Improving driver retention is a key issue for the freight industry.
The average cost to replace a truck driver is $12,000, according to a FreightWaves article. Few carriers can afford that on a regular basis, and yet the large truckload churn hit an annualized rate of 96% in December 2019—after the largest quarterly increase since 2016.
A recent article in American Trucker quoted Bob Costello, ATA Chief Economist, as saying, “Counterintuitively, we saw turnover rise even as the freight demand was relatively soft. While turnover rose at both small and large carriers, the reasons were quite different. Large carriers reduced the number of drivers they employed, in keeping with lackluster freight levels, but smaller carriers added to their driver pools, increasing their number of drivers by 1.9%.”
How Can You Improve Driver Retention?
What steps can organizations take toward improving driver retention?
We turned to an expert, “Undercover Trucker” Kelly Anderson. In the last 30 years, Anderson has worked in every facet of the trucking industry; he’s been a federal law enforcement officer, professional driver, and driver trainer—and he’s worked as a driver recruiter, safety supervisor, and safety manager to a 1,700-truck fleet’s recruiting department.
Now, Anderson leverages that deep industry experience to help trucking companies improve driver retention. How does he do it? For starters, Anderson calls up his clients’ recruiters and impersonates a top driver candidate—one with 19 years of experience with the same company and a clean driving record. Then, he participates in their new driver orientation programs. When all is said and done, he reports his findings—helping trucking companies improve driver satisfaction right from Day One.
We invited Anderson to share his insights in a webinar on driver retention, and he had some eye-opening points to make on recruiting, orienting and keeping drivers.
You can watch the full webinar here at any time, but you can also now see short clips of key points from the webinar, including:
- Appeal to the driver’s interest
- The recruiting call solution
- Treating drivers with dignity: An orientation story
- The manager-driver introduction
- And more