Growing a Trucking Fleet? How to Increase Driver Retention

Driver retention is critical to the success of any trucking company and keeping drivers is becoming increasingly important as the national truck driver shortage continues to effect the industry. Often times driver retention start with the hiring process and the incentives that trucking companies provide to lure in the best drivers possible.

Trucking companies with successful driver retention tend to focus on tracking retention goals and objectives, organizational accountability, identifying sources of stress for drivers and making improvements, and internal communication between other drivers and dispatchers. In order to attract dedicated and hardworking truck drivers, trucking companies should try to provide as many incentives as possible.

Improved benefits and pay will help, but there are also things fleets can invest in to make for a more enjoyable driving experience. Mobile scanning solutions that allow drivers to easily scan paperwork and instantly submit from their mobile device are just one of the accommodations trucking companies can provide to make life easier on their truck drivers. These scanning solutions are appreciated by truckers because they allow for faster pay and immediate document submission after completing a delivery so they can quickly move on to the next one keep making money.

It also important for trucking companies to be honest and upfront with their current and potential drivers so that everybody understands what they are getting into and to avoid unexpected surprises. By doing this, trucking companies often find that there is the right job for every truck driver, it is just a matter of getting to know their strengths and preferences.

Further, it is important for trucking companies to promote healthy living among their truck drivers. Healthier drivers are happier drivers and happier drivers increase driver retention. Another part of keeping your truck drivers happy is allowing them to have ample time at home. Too much time away from home is one of the most common reasons for truck drivers who leave the industry, making it essential for trucking companies to provide as much home time as possible.

What is the suggestion for improving truck driver training?

everal suggestions have been put forward to address the issue of improving truck driver training. One proposal is the allocation of public funding to truck driver training schools. Advocates argue that this financial support is necessary because many schools require additional resources such as more trucks and concrete driving space to train a higher number of students effectively. Furthermore, they believe that having modern rigs that match the ones drivers would operate in the real world is crucial. This notion is supported by the high demand for training, as seen in a Milwaukee school that has a waiting list of 700 to 800 students but can only train 200 per year.

Aside from increased funding, another suggestion is to revise the current certification requirements for truck drivers. Critics argue that the current standards are inadequate, especially when compared to other industries. For instance, barbers are generally required to undergo 1,000 hours of training, while passenger airline pilots need 1,500 hours. In contrast, there is no minimum driving time or proof of ability to handle various weather conditions for truck drivers. This discrepancy has led some to call for a more comprehensive certification process that includes behind-the-wheel training and the demonstration of skills necessary for navigating through challenging terrains.

To address this issue, the idea of implementing apprenticeships in the trucking industry has gained traction. This approach would allow aspiring truck drivers to receive both training and payment simultaneously. However, it is important to note that most trucking companies would likely still require some level of classroom education even within an apprenticeship program. This compromise recognizes the need for a combination of practical experience and theoretical knowledge in preparing competent and skilled truck drivers.

Overall, the suggestions for improving truck driver training emphasize the need for increased funding, more rigorous certification requirements, and the implementation of apprenticeship programs. By addressing these aspects, it is believed that the quality of training would improve, leading to more competent and capable truck drivers on the road.

What is the role of truck driving schools in training new drivers?

Truck driving schools play a crucial role in training new drivers and preparing them for a career in the industry. When considering strategies to address the shortage of truck drivers, an important question emerges: should the focus be on attracting new drivers or reassessing how these drivers are treated once they join the workforce? Additionally, should efforts be directed towards enrolling as many individuals as possible in truck driving schools or maintaining smaller class sizes?

It is essential to recognize that improving driver retention can have significant implications for public safety. Studies, such as a federal analysis conducted in 2017, reveal that drivers with less experience are more likely to be involved in serious accidents. For instance, the research demonstrated that a truck driver with less than three years of experience is 47% more prone to causing an accident compared to a driver with over three years of experience. Consequently, prioritizing driver retention over expanding the pool of potential drivers may seem like a logical solution when viewed from an external perspective.

Considering the role of truck driving schools in training new drivers, these institutions serve as the primary source of education and skill development for aspiring truck drivers. They provide comprehensive training programs that cover various aspects of the profession, including safety regulations, vehicle operation, maintenance, and navigation. Truck driving schools focus on equipping students with the necessary knowledge and practical skills to navigate the challenges of the road and operate heavy vehicles safely.

Want to increase the driver retention rate of your trucking company? Listen to what your truck drivers have to say.

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