HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) – A number of Harlingen city truck drivers will be getting a pay raise soon. The raise in money will be given to truck drivers that require a Commercial Drivers license, (CDL) in order to retain and attract truck drivers. 

Assistant City Manager in Harlingen, Craig Cook says they are having an issue keeping CDL licensed truck drivers on staff. 

“We’ve noticed over the last couple of months that some of our drivers were leaving us to get a higher paying job.” Cook goes on to say, “we have 22 vacancies to fill.”

Cook says although they have over 50 licensed truck drivers throughout the city, they’re still working overtime to make up for the loss. 

However, they’re hoping that is about to change by raising their pay which was $14.06 an hour. 

“We are increasing that to $18 for the class B licenses and $19 for class A,” said Cook. 

The class difference Cook says is based on the style of truck drivers use. 

“Class B is anything with an air brake system so dump trucks, street sweepers, trash tracks, and in class A, basically the tractor-trailers,” said Cook. 

Cook says it’s essential they hire licensed truck drivers for safety.

“They’re big trucks that can do a lot of damage to our property and people if they’re not properly driven,” said Cook. 

Harlingen Mayor Norma Sepulveda believes truck drivers are a vital part of the community. 

“There’s just a lot that goes into their job description, they’re not just kind of behind the wheel,” said Sepulveda. 

The mayor also says this is just the beginning. They’re also planning on looking at compensation across the board in the entire city to make sure they are competitive.