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Driver retention

Aug 26, 2023 at 08:49 AM CST
+ 3

Looking for some insight here as I am at a loss. We are a 12 truck operation based out of western Nebraska. Constantly struggling with keeping drivers around long term. I feel we pay damn well 25% of gross and a weeks paid vacation annually and end of year performance bonus. Run primarily 379’s that are well taken care of and 4 year old to new timpte hoppers. We have two dedicated contracts have had them a long time as our bread and butter and fill in the gaps with grain and feed stuffs to get from A-B. In all we run close to 90% loaded miles in a round trip of our lane. If you break down the lane by miles the driver makes on average .65-70 cpm a week. Annually on a steady driving operator is doing well over 100k and home nearly every weekend and home a night or two during week if they live here in our area. On average there guys do 3000-3500 miles a week almost all the miles run east to west on 80 Utah to Iowa which is really quite easy running the big road most of the miles. So what the hell gives?? Has the culture changed so much in the workforce that people just constantly want to jump ship?? I’m not an overbearing boss I’m pretty dang easy going unless you are not maintaining your schedule then I will lean on you at that point. Everyone is paid bi weekly just like all my other employees no bs the check is always there and I try to do my best to accommodate concerns or issues right away when they arise. But I tell ya in the last couple years I’ve had just one out of several quit respectfully and give notice the rest I come back finding a truck parked and cleaned out with no notice no excuses no nothing. I’m sorry no pun intended but out here a 100k plus job is pretty d*** good money and checking around I’m payin a top wage. If I doin something wrong point it out to me cause I’m at a loss. Tires of there being no loyalty or pride amongst drivers anymore I’m old school.

Replied on Sun, Aug 27, 2023 at 06:45 PM CST
- 1

What are you/they hauling? If your guys are getting physically beaten up pounding the heck out of a hopper that could be part of it.

"Home almost every weekend" is probably the other problem.

Replied on Mon, Aug 28, 2023 at 08:38 AM CST
I think you have to ask your drivers for insight. What sucks about the job? Or, maybe the market you are in is just more competitive for drivers than you think? We are a similar size outfit, running similar equipment, but mostly belts. Our drivers get a more vacation time, but their wages are probably 10-15% less than yours. They are home every weekend unless they want to stay out. We have super low turnover, and a quite a few good applications all the time of people who want to drive for us With the expenses the way they are, we find it difficult to consistently put money to the bottom line on freight revenue alone with driver pay where it is. This has been one of the tougher spells in trucking out of the last 10 years for sure. Unfortunately it seems like driver compensation got ratcheted way up during covid. As rates decline, it’s hard as a fleet manager to walk that back and be respectful to team. Every driver has a mix of needs that is comprised of home time, revenue, equipment, the work, and ease of dealing with mgmt. it sounds to me like you got the equipment and revenue covered…. Put yourself in your drivers shoes and think about the work and dealing with management. If something is a pain in the butt, week after week, with no sign of change… guys will move on It’s a tough nut to crack for sure
Replied on Mon, Aug 28, 2023 at 10:51 AM CST

Be serious and ask yourself this. Would you work for you? In my area, I compete with fuel hauling, UPS, FedEx, and others for local jobs. We do regional Mon-Fri and our guys typically gross $100k plus per year. I would NOT stay out over the weekends if I was an experienced driver unless I wanted to.

It seems to take 10 "trial drivers" before you get one good driver. Todays workforce is different than 10+ years ago. "Job jumping" is acceptable to most people. Once you get a good crew, usually they'll bring their friends over.

Replied on Mon, Aug 28, 2023 at 02:45 PM CST
+ 1 - 1

Having no idea regarding what your numbers are, I'd start with: 25% of What? $7,000 a week, or $4,000 a week. People like consistancy, especially if they have set bills every month. Vacation is not worth much if you can't afford to go anywhere.

Replied on Tue, Aug 29, 2023 at 11:58 AM CST
It mite have alot to do with there just plain damn lazy..hire a leagal migrant that would appreciate a job..99% of these drivers wouldn't no a days work if it hit em in the ass. .im. speaking from experience... .
Replied on Tue, Aug 29, 2023 at 11:58 AM CST

In this generation of drivers ,money doesn't motivate them like it did with us older guys. We wanted better for ourselves and family. The new generation every thing has to to be easy and things go the way they want it to go.

Replied on Fri, Sep 01, 2023 at 08:27 PM CST

Put forth more time in the interview process and make sure to explain expectations in detail.

Financial compensation is only one factor of the total package. Benefits and quality of life are a big factor when considering any job or career.

Being gone from home can cause a strain on anybody. Missing loved ones, not getting quality time with their family. Someone could have a medical emergency or a parent with failing health that would make it unappealing to not be there for someone.

Hobbies and weekday activities would be impossible to maintain.

If you could make 100k being gone all the time, or making 50-60k, working only 8 hours a day, and getting to see their close family everyday and have recreational time may seem more appealing.

I would follow up with those who left and ask them in order to ascertain their main problems or grievences.