The trucking industry needs drivers, urgently! Any company that wants to move goods around faces an expensive 9.4% increase over last year’s prices. This is according to the Labor Department and other sources within the field. The complexity behind hiring good and willing drivers that will stay on the job for an appreciable period makes the work of trucking companies harder. A hard life, time away from the family, and health issues related to the job are some of the reasons why truckers shift jobs or change careers.

The cost of high turnover rates is significant. It’s one thing to recruit competent drivers, but retaining them presents a whole new set of challenges that can puncture any fleet’s profitability like never before- according to PGT Trucking Inc., private fleets experience driver resignations at an annual rate of 10%, while for-hire carriers struggle with 90% churn rate. This means the financial loss associated with these employees lost could be anywhere between $9-$12 thousand per worker each year.

Fleet managers and owners need to get creative and try to do their best to retain good drivers.

Hire Women

Female drivers are becoming more and more popular in the trucking industry, but they still occupy just 8% of jobs. Freight companies see this as an opportunity for them since long-haul driving positions are becoming increasingly difficult to fill, with a shortage of people willing to do it full time.

According to the Women in Trucking Association, companies are monitoring the inclusion of female drivers and managers in the business. This could point to a trend where trucking companies wake up to this demographic that can fill vacancies.

Trucking companies are also recruiting more military veterans and younger drivers. There’s a growing thought that the legal age for interstate commercial drivers should be lowered so that interested individuals can join immediately after completing high school.

Improve the Recruiting Process

Freight companies are turning to social media and online job boards for better targeting. Trucking schools have partnered with these businesses in order to hire CDL trainees, while freight carriers have implemented more thorough pre-employment screenings that review candidates’ motor vehicle records as well as overall health/drugs & alcohol use; this way, they can be sure their employees will not bring their organization into disrepute and won’t lead to fines that can eat into the company’s profits.

Improve the Work Culture in the Company

The fleet with the most appealing company culture will do better at retaining drivers. 70% of drivers feel disconnected from their workplace when they are on the road. Many others find themselves in challenging situations at work due to law enforcement or difficult clients who are the literal “difficult customers”.

Fleet employers should make sure that more support is available so employees have resources, including mental health services, which will ultimately help improve job satisfaction levels. Surveys show that for drivers feeling respected by management (70%), getting recognition for good performance (65%), and being able to offer feedback freely without fear of reprisal (65%) are essential considerations in staying with a company.

Use Appropriate Fleet Management Technology.

Fleet managers are always looking for ways to maximize their profits while minimizing costs. The last thing they need is outdated technology that could bring down profits and inconvenience the drivers.

Old-fashioned solutions such as using paper logs instead of electronic ones lead to poor tracking and overall performance. These inevitably make life much harder on the driver(s) in question – especially if there’s an accident or an emergency that demands a fast response. To ensure safety inside your company’s vehicle fleets and outside these vehicles, i.e., other vehicles on the road–you should consider acquiring better technologies like remote monitoring systems.

If you are a fleet owner, it is important to have ELD technology in your vehicles. In fact, not having one can lead to increased risks of violating traffic laws and running into problems with law enforcement officers.

Simplify the Job

Job satisfaction depends a lot on what happens after the truck driver joins the company.  At many freight companies, this includes customized programs based on experience and prolonged contact with new hires up until six months into their employment. This helps them transition smoothly into trucking life while also spending time getting acclimated through various activities. These activities include driver family outreach or safety training courses which make driving easier than ever before.

The latest technological developments in the field of trucking simplify the job for truckers. These advances include automatic transmissions and safety features that are alert to obstacles on the road and dangerous driving. New trucks are less fatiguing to drive, and the ergonomically designed spaces allow for greater comfort and improved concentration while driving.

Better benefits

To retain their drivers, freight companies need to offer a comprehensive benefits package including 401(k), health care and paid time off at a minimum.

A recent survey found that for 83% of truckload fleet managers turnover rate was over 80%. The reason for this high number? Truckers want more money which is why they’re exploring alternatives like ride-hailing apps or changing jobs frequently instead! To keep talented employees engaged in your company culture without losing them too soon, you should create an environment where people feel valued regardless of whether there’s one full-time driver working alongside many part-timers who only moonlight as pros occasionally. This means offering great perks such as retirement funds along with life insurance.

Healthier lives for drivers

Two out of ten drivers leave their jobs because of poor health. Drivers who are helped and encouraged to maintain healthy lifestyles will be motivated to stay with the company. This also means a better safety record for the company.

According to data gathered in 2014,

  • Seven out of ten long-haul truckers were obese and of these, 51% were smokers.
  • Drivers are likely to sleep for less than six hours a day.
  • Commercial truck drivers are candidates for diabetes and heart disease.

Trucking companies are helping drivers stay healthy by providing them with wearable health devices. These include sleep trackers, calorie trackers, and similar devices. These gadgets enable drivers to act in a more informed manner and make better health choices.

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Joel Curtis

Joel Curtis from Texas is a 30-year veteran in the trucking industry. He's driven refrigerated, flatbed, tankers, intermodals and more. You can find him as the primary author at America's Driving Force and at industry events.

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