Connect with your drivers
Build a driver-centric culture
Get direct feedback from drivers through well-timed surveys, find out if expectations are being met, and take immediate action with new drivers at risk of leaving.
Make smarter decisions
Let your data lead the way
Powerful data can remove the mystery of why truck driver turnover is high. Compare yourself against other carriers to see key areas in which to improve driver retention.
Strengthen driver loyalty
Keep drivers longer.
Through rewards programs, drivers can accrue points for milestones and positive behaviors, creating a “sticky” factor for your company and a more dedicated fleet.
Pulse Video Chat
“The driver survey data we get from Stay Metrics continues to drive the conversations we have in maintenance, dispatch, and other departments to improve the work experience for our drivers.”
Jason Eisenman, Director of HR, Liquid Trucking
“The support offered by Stay Metrics for the onboarding process has been critical and they continue to show their flexibility to go above and beyond the customer’s expectation to meet their needs and also embrace product improvements.”
President, P&S Transportation
“I’ve said it before but cannot say it enough; the client service is second to none. It’s more than professionalism; Tenstreet genuinely cares about their clients and always offering to help in any way. I have had such a great experience with Tenstreet that I promote this company to everyone I speak with in the trucking industry.”
Driver Liaison, Reliable Transportation Specialists
Retention rates have never been lower, meaning carriers need to recruit, train, and integrate brand-new drivers into their fleets at an unprecedented pace. A lack of driver engagement is often seen as the root of the problem, but driver retention issues extend much further than that.
Companies must fully understand the driver retention meaning and work to understand why their drivers are leaving. Addressing these problems through comprehensive driver retention programs can alleviate these issues and improve the rate at which truck drivers remain with your organization, which saves your organization money in the long run.
According to the latest research, driver retention is the second most critical issue carriers face. Better management will lead to superior retention, and understanding why drivers quit is essential.
First, the trucking industry has suffered poor retention rates for decades. In 2019, turnover rates stood at a staggering 91%, with blame placed on poor pay and conditions.
However, there’s an important caveat to turnover. Unlike other industries, the American trucking industry does not necessarily see commercial drivers leaving the business when they quit. Job hopping has always been rampant.
Thousands of truckers have been forced out of the industry and off the road, but this is a short-term problem. It does not explain the lack of engagement or the industry’s fondness for job-hopping. Addressing the core reasons why drivers leave is the key to reducing turnover rates.
Much of the training content and technology available to carriers targeted at retention helps them to get inside the minds of their workforce. Here are a few of the issues that we hear often.
The top complaint from most drivers? Pay. Getting enough miles to justify the long hours and time spent away from home always plays on a trucker’s mind.
It is no secret that the economy has softened, leading to a decline in the freight business. Offering competitive rates is the first step to securing drivers for the long haul.
Employers must keep up with what competitors in the industry are willing to pay – if a driver could earn more from working for someone else, he will likely leave for that opportunity. Offering competitive pay is step one to improving driver retention rates.
Lack of Home Time
Truckers may spend weeks away from their families at a stretch. Lack of home time has always been a common complaint from drivers, yet it’s only one part of the problem. Unpredictability is another issue.
Drivers have lives, and if their downtime is unpredictable, it makes it difficult to make plans with their loved ones and show up for important moments.
Explore ways to offer more predictability and consistency when you’re first recruiting. Think about your hiring area and freight density when planning routes to ensure you get your drivers home regularly.
Breakdown in Relationships
Truckers work alone on the highway. Their most important contact is their dispatcher or fleet manager. Ensuring good relations with this primary contact point is vital to keeping your drivers happy.
You need fleet managers and dispatchers who knows how to listen to drivers. With so many freight jobs available, drivers will not hesitate to move on if they find themselves at odds with their primary point of contact within the company.
Unhappiness with Unpaid Downtime
Dispatching and scheduling are common pain points for drivers. Perhaps the most common complaint of all is unpaid wait time when making a delivery.
Efficiency at both ends is critical for good driver retention rates.
The Industry is Not What it Seems
Unfortunately, drivers often find themselves unprepared or ill-informed regarding what life is like as a professional truck driver.
Developing your own recruitment program that reveals the realities of the business and how it works can stop newbies from being pushed out the door within a few months.
As you’re getting started with putting a retention program in place, keep the following driver retention strategies in mind:
- Offer Value – Value goes beyond money. Do you listen to your drivers? Are you giving them enough time off? Will you provide them with opportunities for advancement? Does your organization offer any workplace benefits?
- Cultivate Collaboration – Drivers hate not being listened to. Build an organization that creates those two-way relationships. Ask for feedback from your drivers and take action based on those replies.
- Prioritize Health and Safety – Truck driving is one of the country’s most dangerous jobs. Make health and safety a priority through regular vehicle maintenance and training programs.
- Recognize Great Work – Make your drivers feel valued by recognizing exceptional performance. Bonuses, extra time off, or simply calling out a high-performing driver are all useful for creating a workplace where everyone feels like they matter.
- Emphasize Work–Life Balance – Long, lonely hours mark the trucking business. Emphasize work-life balance by giving drivers the flexibility they need to take some much-deserved time away. You might also want to think about company wellness programs.