.

I opted to wait until something better came along. Within a year I had found what I wanted, and it offered no sign on bonus.

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Signing Bonus - Good or Bad?

Sign on bonus good or bad

Be careful when looking at sign on bonuses. Read the fine print. Ask many questions to determine if you can qualify. You need to know what the qualifications are to collect the bonus.

If you are just looking for a quick cash infusion into your pocket, then it will probably not work. Below is a list of determining factors to consider with a signing bonus.

·        Will my cents per mile be lower because of the bonus?

·        Do I receive half the bonus upon accepting employment?

·        How long until I receive the balance of the bonus?

·        Does the bonus benefit the new employee or the company hiring?

·        Do I sign a contract specifying how long I must work there?

These are just a few of the things to consider. You should also consider if being paid by the mile, the hour or a percentage of the load.

If you are being paid by the mile then check the rates. If a regular employee started at .40 per mile and averages 2,500 miles per week they would gross roughly $1,000 per week. If they offer you a sign on bonus of $5,000 but only pay you .35 per mile you would make about $875 per week.

Taking the above figures, look at the difference. At .40 per mile you make $52,000 per year. At .35 per mile you will make $45,500 per year. Add your $5,000 sign on bonus and you are still out $1,500 per year. It pays to do the math. After one year if you are still only getting .35 per mile you are losing in a big way.

This is why it is so important to take everything into consideration before thinking a sign on bonus is the answer.

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