5 Ways Transportation Companies Can Increase Driver Retention

Increase Truck Driver Retention

Here’s what transportation companies are doing differently to improve driver retention in 2022.

If you’re a founder or the owner of a trucking company, you just know how important your business is in the big picture. 

Without transportation companies like yours, supply chains are blocked, shipments are delayed, and of course, a dilution of the overall efficiency of the commerce industry. 

While it’s great to have a staunch presence in the market, it’s even more significant to sustain that kind of competition every day. 

And this element is directly dependent on your drivers. 

Retaining your drivers should be your #1 priority (if it already isn’t). This is because your competitors are probably looking at ways to recruit your best drivers at a better pay scale. 

But It’s not just about the competition. 

Drivers are more likely to quit a company if they don’t feel valued or heard

So, if you plan on keeping your best talent with you and driving home some good numbers, it’s time to pay attention to the backbone of your company – your truck drivers. 

The following will discuss some key strategies and various tips through which transportation companies like yours can retain your best drivers. 

So, let’s get to it.

Incentivize Efficiency 

Incentivizing your top drivers for their continued efforts is the best way to show your appreciation. Review and analyze your driver data to identify drivers who are choosing efficient approaches to deliver the loads on time. 

Reward top performers

Reward top performers with incentive pay, gifts, bonus pay, or any other form of reward that translates to monetary value (that’s actually useful to your drivers). At the end of the day, money matters. And it matters even more to drivers who are putting themselves through 10-11 hours of harsh driving every day.

Recognize positive driving 

It’s not just about the number of loads a driver is taking. Look at other aspects. How many of your drivers are delivering the loads before the promised time? How many of them are choosing alternative routes to reach longer distances faster? How many of them are stretching extra hours to meet your deadlines? How many of your drivers are taking other drivers’ loads? 

All these quantifiable attributes must be recognized and rewarded. 

Give paid time off 

You might want to pay attention to drivers who are on the verge of burnout or are already burnt out. 

Don’t continue to assign orders to drivers who are already crammed with a line of loads. Instead, provide paid time off for your most-efficient drivers, so they can get some rest, spend time with their families, and attend to their personal needs. 

This will help them come back to work feeling much better. And a healthy and happy driver is more likely to be more productive. 

Offer bonus pay for extra loads & long distances 

If you’re assigning extra loads to drivers due to a shortage of drivers, or if you’re requesting your drivers to deliver a load at a distant location, it’s only fair to offer bonus pay. This incentive will drive the truck driver to go the extra mile. 

Provide benefits 

Some other ways you can show your appreciation to your drivers and create a positive work environment.

  • Cover the fuel costs (even for deadhead miles)
  • Offer a raise every 6-12 months. 
  • Provide insurance
  • Enroll your drivers into retirement benefit schemes 
  • Pay annual bonus

Provide Well-Maintained Fleet 

Work comfort is an important aspect on its own. You can’t work consistently in an environment that is physically hard on your body every day. 

Truck drivers are at a higher risk of developing several illnesses than other professionals due to their high-stress work environment and physically demanding jobs. 

So, here’s what you can do to provide a safer and more comfortable environment for your drivers.

Get your vehicles serviced regularly 

Ensure that your vehicles are in optimal condition for every load. Get the vehicles serviced after timed intervals so that your drivers don’t experience downtime caused by vehicle breakdowns or failures. 

Provide comfortable seating 

A working individual with a stationary job who sits for 40 hours a week is more likely to develop back issues than those who don’t. 

Now imagine what drivers have to go through when they work beyond this. 

Your drivers are in a moving vehicle, on a highway, navigating through annoying traffic. The constant vibration builds up muscle tension and increases stress. 

Factors like this cannot be overlooked. 

Nobody wants to put their body through this much discomfort. Eventually, your drivers will want to quit just because of this difficulty. 

So, invest in comfortable and customizable seating arrangements for the drivers so that long trips are less harsh on your driver’s health.

Communicate Often 

Nobody knows how hard or easy a job is until they experience it firsthand. So, take it from your drivers who are on the road by themselves every day. Listen to your drivers when they express genuine concerns. When they bring to your notice some pressing problems that need immediate attention, look into those issues and see what you can do to make your driver’s life easy. 

Be open to feedback 

Put together a daily feedback protocol for each load. Allow your drivers to submit their concerns, feedback, and criticism for every load. Look into the data on a weekly basis and implement new processes and tools to improve your driver’s on-ground experience and performance. Assign priorities to each issue and address them through a streamlined process. 

Keep a check on their mental health 

Around one-third of U.S. truck drivers are likely to experience a road accident at some point in their career, which causes PTSD, anxiety, increased stress levels, and even depression. 

Let your drivers voice their mental health concerns through a mental health compliance helpdesk. 

Put together a panel to primarily address the mental health of your drivers. 

Look into their professional recommendations 

If your drivers are willing to provide some insights on the routes, protocols, compliance barriers, or other concerns, pay attention to their recommendations. They are much more familiar with the ground reality of trucking than your back-office staff. These insights can be used to optimize your existing protocols and processes, helping you save time and effort (maybe even costs).

Address constructive feedback with a positive outlook

If you’re receiving complaints from your drivers about specific issues, it will help you, in the long run, to attend to their concerns now. 

Major accidents, downtime, road trouble, and other difficulties can be easily avoided if you just listen to the feedback coming from your drivers.

Try to approach this feedback as improvisation techniques disguised as constructive criticism.

Offer Training Programs

Most drivers are open to receiving training to improve and manage their skills. So, partner with an authentic and licensed training provider who is ready to schedule and provide valuable training to your drivers per their availability. 

Validate their training with certification 

Look at training institutes that offer certification programs. Your business and your truck drivers are investing a fair amount of time and money into the course/training offerings. So, it’s only fair for your drivers to receive a certificate to recognize the training and the time invested. These certificates must be valid and should enable the drivers to add to their profiles. 

Offer the latest training material 

Don’t provide the training just for the sake of it. Help your drivers comply with the latest rules and regulations per the recommendations of FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration). The learnings in the course/training should translate to solutions for real-life complexities that your drivers come across every day. 

Provide relevant training per their experience 

Not all drivers need the same training. A beginner truck driver will need to be familiar with highway compliance requirements and regulations. And a seasoned driver may need advanced training in troubleshooting, managing downtime crises, and re-routing. 

So, understand and assess the level of expertise of your drivers and assign the training courses per their experience and knowledge of your drivers.

Embrace The Latest Technology 

Advanced GPS technology

Unlike regular drivers, highway truck drivers use unique real-time GPS technology which enables them to view the traffic, weather, and navigation complexities. Some of these systems can be connected with your intercom for easier communication, process implementation, and load/task management. Additionally, this will help improve overall operational efficiency.

Mobile apps with FMCSA compliance

The compliance requirements are different for each state. So, when your drivers are assigned interstate freight orders, they must be familiar with the changing regulations per the FMCSA. Get an FMCSA-compliant mobile app for your truck driver, stay connected with them throughout, and help them be safe on highways. 

Summary

  • Recognize the hardworking drivers
  • Pay attention to their needs
  • Appreciate your drivers’ efforts
  • Reward your drivers with useful incentives and better pay
  • Improve work safety and culture 

Managing a trucking business is not easy. You probably know that.

But do you know what else is not easy? 

Managing and eFiling all your heavy highway vehicle tax  2290 returns at once.

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