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Why the High Turnover Rate for Commercial Drivers

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It isn’t easy to get up-to-date numbers for the actual turnover rate. According to an online article in Trucking.org, the American Trucking Associations (ATA) released statistics that show the turnover rate for commercial drivers was still mixed. 

Their February report on turnover gave numbers for the third quarter of 2019. We are into the second quarter of 2020 already. However, that turnover rate showed a 96 percent driver turnover at large fleets worth $30 million or more. 

Numbers at small fleets were better at around 73 percent, but that’s still a turnover rate of approximately three-quarters of company drivers. Why are these rates so high? Even the overall turnover rate of millennials is only 60 percent. These youngsters, most of whom prefer job satisfaction much more than their predecessors, live with their parents, can accept a lower salary, and better tolerate turnover expenses. 

What drives these truckers to seek new employment, mostly within the same field continuously? Express Freight Finance points to personal life, health, and economics as the root reasons in their article, Factors Influencing Driver Turnover in the Trucking Industry. We’ll take a look at these and possible solutions. However, we would like to point out another probable explanation and a potential solution for many commercial drivers, particularly novice operators, and that is challenging tickets, crash data, and roadside inspection violations.            

The Personal Life of Commercial Drivers

It’s no secret that commercial drivers spend long hours on the road, especially long-haul drivers. These long boring trips wear many novice drivers down, and they begin looking for short-haul opportunities close to home or jobs in another career field altogether.

The fleets that are keeping drivers are finding ways to make long trips less boring for drivers, like allowing family and pets along. Other fleets are looking at shortening trips or creating short leg trips with another driver waiting to pick up the load and send the driver back with another load going the other direction. 

How to Improve the Health of Commercial Drivers   

Without imposing further restrictions on the already overly restricted profession, fleet managers have little recourse to help drivers improve their health. Can you imagine the screams if fleets put two-way dashcams in their trucks to monitor the eating habits of drivers? Some are already doing this to monitor other driving behavior. But it will probably increase the turnover rate rather than improve it, or the driver’s health.

Drivers need to decide to eat better. As difficult as it is to find healthy food on the road, or opportunities to exercise in a mostly sedentary job, there are ways. Write down where you found healthy food (those low in carbs, sugars, and animal fats) while on a route so that you can stop at that place next time and the time after. Pull into a parking area and just walk around the truck a couple of times. You will be surprised how much this improves circulation and gives you more energy to drive.

Economics  

Economics for commercial drivers can be improved by the fleet, which will enhance the fleet's economics as well. The better you pay a driver, the less time they will spend looking for another fleet. Then, you can choose to keep good drivers rather than take your chances with newly trained drivers.

Fleet managers can also help themselves by surveying drivers about shipping services. Shippers that load and unload efficiently without making your driver wait, will help you pay your drivers better. Your drivers earn more when they are on the road rather than waiting for a load.

Commercial Drivers Need to Challenge All Tickets and Violations

Commercial drivers must dispute violations, crash reports, and tickets to keep their driving record clean and their services as a driver desirable to the fleet. You must keep your motor vehicle driving record and Pre-Employment Program (PSP) record clean so that you control your future. 

With a clean driving record, you can ask for a better salary. Many managers would rather hire someone fresh out of driver’s school than retain a driver with a conviction or several violations. If you do not like the fleet you are driving for, it should be up to you to look into a position with higher pay or better benefits. 

Keeping a clean record while driving 60 or more hours a week is tough even for the most conscientious. When that four-wheeler cuts back in too soon out there on I-80, all the law enforcement officer sees is you on their bumper. Guess who’s going to get the ticket for following too closely. You must consult a traffic attorney who can handle traffic tickets in Truckee Traffic Court.

Bigger & Harman, APC, Handles Truckee Traffic Court Tickets

Contact Bigger & Harman, (661) 349-9300. Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.

We can resolve your roadside inspection violations, traffic tickets, and look into inaccurate collision reports for you while you continue to drive, all at an affordable flat fee.    

Email: attorney@biggerharmanlaw.com

References:

The 2019-2021 DL 650 CA Commercial Driver Handbook.pdf

The Trucking.org articleFourth Quarter Truck Driver Turnover Rate Shows Muddled Picture

The ExpressFreightFinance.com article, Factors Influencing Driver Turnover in the Trucking Industry