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Time, money and humanity: Attracting and retaining qualified drivers

Respecting drivers leads to lower turnover

(Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

Driver turnover is consistently ranked as one of the biggest – and most buzzworthy – problems facing carriers. Turnover rates tend to hover in the 70s for small over-the-road operations and surge into the 90s for the largest carriers. The constant hiring cycle has wary companies wondering how to keep drivers from walking away. Research suggests that the solution may be threefold: more home time, higher wages and better treatment. 

Background screening company DriverIQ completed in-depth driver recruitment and retention surveys in 2018. Unsurprisingly, drivers overwhelmingly cited total compensation, home time and paycheck predictability as motivating factors to leave one carrier for another. Survey results also reiterated what TCA Profitability Program (TPP) and American Trucking Associations (ATA) research has revealed on multiple occasions – drivers are more likely to leave large carriers than they are to leave small carriers. 

The importance of compensation and home time are obvious and well-documented factors influencing turnover. Drivers – just like other employees – want to be paid the best wage possible and desire the opportunity to spend time with their families. The discrepancy in turnover rates related to company size, however, points to another, often overlooked, factor in driver satisfaction: community feel. If a company feels like home, a driver is motivated to stay longer. 

Horizon Logistics has known this to be true for years. The family-run company prides itself on creating an inviting work atmosphere, as well as offering fair compensation and transparent information surrounding home time. The company offers its drivers respect, and drivers respect the company in return. 

“It has been great working with Horizon. I get year-round work and plenty of miles,” Horizon driver Adolfo Carranza said. “They get me home when I need to be home.” 

The Horizon team knows that competitive pay and consistent access to loads are essential parts of attracting and retaining quality drivers. The team is also committed to ensuring drivers can get home on a transparent schedule whenever possible. However, this is not always enough.

“Horizon provides me with weekly pay, minimal paperwork, a great dispatch team and a family-oriented atmosphere,” Horizon driver Terrance Hoffert said. 

Part of providing a family-oriented atmosphere is valuing each driver’s individuality and humanity. It is created by building relationships with drivers and keeping the lines of communication open. Maintaining a productive relationship with drivers can prove challenging in the fast-moving world of logistics, but it is an important part of keeping them in their seats.

When drivers do not feel valued at one company, they will not hesitate to find another.

Ashley Coker

Ashley is interested in everything that moves, especially trucks and planes. She covers air cargo, trucking and sponsored content. She studied journalism at Middle Tennessee State University and worked as an editor and reporter at two daily newspapers before joining FreightWaves. Ashley spends her free time at the dog park with her beagle, Ruth, or scouring the internet for last minute flight deals.