Guide To Keeping New Drivers Happy

Guide To Keeping New Drivers Happy

The trucking industry is continuing to see the effects of the driver shortage. One of the reasons for the shortage is due to the increase in demand for drivers from various industries or due to the lack of “quality” drivers. However, the largest reason that does not receive enough public notice is when drivers leave the company on their own discretion. New truck drivers tend to leave companies more often in search of something better or to find a career in another field.

After going through a number of resources, we found that many drivers usually jump ship between trucking companies due to a few reasons. Drivers often feel uncomfortable with their pay, upset with management or unsatisfied with their home time.

This article will provide a deeper insight to explain why new truck drivers quit one company in hopes of applying for one that better appeals to their needs.

Better Pay

This one is a no-brainer, but a weak CPM or salary is the biggest reason why truckers leave their current company. We also see drivers complain at length about not receiving enough miles to take home decent pay.

Many drivers express frustration that their pay isn’t good enough for long hours of driving and being away from home. There’s also the issue with detention time if a driver is forced to wait too long for their truck to be loaded and unloaded. Many companies don’t offer detention pay, so drivers continually get more and more aggravated about long detention times.

Drivers who value their time and effort have to be compensated as such and when a company fails to do that, then those drivers will eventually walk out to find a company that understands their needs.

New Truck Drivers Need More Home Time

Home time is another recurring issue that truckers often feel is lacking in the companies they depart from, but it goes beyond “not having enough time.” For new truck drivers, it’s even more essential as they’re not used to being out on the road for months at a time. They need the flexibility to be home every few weeks. Strategic Programs report that many drivers complain about infrequent home times, not being sure how long they’ll stay home or not having enough time at home to accomplish what they need to (catching up with family or housework).

Getting this factor right is crucial for hiring new truck drivers. Tom Glaser, former president and COO of Celadon says, “If they (drivers) live in Montana, and your lanes are between Detroit and Laredo, it’s not going to happen. Pay attention to your hiring area and where you drive your trucks up and down the road. Hiring area and freight density play an important part in getting those drivers home to their families.”

Good Management

Greatwide’s Newell says, “People don’t leave companies; people leave people.” The dispatcher or fleet manager of a trucking company serves as a driver’s supervisor and main point of contact. From a bird’s eye view, this relationship is riddled with bad potential.

Tom Witt, former senior vice president of operations at Smithway Motor Xpress, says “When you look at the behavioral profile of a driver and a driver manager, they’re opposed.”

Driving managers are extroverted and operate well without guidance or structure as opposed to drivers who usually work alone, need plenty of structure and don’t receive enough good feedback.

There are companies that offer employee profiling services to help drivers find more suitable dispatchers.

Equipment and Maintenance

If a truck’s equipment is in terrible condition on more than one occasion, a driver will put their foot down and look elsewhere.

Maintenance is a potential problem area that needs to be addressed. Some companies give their drivers some personal time off while their trucks are being fixed. And some companies force their drivers to stick around until their trucks are fixed for almost half a day.

A trucking company needs to consider how their driver and technician relate to one another. Drivers who report problems during maintenance before heading out will convey a message that their company doesn’t care about their comfort or needs.


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