Would you enjoy going to work if you knew you had to sit at a desk where the drawers don’t open, where the chair is precariously sagging to one side on a broken wheel, or where the computer you’re using is still running on a DOS system? We thought so. And, you can bet that your drivers don’t fancy the truck cab equivalent of that picture either. If you want to attract and retain great drivers, you’ll have to step up your game.
A recent American Trucking Association driver survey revealed that approximately two-thirds of the drivers who left their current carriers did so voluntarily. To us, that suggests there’s something about the carrier or their work environment they aren’t happy with. Or, that they perceive their career would be better with one of your competitors.
Myriad Reasons For Driver Turnover
A myriad of things can contribute to the overall satisfaction of a driver and his or her decision to stay with a carrier. These factors are both tangible and intangible. Take the modern truck cab as an example: Many already have great stock seats, entertainment options, climate control features, and roomier cabs. Having said that, it could very well be compensation or scheduling-related issues -- and not the quality of the perks available within the cab -- that sway a driver to leave his carrier.
As a carrier, your goal in attracting and retaining drivers can often boil down to simply establishing a rapport and building more engaged relationships with your drivers. And, you have to admit that making cab perks a little more desirable can certainly go a long way towards showing your drivers you value them and their overall creature comforts while on the road.
Do You Know What Your Drivers Want...And Need?
It is estimated that roughly 51 percent of drivers are over the age 45 and 17 percent are over age 55. Perhaps, a little TLC and consideration for their potentially achy and tired body might be welcome. Simply take a look at the health costs -- to both the driver and you as the carrier -- associated with poor seating posture and uncomfortable sleeping conditions. With a great seat, you get fewer pressure points in the legs and lower back, better circulation to the lower extremities, and improved posture.
Enhancing The Quality Of A Driver’s Downtime
Let’s not sugarcoat things: The life of a driver on the road can sometimes be hard and, when they have a rest period, what is there for him or her to do? Residing in a space that’s barely 50 square feet may not offer a plethora of opportunities for luxurious living, but certain things like small fridges, microwaves, heated seats, and satellite TV can go a long way towards making layovers more pleasant.
A Little Extra Can Go A Long Way
Carriers have plenty of cab improvement options to choose from and we’re happy to report that they aren’t all astronomically expensive. Items like auxiliary power units or HVAC systems can add up, but the ROI is definitely there. Your decision to add these features to your fleet’s cabs should take into account the tangible and intangible ROI of doing so. For example, the intangible ROI of such improvements could be increased driver satisfaction and improved retention, which can lower recruiting costs and reduce turnover. As you can see, a more enjoyable work environment can potentially contribute to improved employee satisfaction, driver retention, and long term loyalty.
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