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Truck Driver Turnover: Why Good Drivers Quit

The driver shortage plaguing the trucking industry has made truck driver turnover a frustrating problem. It is especially difficult when companies continually lose quality drivers. Retaining safe and reliable drivers is a vital part of your overall risk management strategy. You may be wondering why you are losing good drivers, and it’s important to know the answer. Understanding the problem is key  to finding a solution.

There are some typical excuses drivers provide when giving notice. The pay is too low. I’m not getting enough miles. My time at home isn’t enough. While these may be valid concerns, these often aren’t the real reasons drivers quit. Buckle up – we’re about to cover four big problems that often lead to truck driver turnover.truck driver turnover

No Advancement Opportunities
A truck driver with nowhere to go might sound funny, but it’s a serious problem in terms of upward mobility. As with most professions, truck drivers want the potential to advance their careers, but many believe there aren’t enough opportunities. This can leave drivers feeling stuck and undervalued.

Communicating career opportunities can be an effective way to retain good drivers. Whether this is advancement within the fleet, management, owner-operator, recruiter, etc., drivers should be encouraged to go after promotions. This can motivate them to perform well and stay with the company.

Lack of Education and Training
If drivers lack training or skills, they are more likely to become unhappy with their jobs and quit. It’s critical to have a thorough orientation process, as well as ongoing education and training. This can help build confidence in drivers, fine tune their skills and lead to greater career satisfaction.

There are many ways to identify areas that need improvement. Schedule regular employee meetings and one-on-one performance evaluations. Implement driver scorecards and other performance management tools. This information can then be used to tailor education and training programs to address a driver’s true needs.

Positive vs. Negative Focus
Most employees gain a sense of accomplishment when their hard work is recognized, but feedback often focuses on the negative. Seek out and recognize drivers for their achievements. Whether it’s done publicly or with a private token of appreciation, a little can go a long way toward employee satisfaction. This also helps establish company-wide respect for the vital function that drivers perform, which can improve the way others interact with them.

People Problems
It has been said that people don’t leave companies; people leave people. This holds true for truck drivers even though they spend the bulk of their time away from co-workers. A driver’s dispatcher is their primary company contact, so if friction exists between them, a dislike for the company as a whole might develop. It’s important to address conflict to help prevent truck driver turnover. Engaging an employee profiling service to better match drivers to dispatchers might also be beneficial.

Moving Forward
Effectively managing truck driver turnover is essential to your organization’s success. Turnover costs can be draining, so it’s important to be proactive. Our experts have an in-depth understanding of the industry and are eager to help you keep your company moving forward. For more information, contact our Transportation Risk Services Team.

This article originally appeared in the 2018 | ISSUE THREE of the SilverLink magazine, under the title “ Why Good Drivers Quit.” To receive a complimentary subscription to the SilverLink magazine, sign up here.

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