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Want to Keep Drivers? Focus on the Issues They Care About
3 mins read

DECEMBER 6, 2018 – As we covered last month, the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) released the results of their annual survey – and the results weren’t surprising. Topping the industry’s most pressing concerns are the driver shortage, hours of service regulations and driver retention. And while this information is certainly interesting – and a solid reflection of the concerns we’re seeing across the trucking industry today – it doesn’t tell the entire story.

To really get value out of this data, we need to break down the top concerns by drivers and carriers.

From the American Transportation Research Institute’s 2018 Critical Issues in the Trucking Industry Report.

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Carriers vs. Drivers

With a driver turnover rate that is approaching 100 percent, issues around finding and retaining drivers is the top concern for motor carriers today – many of whom are raising pay, offering competitive sign-on bonuses and rethinking their benefits packages in an effort to attract and keep drivers.

It’s probably not surprising that the driver shortage and retention issues is much further down the list of issues that drivers care about.  For them, it’s the issues they face out on the road that matter most – which is why hours of service, truck parking and the Electronic Logging Device mandate are at the top of their list.

Why These Differences Matter

As we’ve written about in the past, there are a number of strategies carriers can (and should) be using to maintain a fully-staffed fleet – and raising pay and offering sign-on bonuses is just the beginning. Research shows that drivers are also looking for a seamless recruiting experience (this has been shown to increase retention by 22 percent), a positive workplace culture and an employer that cares about the wellbeing of their drivers.

Carriers should also carefully consider the issues that pop up on the ATRI’s list of top driver issues each year so that they can make those a priority in their business. With hours of service issues in the top spot, it’s clear that greater flexibility is needed by drivers. And while you can’t change the regulations yourself, you may be able to offer opportunities for greater work-life balance and be a greater advocate for a regulatory change. Similarly, you may think about providing health and wellness benefits that help drivers build and maintain a healthier lifestyle – another top concern for them this year.

What incentives are you offering to bring drivers on board? Has the driver shortage led you to make any changes to your recruiting and onboarding processes?  Leave your comments below!

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