Wrenching Towards Retirement
If you are a Diesel Tech chances are you may have companies lined up ready to tell you why you should come wrench and work for them. In an industry that is desperate for talent, many shops are turning up their recruiting levels by offering increased hourly wages, more benefits, or even a sign on bonus! Hiring and retaining professional diesel technicians is a top priority for Long Haul Trucking and their diesel shop, Premier 94. While Premier 94 is proud to be able to offer its employees great pay, full benefits, and retirement options like a 401k, these are all things that many companies are offering now to become more competitive. Something Premier 94 can offer however, that many cannot, is employee ownership (ESOP). At Long Haul Trucking and Premier 94 our employee stock ownership program is taking some of our diesel techs annual wages and doubling them into an ESOP account.
Employee Ownership has helped retain some of Premier’s top diesel techs over the years, where there are constantly new opportunities in an increasingly competitive field. Scott (referred to as Growler) is a diesel tech for Premier and has been since before converting to an ESOP in 2013. Since that time, he has seen the value of employee ownership with his own eyes. “I want good technicians to understand this value. I know some places offer take home pay that might be a little bit more, but it’s never going to be $31 an hour more, and that’s what I was paid this year just in ESOP alone.” Yes, you read that right, because of the success in Premier 94 and Long Haul Trucking’s ESOP, Growler’s employee stock account balance jumped by a whopping $65,000 in 2022 alone with a total balance now of approximately $200k! When you do the math, over the past year this hard working diesel mechanic was earning an additional $31 per hour, on top of his regular wage, in his ESOP. Not a bad hourly bonus!
“It’s unreal how much this account has grown in the eight years we’ve been employee owned” exclaimed Growler. “I don’t understand why anyone wouldn’t work at an employee owned company if they had the chance to.” Employee Ownership rewards the company owners with a point system built on revenue and retention. Employees are awarded more points (shares) for the longer they remain with the company and the more money they earn over time. In a career field where the average length of employment is beyond 30 years, this gives any diesel tech or mechanic a great amount of time to become fully vested, earn shares, and generate wealth through the company’s ESOP. Like any job, some days are more taxing than others, “It doesn’t matter what job you have, you could have a dream job like being a professional beer taste tester and there will be screwed up days that tick you off. But in the long run when you think of how much money you’re earning between wages and ESOP, it makes the days a lot better overall.” (Growler) Employee Ownership culture helped Long Haul and Premier become a place where employees are more like minded and eager to do well for the company’s success for how it rewards their own.
If you are a professional diesel technician or mechanic with a desire to work for a company that is going to pay long term rewards for your daily work and company loyalty, there is no better place to do it than an employee owned company like Premier 94 and Long Haul Trucking. At the end of the day, valued employees deserve to be acknowledged and rewarded for their hard work and efforts over time, which is exactly what employee ownership is bringing to the shop staff at Premier 94. For anyone planning on a career that includes turning a wrench, you might be best off to consider turning your tools in the direction of a prosperous retirement.