For instance, if you have someone who likes fishing he will not find attractive to go Jamaica as some others might do.
Give Them a Call Once a Week
Once a week you should dedicate some time to do some phone calls and check with your drivers how they feel and how are they doing. This is such a small gesture that will mean a lot to them. It shows that you care and that you think about them.
It will take you a maximum of 10 minutes per driver to check how are they, how is their family doing or to talk about some NFL or Baseball team that just recently won a super important game. Those 10 minutes of time you invest will get back to you in the best way.
A truck driver will feel bonded and connected to you and the company and that is the reason they will be less likely to leave the company.
In the worse case scenario, they will at least let you know their plans and warn you in advance so that transition can be very painless and cost and time optimized.
Use these phone calls also to see how do they feel about the company and what is their opinion is there anything they would like to change or have some suggestions.
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Truck drivers spend 10h per day driving and living your company so don’t you think they might have some really good things to suggest?
Free Showers are Great Perk to Provide
This is actually most important perk according to the truck drivers. This is the item that they want. Some truck stops offer this as a free give away (Pilot Flying J for example) if you buy a certain amount of fuel.
Usually, showers prices are in the area of $15 more or less so if there is a chance you can provide this perk to your truck company drivers for free you will make them a huge favor.
There might be an easier way how to solve this and get this perk without any additional cost for your company. Apply for a fuel card with certain truck stops chains such as Love’s or Pilot Flying J and you can negotiate free showers for your truck drivers every time they buy fuel worth more than $200 for example.
In this way, you can have a win-win situation where you make you truck drivers happy and your company saves money.
There is one thing I’d like to warn you when negotiating this is to make sure there are no minimum monthly fuel amounts you are supposed to buy as a company.
Sometimes they will provide free showers in exchange for you to sign that you as a company will buy 20,000 gallons per month. So please pay attention to those “details” when entering into an agreement.
Introduce Health Insurance
I wrote a lot about this topic in my separate post which you can find here and I think this is one of the most important things you need to provide.
This will make your company stand out among million other trucking companies that are incorporated in the US.
Also, we need to be fair and to admit that this particular perk has the biggest money value among all other perks I’m writing here about.
Monthly truck driver health insurance can very easily increase to $500 per truck driver so having a perk like this really makes your company the best among the best.
There is a chance to negotiate some discount rates if you apply for group policy but still, this is a lot of money. Up to March 2017, these group policies very often were more expensive than a single policy but these have been changed lately.
So now if you get the health insurance for your truck driver it will be cheaper than him getting it on his own. Maybe you can use this as a negotiation advantage as well.
Train Dispatchers To Be More Professional
Dispatch department is one of the most important departments in a trucking company. I would describe dispatch department as a sales department in any traditional company (Flatbed, Moving truck rental, Reefer, Dry Van…)
Dispatch department as the one that is in charge of selling the company service or finding the loads is the one that brings cash to the company.
This process brings a lot of stress and for that reason being dispatcher it is one of the most stressful jobs in the entire trucking company.
Average dispatcher makes more than 150 calls per day so it is very easy to understand why they have a bad mood sometimes and their diplomacy skills are on the lowest level.
Still, it is very easy for them to try and understand the truck drivers as well and build the relationships.
Truck drivers also have a very difficult job and I would say that having a truck on the road is similar to having a problem on the wheels. There is always something that can go wrong so attention to details is required.
Invest some resources in training dispatchers how to deal with stressful situations and I’m sure your truck drivers will be thankful to you.
Also, it will take your company to a much higher level because the dispatch department is in most cases the face of your company.
Optimize Routes So Drivers Can Have Some Home-time
Being a truck driver of an 18-wheeler truck and driving long haul loads is very stressful and hard job. Add on top of that situation that you don’t go home for a month or two and as a truck driver, you don’t see your loved ones.
Now you get the picture why truck drivers are sometimes in a bad mood and feel unhappy.