To become more “competitive” in terms of recruiting and retaining truck drivers, Southern Refrigerated Transport (SRT) is planning to boost its mileage pay-scales this fall, with more paid vacation time on the way as well starting next year.

“We want to be competitive in the marketplace with our driver pay, and we want to take care of our professional drivers,” noted Billy Cartright, SRT’s COO and executive vice president, in a statement.

The motor carrier said its mileage-based drivers – whether they are company employees or leased-on owner-operators – will earn an additional one cent per mile on every load starting on Oct. 1.

That increase is equivalent to an approximately $1,000-a-year raise on average, the company pointed out.

Student drivers at SRT will see an increase in weekly wages during training as well starting Oct. 1, while drivers with at least one year at SRT will now receive holiday pay on both Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Additionally, all drivers with three years tenure at SRT will be eligible to receive two weeks of paid vacation effective Jan. 1, 2018.

Drivers previously earned a maximum one week of paid vacation, on top of normal home time, and normal pay during holidays, noted Terri Lafayette, director of recruiting at SRT.

“It’s just a nice ‘thank you,’” she noted. “These folks work with devotion day-in-and-day-out. We know how reliant we are on them.”

Lafayette added that the pay raise is meant to show both current and future SRT drivers that the company is “a great place to be.”