Marten Transport has been one of very few carriers to continue growth while keeping pay and benefits steady during the slow economy. Now, the progressive company is setting a precedent with Fair Pay, a driver pay program based on a graduated pay scale that will offer higher mileage pay for shorter hauls. “Instead of a flat rate per mile, as our OTR drivers are paid now, all Marten OTR and regional drivers will be paid based on a graduated pay scale,” says Tim Norlin, Marten’s Director of Recruiting.

“The scale is based on the length of haul and each driver will have a base rate. If they pull shorter loads, they will receive a premium. So, the shorter the load, the higher the mileage pay. “According to Norlin, even before the economic downturn, shippers were building more regional distribution centers to get their products to consumers faster. This had a significant impact on the average miles per trip that a driver runs. While Marten’s pay package had previously been geared toward the traditional long haul driver, the company needed to make a change to accommodate a shorter average length of haul.

“Marten Transport was already ahead of this curve in expanding our regional runs in 2008 and 2009,” says Norlin. “Marten opened several new regional runs including Midwest, Southeast, South Central, Southwest Regional, Mid-Atlantic and Western fleets. Now, we’re implementing the Fair Pay program to make sure our pay rates per mile fairly compensate our drivers.” Company drivers at Marten now enjoy a solid pay package, bonus programs, a 401(k) plan with company match, 95 percent no touch freight, EZ Pass for most tolls, and much more. Owner operators at Marten can take advantage of business support services through ATBS, the largest business services provider for owner operators.

Plus, owner operators increase profitability by taking advantage of Marten’s purchasing power on shop fees, tires, APUs and more. Marten’s enhanced benefits plan provides owner operators with an affordable option for major medical/catastrophic health coverage with no underwriting, no waiting period and competitive rates. The Fair Pay plan goes into effect September 2009. Marten Transport, headquartered in Mondovi, Wis., specializes in transporting food and other consumer packaged goods that require a time and temperature-sensitive or insulated environment.