The trucking industry has a massive driver shortage problem right now, which means driver retention is more important than ever. Hiring new staff in the wake of a team member leaving is not only time-consuming and expensive — it’s also bad for morale. Not to mention how hard it’s become to find skilled drivers.
There are approximately 63,000 truck driving jobs in the bulk tanker market that are vacant today, and they’re expected to reach 174,000 by 2026 as the global tanker truck market increases.
The forecast for driver shortage is a major concern in the industry (Image Source)
The good news: fleet management technology can make a world of difference in helping companies attract and retain drivers. From making their jobs easier to protecting them against accidents and serious injuries, investing in the latest tools and tech can help keep your drivers happy, safe, supported—and loyal.
Better Pay Alone Isn’t Enough
A huge rise in online ordering during the pandemic has sent demand for delivery truck drivers through the roof. This forced fleet companies to bump up pay to attract much-needed staff.
Despite this, there are still huge gaps in the long-haul trucking industry. As for short-haul, pay hikes have instead encouraged drivers to hop from company to company.
In fact, according to CNN, the average annual turnover rate is around 95% for truckload carriers — the sector that’s experiencing the industry’s biggest driver shortages.
The long and short of it is, drivers enjoy (and deserve) the extra pay, but if there’s nothing else on offer, they’ll keep an eye out for greener pastures.
“Everybody loves getting more money,” says Daniel Walton, a 47-year-old truck driver at Roehl Transport, a Wisconsin-based trucking company with 2,300 drivers. “You hear numbers thrown at you, there is a temptation to go elsewhere.” He tells CNN how one of his friends recently transferred to Walmart, and another to FedEx—which have more regular routes and time at home for their drivers.
“This affords them the opportunity to be home a little more with their children,” he explains. So, what is it that might spur a driver to leave a company despite good pay?
Top 6 Causes of High Driver Turnover
- Low wages. If a company isn’t competitive or doesn’t compensate drivers fairly for their work, they’ll leave.
- Unpaid work. Bad weather, traffic congestion, and other delays often amount to several hours of unpaid time.
- Unfair fines. Fines help ensure trucking companies comply with regulations and safety standards. But many fines are charged when they aren’t deserved—and these often come out of the driver’s paycheck.
- High risk. From bad weather to unsafe road users, driving can get dangerous. For many, this risk is enough to deter them from working in the industry.
- Unfair treatment. While most companies treat their drivers like family, it’s the few unfair ones that give the industry a bad reputation. Those who pay by the mile are the worst culprits, often expecting drivers to carry out additional duties or attend meetings and compulsory training sessions without pay.
- Time away from family and friends. Long hours and overnight stays mean many don’t get to spend time with their loved ones. With poor wages and unfair practices thrown in, it’s reason enough for drivers to walk away.
Increase Driver Retention with Fleet Management TechnologyAlongside fair practices and good pay, fleet management tools can be your biggest allies when it comes to retaining your drivers. And they do that in these important ways:
A Safer Working Environment
Safety is vital in any profession; in trucking, even more so. It’s your responsibility to make your drivers’ professional environment safe, comfortable, and well-equipped for success.
In addition to ensuring the truck is maintained properly and in top shape, fleet management software helps managers with route planning, bad weather warnings, and general guidance and safety.
Technology—like dashcams — can also help drivers in the case of fraudulent claims or unfair fines: they can use video evidence to show they’re not at fault.
Better Time Management
The time spent on small day-to-day tasks is easily overlooked but soon adds up. From performing vehicle walkarounds to filling in logbooks and collecting fuel receipts—this is all time that could be better spent behind the wheel. With fleet management software, much of this can be automated and/or digitalized.
By using an app like Fleet Complete’s Inspect App for vehicle walkarounds, you are removing the hassle of paperwork while ensuring none of the important information gets lost. The risk of error is reduced and stress drops, while safety and efficiency are increased. Meanwhile, by tracking fuel and mileage in the app, drivers no longer need to write these things down themselves. That’s extra peace of mind for fleet managers, who can rest assured their drivers are complying with HOS regulations.
In-cabin alerts and communication are big time-savers, too. Fleet managers and dispatchers can make decisions quickly and address issues on the spot—and drivers can move seamlessly from job to job without having to wait for instructions.
From next-generation dashcams to GPS tracking — fleet management technology gives managers valuable tools to help boost their drivers’ job satisfaction.
Better-timed Feedback and IncentivesMultiple studies confirm that feedback is important for motivation. With telematics and fleet management software it’s far easier to monitor driver behaviour and reward good performance fairly—and promptly. Not only that, but fleet management software also allows drivers to track their metrics and performance—and ultimately take control of their own success.
A More Efficient, Less Stressful Way to Work
Technology makes drivers’ jobs easier. It saves them the effort of filling out paperwork, helps them stay compliant, and guides them through adverse road conditions or dangerous traffic.
From fleet management software and GPS tracking to dashcams, Fleet Complete’s experts are here to guide you through the full process so you and your drivers are ready to start getting the most out of your new technology from day one.
If you’d like to find out how Fleet Complete can help you support your drivers, learn more by requesting our Fleet Complete demo.