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How Motor Carriers Can Improve Truck Driver Retention

Motor Carriers are facing an increasingly daunting challenge these days — namely, the challenge of employing enough truck drivers to transport their clients’ products. The shortage of available drivers has been an ongoing problem, but in recent years, the shortages have reached record highs nationwide. How can these companies improve their driver retention rates so they can produce better results? How can they attract more drivers and keep them happy in their jobs? Before we can answer these questions, we must understand why the shortages are happening in the first place.

The Challenges of Truck Driver Retention

Driving a truck for a living is a challenging job in and of itself, requiring long hours and frequently long periods away from home. Like anyone else, drivers are willing to face these conditions if they have sufficient incentive to do so. The driver shortage is forcing the industry to face the root causes of the shortage and create incentives to not just maintain the driver pool but to grow it. The following issues are common among truck drivers today:
  • Despite the new regulations on hours of service and electronic logs, drivers are often pressured or feel the pressure to bend the rules to make tight deadlines to transport and deliver products. This creates an unsafe work environment.
  • Inadequate pay and benefits. The median pay of truck drivers nationwide is just under $43,000 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Delays in loading and unloading even when the drivers are on time for their appointments creates a “no win” situation for drivers.
  • The lifestyle is not as attractive to millennials and generation Z individuals as it was to their parents. Depending on the carrier and length of haul, driver do not have enough time home or time home with family.

Ways to Improve Driver Retention Rates

Understanding the problem more clearly, what are some solutions? Today, more carriers make a point of treating their drivers right, personally and professionally. Here are a few things Colonial Cartage is doing to keep good drivers and to attract new drivers :
  1. Fair compensation and benefits. Drivers work hard. They should be paid fairly and provided a highly competitive benefits package. Colonial offers a highly attractive package for drivers that includes excellent pay, generous healthcare benefits for both the employee and his family, company-paid life insurance, paid vacation, retirement savings plans and more.
  2. Reasonable expectations. Drivers should not be pressured into unsafe driving to meet deadlines. Colonial maintains a reasonable driving schedule that allows drivers to make appointments and still have time home.
  3. Respect. Everyone wants to be respected.  and treated respectfully. At Colonial, we recognize that without drivers, we do not have a business.
Learn more about driving careers with Colonial Cartage.