Drivers are the greatest assets of fleets, but recruiting and retaining drivers remains one of the trucking industry’s biggest pain points. According to 2020 data from the American Trucking Associations, driver turnover rates for small and large truckload fleets are 69% and 90%, respectively.
Fleets of all sizes are beginning to look within their operational structures and make changes that create a more optimal and supportive environment for drivers to be successful. Believe it or not, a fleet’s high CSA score not only has a negative impact on insurance rates and shipper relationships but also driver recruitment. A driver’s ability to earn a living is directly tied to the fleet’s productivity, and an increase in inspections can negatively impact that productivity.
“High CSA scores increase driver downtime because now that particular fleet is flagged and drivers are getting pulled off the road more for inspections,” said Nick Hillesheim, chief sales officer at TVC Pro-Driver. “Citations and violations cause distractions and downtime for drivers and the fleet. All those things combined have a big impact on the fleet’s productivity.”
While large fleets often have full safety teams and processes to fight citations and optimize CSA scores, smaller fleets simply don’t have the staff or margins. To bridge that operational gap, small to midsize fleets are relying on third parties like TVC Pro-Driver to provide legal protection and CSA support on their behalf.
TVC provides CDL protection for drivers and fleets for moving, nonmoving and serious violations. Leveraging its own nationwide network of more than 7,000 attorneys, TVC’s high success rate of achieving reduced or dismissed citations speaks for itself. The TVC Pro-Driver team also performs DataQ challenges to help reduce the impact to CSA scores for the fleet.
“Managing your CSA is an ongoing effort,” explains Hillesheim. “Just like with your credit score, you can’t just clean up your credit score and then not change your behaviors to prevent future issues. If you don’t put measures in place to improve going forward, you will end up in the same position as you were in the past.”
TVC provides multiple advantages over similar offerings. Alongside fleet partners, TVC helps craft a corrective action plan with safety processes and procedures, as well as ongoing legal support. TVC provides a variety of plans and benefits to meet each fleet’s specific needs. All plans include legal services and roadside assistance for both the driver and his or her spouse.
Striving to benefit the driver as a whole and not only meet one need, TVC memberships include a variety of cost-saving benefits, such as a discount fuel program, as well as discounts on tires, professional accounting services, satellite radio subscriptions, hotels, restaurants and name-brand goods. These additional benefits, like health or life insurance, can help a fleet retain drivers, especially if the company pays for the drivers’ memberships.
“When our fleet customers provide this benefit for their drivers, it gives the fleet a competitive edge and helps them both recruit and retain those highly sought-after drivers,” said Hillesheim.
“We have representation in local jurisdictions across the entire country to ensure the best outcome for our members. We’re not just fighting violations directly from one state over the phone. We have the local advantage.
“Additionally, our larger fleets are assigned a dedicated account manager that provides a white-glove service. When the fleet needs support, they call one contact that acts as their quarterback to see the case through, supporting both the fleet and the driver toward a successful resolution.”