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Three Tips to Help Improve Driver Retention

by Charlotte Freed | Aug 10, 2018

8.10.18Stagnated wages paired with a rotating door of drivers has caused the trucking industry to reexamine the ways they compete for talent. Fleets are increasing pay rates to incentivize and retain drivers during an increasingly worrisome driver shortage, some pushing pay up by four cents a mile - in what NTI President Gordon Klemp called “aggressive moves.” While more money has proven to be the easiest way to capture driver interest, fleets are now looking at other ways to attract a shifting driver force.

Pay rates are rising, slowly but surely, and that still doesn’t seem to be enough to fill the demand for drivers with fleets reporting that six to ten percent of their seats go unfilled. So what then, could be another approach in retaining the drivers when simply looking at the numbers isn’t enough? Consider the things important to you when looking for work. Pay, of course, but what about benefits, scheduling and hours, travel, and quality of life?

It’s a Tough Gig

You know drivers can be away from home for long periods of time, working irregular hours that can be taxing on the body. If they’re going to be doing this type of work, they’re going to find somewhere that pays them more to do it. While higher pay is the ultimate goal, acknowledging the importance of trucker’s jobs and that it takes skill will help drivers feel proud for the work they do – something we all understand as being a key part of our jobs.

Look at the Numbers

While drivers may earn a decent annual wage, weeks light on hours can be stressful, not to mention bad for the bills. Some fleets are taking a look at the inconsistent nature of the work and offering a minimum weekly pay to keep drivers when they might go somewhere else with more hours available at that time. With the peace of mind that comes with reliable pay, drivers are less likely to become unpredictable and more restful.

Consider Comforts

Feeling comfortable financially strongly influences the overall quality of life, but think about the small things that could prove to make drivers’ lives better. A flatbed trucking company in Tulsa found that providing premium in-cab satellite TV reduced driver turnover rate by 60 percent. Others see the success of hands-free mobile devices, allowing real-time connection with other drivers to keep them engaged, sharing the behind-the-wheel experience and reducing the feelings of isolation. Offering outlets and experiences that makes a big difference in drivers’ relationships with their work.

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