Attracting & Retaining Great Drivers
March 18, 2015
Author | Maggie Langkamp, Account Administrator
Along with growth comes growing pain. The trucking industry has seen steady growth over the last 2 years of 2.4% annually. 2015 appears to be ramping up to exceed this with the US Department of Labor reporting that January’s growth for the trucking industry added 2400 new jobs. That’s 3.5% growth and up significantly from the previous January when only 100 new jobs were created.
As many trucking companies grow, the driver pool appears to be shrinking. This compels some companies to think outside of the box when it comes to driver recruitment and retention.
One of the biggest hurdles of the industry is the time drivers are required to be away from their homes and families. Boyd Bros. Transportation has been installing in-cab satellite systems into some of their sleeper units. The thought of making their drivers feel more at home has helped to increase employee satisfaction and has the potential to entice new drivers. EpicVue (epicvue.com) offers an in-cab satellite system that offers 100+ DirecTV channels that can increase the quality of life by keeping drivers connected while on the road.
With driver regulations and a changing mindset focused on improved health, the trucking industry has been hit hard. A lifestyle on the road can make focusing on your health even harder. Prime, Inc has taken an innovative stance and hired a fitness trainer. This trainer is a past driver himself with a background in fitness, so he is well aware of the obstacles that drivers face on a day-to-day basis. While drivers are more likely to be on the road, than in the gym, a trainer to help guide employees in alternative ways to improve their health has been key.
Another “untapped” pool may also be women drivers. Ryder Systems, Inc. has made a ground-breaking move and will be offering trucks for lease that are ergonomically designed for women. Ryder is offering 15 custom specifications that are designed to make driving more comfortable and safer for drivers of smaller stature, such as women. Some of these changes include lowering the grab rails, adjusting the seat belt, a hood lift/closure assistance mechanism and adjusted oil and coolant checks and fill ports. These adjustments are intended to eliminate some of the hurdles that women and other drivers may face.
The Women in Trucking Foundation (womenintrucking.org) has worked closely with Ryder to make recommendations that would encourage women to seek employment in the trucking industry. The Women in Trucking Foundation also offers an annual scholarship for safety and technical training and a mentoring program for women in the industry to create a network of personal and professional individuals.
What draws most of us to the trucking industry? Constant, evolving growth and people. In times of growth, it is important to be willing to think outside of the box to retain the quality employees you currently have and attract valuable new employees.
- Malloy, Michael G. “Trucking Adds 2,400 Jobs as January Payroll Swells.” Transportation Topics Feb. 2015: 6, 56.
- “Ryder will Offer First Trucks for Lease that are Designed for Female Drivers.” Transportation Topics Feb. 2015: 18.
- “Boyd Bros. Installing Satellite Television in Cabs to Assist with Driver Retention.” Transportation Topics Jan. 2015: 12.
- Gounley, Thomas. “Prime, Inc Program Aims to Improve Health of Truckers.” Sept 29, 2013. https://www.primeinc.com/prime-inc-program-aims-to-improve-health-of-truckers, March 2, 2015.
- Akbari, Dr. Anna. “Together Alone.” May 21, 2014. https://epicvue.com/together-alone/