The freight industry has been dealing with the national trucker shortage for years now, and it seems there is little end in sight for this issue. However, that doesn't mean companies can resign themselves to the idea that they're not going to be able to attract and retain pro haulers for years to come, and will simply have to rely on an ever-shrinking number of drivers to get all their shipments from Point A to Point B.
To the contrary, this persistent problem is something companies should try to address on multiple fronts. That way, no matter what the industry at large may be going through, they're always in a position to put their own best foot forward when it comes to trucker retention. The following tips should help:
1) Take administrative tasks off their plates
Regulatory controls on the trucking industry have risen recent years and those cause a lot of nagging tasks that are required of truckers, according to FleetCardsUSA. While you can't do everything for them, aim to give them more administrative support with respect to paperwork, so they can focus on the actual hard part of their jobs.
2) Provide drivers with better training and orientation
Often, truckers leave because they feel they're not all that connected to the other people at the company, FleetCardsUSA said. After all, if they're spending days or weeks at a time on the road and only getting intermittent communication and (to their minds) little support, they have no problem looking elsewhere for work. As such, aim to provide regular training and more robust team-building orientation so there's always that sense of connection.
3) Promote safety on the job
Another area where truckers may feel they don't have a lot of support or help is in terms of getting their jobs done safely every single day, according to DC Velocity. For that reason, you may need to do more to invest in the right gear and give truckers extra flexibility when driving conditions may be dangerous.
4) Offer performance bonuses, better pay and stronger benefits
An additional thing truckers deal with on a regular basis is the feeling that they are not adequately compensated, DC Velocity added. Truckers earned far more on an inflation-adjusted basis than they do today, and even with signing bonuses and other financial perks, they aren't even coming close to what they would have made in the same job 30 years ago. Now's the time to beef up pay and benefits offerings.
5) Solicit feedback and follow through on it
Nobody wants to feel like their concerns fall on deaf ears, and that certainly includes truckers, according to Tenstreet. As such, don't just listen when truckers tell you about a persistent problem; act on it. What's more, it's advisable to actively reach out and ask if there are any issues that need addressing.
6) Keep trucks in great shape
Finally, you never want your truckers' big rigs to experience performance issues, Tenstreet recommended. Regular servicing, detailing and other improvements will help keep your drivers happy in their lives on the road.
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