There is a great shortage of drivers in the trucking industry. One of the reasons for this shortage is due to the increase in the demand for drivers from various industries or due to the lack of “quality” drivers. However, the one reason that does not receive enough public notice is when drivers leave the company on their own volition.
After going through a number of resources, we found that many drivers usually jump ship between trucking companies due to feeling uncomfortable with their pay, aggravated with management or get less home time.
This article will provide a deeper insight to explain why truckers quit one company in hopes of applying for one that better appeals to their needs.
- Better Pay
This one is a no-brainer, but a weak or unjust salary or wage rate is the biggest reason why truckers leave their previous company. There have been several complaints about not getting enough miles due to the fall in economy and freight.
Many drivers express frustration that their pay isn’t good enough for long hours of driving and being away from home. There’s also the issue with detention time where if a driver waits too long for their truck to be loaded and unloaded and the company doesn’t offer them their detention pay, then most of the money that the driver expects goes unaccounted for.
Drivers who value their time and effort have to be compensated as such and when a company fails to do that, then those drivers will eventually walk out.
- Home Time Satisfaction
Home time is another recurring issue that a trucker feels is lacking in the companies they depart from, but it goes beyond “not having enough time.” Strategic Programs report that some drivers complain about infrequent home times, not being sure how long they’ll stay home or when they do get home, they don’t stay long enough.
Getting this factor right is crucial for hiring new truck drivers. Tom Glaser, former president and COO of Celadon says, “If they (drivers) live in Montana, and your lanes are between Detroit and Laredo, it’s not going to happen. Pay attention to your hiring area and where you drive your trucks up and down the road. Hiring area and freight density play an important part in getting those drivers home.”
- A Just Supervisor
Greatwide’s Newell says, “People don’t leave companies; people leave people.” The dispatcher or fleet manager of a trucking company serves as a driver’s supervisor and main point of contact. From a bird’s eye view, this relationship is riddled with bad potential.
Tom Witt, former senior vice president of operations at Smithway Motor Xpress, says “When you look at the behavioral profile of a driver and a driver manager, they’re opposed.”
Driving managers are extroverted and operate well without guidance or structure as opposed to drivers who usually work alone, need plenty of structure and don’t receive lots of good criticism.
There are companies that offer employee profiling services to help drivers find more suitable dispatchers.
- Equipment and Maintenance
If a truck’s equipment and maintenance are in terrible condition in more than one occasion, then a driver will put their foot down and exit their fleeting company.
Maintenance is a potential problem area that needs to be addressed. Some companies give their drivers some personal time off while their trucks are being fixed. And some companies force their drivers to stick around until their trucks are fixed for almost half a day.
A trucking company needs to consider how their driver and technician relate to one another. Drivers who report problems during maintenance before heading out will convey a message that their company doesn’t care about their comfort or needs.