Driver Turnover in the Trucking Industry

Trucking Companies and Driver Turnover

The trucking industry is the lifeblood of the U.S. economy. Nearly 71% of all the freight tonnage moved in the U.S. goes on trucks. Without the industry and truck drivers, the economy would come to a standstill. To move 10.5 billion tons of freight annually requires over 3.6 million heavy-duty Class 8 trucks and over 3.5 million truck drivers. Retention plays a very important role in this industry as America’s economy will come to standstill without this industry. Simply put, without trucks, America stops moving.

  • According to the American Trucking Association, driver turnover at large truckload fleets are around 88%
  • Trucking companies turnover rate have at both large and small fleets have risen an average of 14 points since 2016

 

Truck Driver Turnover Rate

For the last three decades, driver turnover has been a significant challenge in the transportation industry. Motor carriers are turning down business because they don’t have enough truck drivers. Long-haul truckers are costing carriers $3,000 to $5,000 each year due to an average annual turnover rate higher than ever recorded. In fact, 33% of drivers quit within 90 days of being hired, and another 22% leave before they reach 6 months. The average age of a driver is 49 years old, with more and more drivers reaching retirement each day, the high turnover rate continues. Demand is high. There is currently a shortage of about 100k drivers and it’s estimated that by 2020 this number will jump to 160K less drivers than what the U.S. transportation needs. With lost revenue, frustrated dispatchers, delivery delays, and upset customers, the benefits of a driver retention strategy clearly outweigh the costs.

 

The Challenge with Retaining Truck Drivers

Why is it so hard to retain drivers? The industry requires candidates to have skilled qualifications, but the job is demanding, risky, and requires drivers to spend a great deal of time alone away from their families. With an increased demand for shipping and deliveries nationwide, the transportation industry will need to grapple with not only recruiting but retaining millennials in their workforce and increasing pay won’t be the answer, 64% of millennials would choose a desirable job for 40K over a less desirable position for 100k. For the future success of the transportation and trucking industry it will be critical for companies to retain their drivers through creative and innovative ways.  So what can be done to reduce driver turnover?

 

How Retensa Can Help You Retain Your Truck Drivers

Trucking companies with low turnover rates succeed because they pinpoint exactly why their driver’s quit (no more guessing) and invest in the future of their workforce. Stop wasting time asking opinions about driving that cannot be changed; Retensa concentrates on what leadership can effectively impact to improve the driver experience. You can overcome driver turnover at your fleet. Here are 3 options to consider:

  1. Exit Interviews provide you with actionable intelligence. Using a third party like Retensa to conduct exit interviews creates the safety net people need to avoid burning bridges and be really honest about why they are leaving. The truth is, it’s almost never due to salary. Ask the right questions to pinpoint the root causes for high turnover at your construction site and prepare strategies to help increase retention today.
  2. Retention Diagnostics give you prioritized recommendations for data-driven decision making. This will identify the areas where your organization excels, where it can focus, and all the “noise” to ignore. To reduce construction worker turnover, you need more than just knowing the root causes of low morale, high absenteeism, or disengagement. You need clear and actionable recommendations to retain talent. The Retention Diagnostic delivers exactly, unquestionably, and completely how to predict and prevent turnover for the next 24 months.
  3. Recruitment and Onboarding Strategies: Retensa can help you create new recruiting strategies that target millennials and promote healthy lifestyles for drivers. Once drivers are hired, the onboarding process is critical as a large part of driver turnover happens in the first few months. An efficient and enjoyable onboarding process is critical. Most new hires decide within the first 72 hours whether they will be with you for a long time or start looking for an exit strategy.

 

It will not get easier on its own. There is no pill for this. But there are strategies that work. The driver retention experts at Retensa have helped clients retain drivers all over the world. Request a free consultation for a real-world plan. Call us now at (212) 545-1280 or email a retention expert here.