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Trucking Industry’s Main Focus: Finding and Keeping Drivers

23 May 2018, Posted by McPherson Oil in General

It should come as no surprise that the trend of commercial truck drivers leaving the industry continues to rise. Those out on the road using commercial fuel services are serving up a variety of reasons why it’s time to move on, but companies are trying to combat this.

Here is the current state, what’s changing, and what companies are doing to improve this threat to the industry.

Why Drivers are Leaving the Commercial Trucking Industry

The annual 2018 “Transportation Spotlight” survey determined what’s encouraging drivers to find a new career or step away completely. Here’s what it found in a survey of 1,000 executives and managers:

  • 69% claimed that finding and recruiting the best candidates is the top challenge
  • 54% stated that retention is just as important of an issue

The most revealing part of the survey was the statistics behind why drivers are leaving:

  • 52% wanted to make more money
  • 41% were seeking more time at home
  • 27% left for better benefits
  • 26% realized that the job did not match their expectations

In addition to these causes, the most prevalent reason that the driver population is shrinking is due to the average age of the population. This “retirement wave” is taking over because the average age of truck drivers is 50, as compared to that of the average American worker, which is 42.

Salary is Increasing YoY for Truck Drivers

The good news is that drivers’ salary is climbing. A study done by the American Trucking Association dug in to the details of this trend. It explains that in 2013, the average salary for a TL driver was $46,000. As of 2017, that climbed to $53,000, which is 15% more. For median private fleet drivers in that same four-year span, their salary went from $73,000 to $86,000, an 18% spike. Combined for all truck drivers, salary has increased 11% since 2013, which should encourage new drivers to continue in the industry.

What Companies are Doing to Encourage Truck Drivers’ Retention

According to the “Transportation Spotlight” study, 40% of respondents are planning on implementing retention programs for their drivers in 2018. Another 40% stated that 2018 will be a year of training and development to better support their driver population.

This initiative is even more important for larger companies, those with more than 5,200 employees. It was discovered that 61% of them will invest in retention programs, and 58% will focus on training and professional development in 2018.

Companies found that the drivers’ experience, starting with their initial interview with the company, needs vast improvement. 43% of respondents are making an effort to improve the application through the on-boarding process, which they’re hoping will leave a lasting impression on their new employees.

As a fleet manager, hiring and retaining highly qualified drivers is a priority, but so is getting the best deals for your fleets. Start saving today with McPherson Oil, the biggest private distributor of lubricants in the Southeast. Get in touch with us today to learn more about Total Petroleum Management and how you can streamline your fleets’ operations.