Commercial trucking has always been crucial to the supply chain of our economy. Reports have shown that trucks transport over seventy percent of domestic cargo shipments. However, many fleets now find themselves unable to hire enough drivers to meet demand.
The difficulty in finding qualified commercial truck drivers has arisen amidst long standing strains in the industry like over pay, hours, working conditions, and turnover. Disturbances in the flow of goods has caused some delays and jams at loading docks, decreasing scarce trucking capacity and making drivers’ jobs frustrating and even more challenging.
How To Find And Retain Qualified Commercial Truck Drivers
Hiring truck drivers can be very difficult in a competitive labor market. Without concrete retention efforts, truck driver turnover rates will continue to increase, resulting in further driver shortage. However, these challenges can be resolved if organizations can consider some of the following solutions.
Build A Driver Pipeline
Many trucking companies make the mistake of hiring in a rush to meet sudden surges in demand. However, it is better to be proactive than reactive. Identify the best networks to find prospective drivers. Trade schools can be some of the best places to build a network and pool of potential candidates.
A daily effort to actively seek out prospects through networking (instead of merely hoping that candidates will discover your company and apply) will be far more effective at preparing your fleet for your hiring needs.
Highlight Your Company’s Culture And Modern Technology Systems
Trucking is a job that involves many logistical considerations. Highlight your dispatch tools to show candidates that you use systems that are designed to make their jobs as easy as possible. Show your candidates and drivers that you value safety and transparency by explaining how your use of monitoring systems is aligned with your values. For instance, resistance towards surveillance cameras can be addressed by explaining to prospective drivers that cameras can help prove that a driver was not at fault in an accident, which not only protects your fleet from higher insurance costs, but also protects the driver’s personal insurance from increasing.
Incentivize Retention Through Rewards And Benefits
Regular systemic communication helps to keep drivers engaged with your brand. Monitoring and surveillance is crucial to fleet operations; however, drivers may be resistant to the idea of monitoring. Thus, it is crucial to establish and communicate your proper use policy in terms of what data is being collected and how it is used, and what will be considered infractions.
Explain how your company’s logistics software helps drivers complete more jobs on-time and safely, which helps to maximize performance and avoid accidents. The data collected through performance tracking systems allows management to identify and reward optimal performance; consider implementing a performance-based rewards system if you don’t have one already.
While the idea of investing in rewards and incentives may be daunting to fleet owners, the more you are able to retain your drivers, the more familiarity and exposure they will have with routes and protocols, which makes accidents less likely. In the long run, accident prevention will not only keep everyone safe, but also save management from headache, liability, and expenditures.
Furthermore, like all hard-working Americans, truck drivers are seeking stability and security in their careers. Medical, dental, vision, life, and other forms of insurance can profoundly increase retention.
If you have questions about navigating the risks and challenges of operating a commercial trucking business given the current climate of the industry, give SWAN Insurance a call and one of our advisors can speak with you today.
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