It’s no surprise that there is a driver shortage affecting the industry with numbers expected to get worse. With roughly 21% of truck drivers being of 55-65 years of age versus 8% between the ages of 25 and 29, the shortage is expected to range from 20,000 to over 100,000 drivers.
According to CarriersEdge, the level of importance placed upon wages does not weigh as heavily today as drivers are placing more emphasis on working conditions, benefits, equipment, personal life, and so on. But as trucking companies search for drivers to fill their trucks and reduce capacity concerns, drivers search for fair treatment.
Earlier last month, the court ruled in favor of a female driver (Rachel Harrington) who was said to be sexually harassed by her supervisor, discriminated against due to her sex, and unjustifiably dismissed.1 Harrington, who was employed by Thunderbird One Limited, recounted an incident when she was ordered to “manhandle a load of around 800 kilograms.” Threatened by colleagues that they would complain if she had not done her job, she attempted to move the load and was injured. According to Harrington, when she told her manager, “she was met with ‘derision and laughter’ from employees, who blocked her access to first aid and refused to help her get medical assistance, telling her that “calling an ambulance would result in disciplinary action, and told her to seek transport to hospital from a competing firm a kilometre down the road.”1
Luckily, the company did not refute her allegations and Harrington received over $63,000 in lost wages and humiliation.
Aside from harassment and discrimination in the workplace, drivers are also on guard for being taken advantage of in an attempt to cover up a scandal or cut costs.
Just last week, two drivers filed a suit against Harbor Express, claiming that the company “misclassified hundreds of truck drivers as independent contractors” in an attempt to avoid providing them with rest breaks, lunch hours, workers’ compensation, and overtime.2 As one of the drivers explained, “Truck drivers are paid per trip, no matter how long they take. Delays leaving the port aren’t accounted for when being paid. They don’t pay us a penny for the time we wait at the port. I live paycheck to paycheck. I don’t have a savings account.”2 As many as 400 drivers who have been employed with the company since May 2009 could be affected.2
With driver turnover still high, CarriersEdge provides nine following ways to retain drivers:
-Compensation. Although wages are not as much as a priority as in the past, drivers still need to make a living. As CarriersEdge notes, many carriers are having a hard time raising rates in order to increase driver pay, and therefore, are taking more constructive measures in order to compensate drivers including rewarding them for better fuel mileage, safety, and customer feedback.
-Ask them. One of the best ways to keep your drivers happy is by simply asking them. CarriersEdge suggests driver surveys that cover a variety of topics from facilities improvements to your bonus system.
-Go online. Technology is here to stay and online social media sites as well as a company website is one of the most efficient tools for recruitment.
-Be honest. Do not provide drivers with high expectations in order to recruit them. They will leave faster than they came on board.
-Proper orientation. Don’t just show new drivers your rules and procedures but show them they will be treated with respect and introduce them to other employees.3
-Promote their health. More trucking companies today are taking a concern with their drivers’ health and demonstrating that they care by opening onsite gyms, weight-loss programs, and health screenings.3
-Home time. Provide drivers with the ability and assurance that they will be able to get home on a frequent basis.
-Promptness. If a problem arises, resolve it in a timely manner.
-Stick to it. Don’t try to resolve driver turnover through several different trial and error approaches but narrow your methods to a few and stick to them.
Road Scholar Transport is currently looking for professional drivers. Our company operates in a localized footprint which allows our drivers to get home at least every other night.
Road Scholar is well focused on safety, security, and technology. We operate excellent equipment and conduct the proper maintenance procedures keeping our drivers safe. In fact, we have never been cited for a piece of faulty equipment in an accident.
Road Scholar has an excellent reputation, treats our employees with respect, as well as rewards our drivers with safety bonuses, rewards for positive customer feedback, excellent wages, and a comprehensive benefits package.
To join Road Scholar’s fleet of drivers, click here to complete an online application.
With the upcoming hours-of-service changes, as well as increasing driver shortage, do you think that more trucking companies are going to be creating scandals/breaking the law in order keep drivers on the road longer without proper compensation?