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How to Reduce Driver Turnover without Increasing Pay

by Charlotte Freed | Apr 12, 2019

employee turnover graphicIn the last year, driver wages have risen 11 percent compared to just 1 percent in many other industries. Even with increased pay, some fleets are battling turnover rates as high as 94 percent. Soon, fleets will not be the only ones feeling the effect of sitting trucks. As spot freight booms, the everyday consumer will continue to be impacted by idle trucks, and businesses will feel and see this impact in customer satisfaction ratings. This makes solving the driver shortage and driver turnover issue even more pressing.

But why isn’t raising wages solving the problem? The answer is simple – every fleet is doing it. This eliminates opportunities for fleets to differentiate themselves amongst their competition. Instead of focusing on wages, fleets should focus on pay, loyalty, and technology.


Pay refers to receiving an actual pay check – and for drivers, receiving a pay check does not happen fast enough. Many shippers or carriers often cut physical checks, dragging out the payroll process. To ensure drivers are getting paid quickly, fleets need to modernize their payment systems to allow drivers to have immediate access to funds.

If updating your current payment system is not an option, consider partnering with a driver staffing team that offers direct deposit or can take over payroll for your dedicated team members.


Loyalty cannot be bought with increased wages. Instead, increased wages encourage drivers to leave full-time work for the next higher paying job. To build loyalty, fleets must build trust by focusing on drivers’ work-life balance. While shipping demands are at an all-time high, and it may be easy to turn a profit by picking up additional loads, it is important to create set schedules and honor time off.

If additional loads are a must, consider using temporary drivers to assist with the additional work.


Technology is becoming increasingly more present in the transportation industry. While some forms of technology are necessary, other forms are considered a “nice to have.” When implementing technology, consider how it will impact drivers. Make sure that the impact is explained to the drivers prior to implementation, and have a well thought out implementation strategy that includes driver training.

Wages are not the only way to retain drivers. Instead, fleets need to focus on relationships – being up front with drivers and making sure their basic needs are met. This in turn will reduce driver turnover, giving fleets a distinct competitive advantage.

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