Much has been written in recent years about the looming driver shortage in North America. While there are still millions of people unemployed in Canada and the United States, only a limited number of people are willing to drive a truck for a living. There are a range of issues that are creating this situation. The driver lifestyle involves sitting in a rig for many hours a day and for certain assignments, being away from family for days or weeks on end. This produces a set of challenges with respect to maintaining a healthy diet, performing regular exercise and achieving consistent sleep.
Then there are the challenges of supporting a family at current compensation levels, the reductions in pay precipitated by the Great Recession and the new hours of service regulations that can restrict one’s income generating potential. With annual driver turnover running at close to 90 percent, clearly quality freight transport drivers are being actively courted. They are not hesitating to “jump ship” and provide their services to another organization if the “grass looks greener’” across the street. The high turnover ratios suggest that many drivers are disillusioned after they make their selection and so the cycle of hiring and leaving keeps repeating itself.
Most blogs and articles talk about how to recruit drivers. Very few focus on helping drivers find the right trucking company to work for. To address this question, I reached out to a panel of drivers with whom I have corresponded in the past. The panel included Desiree Wood, Harry Rudolphs, Stephen Large and David Robson. Listed below are a set of suggestions from the five of us. Hopefully these questions will help drivers make better employment decisions and reduce the costly turnover ratio.
There are two distinct groups of people to whom this blog is addressed. The first group is those people who are considering a job as a professional truck driver. Then there is the group of drivers who are currently seeking to change employers.
A. People Considering Taking a Job as a Truck Driver...