One of the long time challenges in the trucking industry is how to find and retain drivers. Although there are no easy answers, there are definitely some key factors that are important to truckers. Here are 5 factors that are important to finding and keeping them.
1. Earning Potential
According to a 2013 Randall Reilly survey, 74% of drivers (company drivers and leased owner operators ) feel they don’t get paid enough. Truckers are concerned about raising driver pay, increasing benefits or making them more affordable for the driver and their family members. Forty percent of drivers said that ‘raise in pay’ is the #1 factor that would attract and retain them. One solution is to offer them a pay increase that would stand for a reasonable amount of time and include a set of benefits to meet the their needs. According to a recent Stay Metrics survey, drivers are most satisfied with pay that is based on a percentage split of load revenue. Percentage paid drivers are 31% more satisfied with their pay than hourly paid drivers and 29 % more satisfied than drivers paid by the mile. Percentage pay provides the owner/operator driver with greater control of how much they make, and when they will be home. Percentage split drivers are also more satisfied with their dispatchers.
2. Down time
One big concern for drivers is detention pay. Sometimes a driver gets to one point in his trip and has to wait an unreasonable amount of time to get loaded or unloaded only to find that their company does not charge the customer for detention or the customer refuses to pay. This puts drivers behind and affects their pay if they are not compensated for that wait time. They would rather be on the road doing miles that will actually generate their paychecks. Another concern is an empty return. Drivers can’t afford to run empty and depend on dispatch for securing loads for the return trip. This emphasizes the importance of the driver-dispatch relationship and working together as a team. Communication and professionalism are key to being a successful team. Drivers depend on dispatch to feed them loads, minimize down time and keep their trucks full. Dispatch depends on drivers to be dependable, safe, and on-time. When working together it’s a win/win for everyone.
3. Driver Quality
The type of driver is a big factor for the trucking company when considering who they will hire. It is a commonly shared view in the trucking industry that there are two types of drivers:
A. Truck Drivers – Those who want to be in this industry and work to do so, properly and safely.
B. People who drive trucks – Those who took this lifestyle on as a job and nothing else and therefore have no incentive to stay or improve. Unfortunately, a decline in driving training standards in recent years from select trucking schools and companies that allow unqualified drivers to obtain CDLs illegally have made it difficult for companies to find and retain experienced, professional drivers. Experienced truck drivers, like what they do and take pride in their work. This ensures their trucks are safe on the road, their deliveries are on time and they are always professional when dealing with customers. These are the type of drivers companies are looking for.
Drivers are responsible to make sure their trucks are safe for the road and that necessary repairs are made before they move out. Thirty-two percent of drivers surveyed said that regulations make it harder to work and make a living. Companies should to do their part by providing help and support for drivers to be safe and in compliance. Providing or recommending repair facilities for drivers, as well as not scheduling loads or pushing drivers to make hauls before necessary repairs/maintenance are done will ensure greater productivity in the long run.
5. Home Life
As in every industry, work/home life balance is vitally important to truckers. Eighteen percent of drivers say they would prefer a more regional haul model to get home more often. Fourteen percent would like a guarantee of a certain amount of home time for drivers each month. This may be difficult for drivers to find but it is something that is important to drivers and why many prefer the control and lifestyle of the owner/operator trucker.
For more information about how you can drive for JRC Transportation call 866-572-7297 or fill out our application online and a JRC recruiting representative will contact you