The problem number one in trucking industry if you ask any trucking company owner is truck drivers that quit or leave the company. It is not the equipment, trucks, loads or anything, it is truck drivers.
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Simply trucking business is growing so fast that it is impossible to find enough good truck drivers.
Over the last 10 years, the trucking industry has increased by 30% and trucking companies are having difficulties with recruiting drivers and keeping them in the company.
Over the last few years, this problem has become even worse with more and more people deciding to start the trucking business and more and more drivers becoming independent owner-operators.
This is historically high level and it is also one of the reasons why even the best trucking companies in US face difficulties.
It is estimated that every time truck driver quits and decides to leave the company, the trucking company will have a loss of $6.000. And that is only on average.
What you need to know is that in most of the cases, the truck drivers operating Class 8 trucks also known as 18-wheeler trucks are not behaving in the most professional way.
What that actually means and looks like is that they would simply leave the truck unattended somewhere in the middle of the nowhere, on some truck stop and decide they want to quit.
They would just give a call to their company informing them that they are quitting and that they left the keys inside the truck. And that is it, nothing more nothing less. You can imagine the cost to recover that truck are much higher than $6,000.
Add to this that broker might charge you extra for late delivery and you can easily face $15k of an extra unplanned cost that will take you months to recover.
So, how to deal with truck drivers, how to make them happy so that they want to stay forever in your trucking company and work until the retire?
There are some ways to do it. Trucking industry seems to be similar to the IT industry lately. Additionally, the trucking companies are coming up with a lot of additional benefits and perks just to make sure truck driver are happy and stay with the company.
Some of the perks that were seen only in IT now you can also see in truck driving jobs ads. In simple words, the industry is changing and the competition is doing the best it can to keep you out of the business so like it or not, it is time to change and modify a bit.
Upon talking with more than 100 truck drivers I created the list that brings their wishes into reality. Listening to this Wishlist is a good way to reach the success.
Treat Your Truck Drivers Well
This is one of the most important human needs. To be treated well and other people to show respect towards us. I know personally how trucking business can be very stressful sometimes.
Further, it is not easy to concentrate and keep calm but every time you want to raise your voice and shout or say something bad think about how you would feel if someone is doing that the same thing to you.
Try to be nice and polite every time you communicate with them and sometimes use power words (please, thank you, you are welcome) and you will start to see the difference in their behavior as well.
Reward Them With a Free Lunch Once a Week
Lunch and meal are one of the most important tasks of the truck driver everyday life. Introducing the very popular “free lunch” perk can help you build a better relationship with truck drivers.
There is a very simple reason why this provides much higher value and sense of connection compared to the money for example.
The reason for this lies in psychology and how human brain thinks and operates. If you buy them lunch instead of paying them $15 which is the average lunch price on any truck stop you will create the experience for them.
Going to the nice truck stop restaurant they like means that you are creating a one-hour experience truck drivers will like and be grateful for that.
On the other hand, if you transfer them $15 on their account that would have a very limited impact since there is no experience and there is no real value provided. It just sits on their bank account and they don’t see it as a great reward.
As you can realize by now, the situation is completely different with lunch. Whenever you want to achieve a lot aim for an experience.
Set Up Vacation Budget for Truck Drivers
Based on the most of the conversation I had with the company’s truck drivers, this should be the path to go. All of them actually liked this and think this is an amazing idea that could connect them to the trucking company for a long period of time.
There are multiple ways how to do it and some trucking companies are using a different approach but it is all about the experience again:
- some companies dedicate $50 to a special budget which is released truck driver goes on vacation.
- some companies dedicate 1% of gross revenue truck driver makes in order to stimulate them to work more but also to make more for vacation.
- companies offering prearranged trips by contracting with some travel agencies to provide truck drivers with amazing vacations
Every company should choose or find the way that suits them best in accordance to the truck driver’s habits and wishes. Also, it is really good to know what type of personalities you have among truck drivers.