On the face of it, 4 years to top rate sounded terrible, but after crunching some numbers and I'm thinking it's not as horrible as it first seemed. The higher starting pay and raises somewhat offset the extra year. Not all of it, or even most of it, but it softens the blow a bit. If I were to start driving in August, top rate where I am would be $34.69/$35.09 (split) during my final year of progression when I'd be making $25. That's a lot to offset. There is the remote possibility that the longer progression could be a good thing, IF (big if) it encourages the company to hire more drivers. I certainly wouldn't complain about an extra year of progression if it means I'll be driving a year sooner. I'm just not sure it will have that big an effect though. Just have to wait and see I guess.