Truck driving can be a demanding job. Truck drivers dedicate countless hours to transporting and delivering goods over long distances. Without them, the supply chain of this country would be broken, so we owe it to drivers to create positive working conditions.
In this blog, we’ll take a look at some of the most important things that truck drivers want from their jobs and how understanding them is important for your recruitment efforts.
The Importance Of Understanding What Truck Drivers Want
Many companies have trouble finding candidates to fill their open positions. With an ongoing driver shortage, it’s crucial to understand what they’re looking for in a job.
Knowing this, it is important to have an understanding of what makes the job more attractive to qualified drivers. This allows you to not only recruit and hire more candidates but also ensure that there are fewer drivers leaving.
If you want to guarantee the success of your recruitment efforts, you’ll want to offer jobs that have the benefits that many drivers are looking for.
What Is A Truck Driver Looking For?
In order to prevent truck drivers from leaving and to recruit new workers, it’s essential to understand what truck drivers are looking for. Truck drivers often have more unique requirements than most people as a result of the nature of their job.
Let’s take a look at some of the benefits and features that drivers look for in a job so that you can make the most of recruiting, hiring, and retaining efforts:
Offer Job Security
As with most people, truck drivers value job security. They have bills to pay and families to take care of, so consistent income is critical. Providing them with a stable salary allows them to meet their needs.
In general, the stress of being unsure if they’ll find a job can be taxing. You’ll want to offer them the stability of having a regular job to go to instead of leaving them struggling. It also allows them to do future planning, as without a job, long-term planning becomes difficult.
Job security also creates room for professional growth. A stable job indicates that the trucking company values its employees. This shows them that there is room for growth and development within the company. You’ll want them to know that the position offers them the opportunity to learn and advance their careers.
Provide Competitive Pay
Consistent income is important, but the guarantee of that can only go so far in keeping drivers satisfied. If you offer poor pay or fail to offer additional benefits, truckers are more likely not to take their jobs seriously or leave the company. In fact, it’s the number one reason drivers consider looking for other jobs.
One thing you can do to combat this is offer competitive pay. Truck drivers get paid in a number of ways. They can get paid per mile, per hour, receive salary pay, or get paid by a percentage of load. No matter which method they receive their pay, make sure it’s at or above the industry norm.
Truck drivers should also be offered the opportunity to get additional pay. This can come in the form of bonus pay for performing extra tasks such as tarping or loading and unloading trucks. It can also be from carrying more difficult or dangerous loads, such as with big rig trucks.
If drivers do get paid per mile, you may want to offer them stop or layover pay. This ensures that they still get paid even when they’re not on the road.
Offer Job Benefits
Alongside pay, you’ll want to make sure that truckers are offered additional benefits. This includes retirement options, insurance, training, and family benefits.
Retirement plans such as 401Ks demonstrate to employees that they have a future with the company and can plan for the long term. Offering a number of insurance plans, such as health, dental, and vision, makes truckers feel that they’re covered and cared for in the case of incidents.
In addition, offering training or other learning opportunities lets them feel secure in their position as well as offers them the ability to get advanced licenses without paying for them.
Finally, extending insurance coverage to their families or offering parental leave proves to the truck driver that you don’t just care about them but their families.
Respect And Recognize Them
One reason drivers leave their jobs is that they don’t feel like they’re being recognized or appreciated for their efforts. It’s your responsibility to ensure that they’re receiving respect and recognition in their roles.
To do that, engage in regular communication with them. They’ll feel like valuable team members if you listen to their concerns and make decisions with their input in mind.
You can also publically recognize their hard work at meetings or through newsletters. Implementing a reward system for top driver performance is another way to show appreciation for their efforts. This can be with bonus money, gift cards, or extra vacation days.
Another way to demonstrate respect is by honoring their off-duty and family time. If you can offer them a more flexible schedule, you should do so.
Offer Work-Life Balance
As touched upon previously, one way to show respect and keep drivers satisfied is to offer them flexible schedules. A growing trend amongst all workers is the demand for greater work-life balance. There are a number of ways in which you can provide more home time.
One way you can do this is by offering flexible scheduling. Allow drivers to pick their routes and schedules that accommodate their commitments and preferences. In addition, offering guaranteed home time shows truckers that you care about their personal time.
It’s also essential to provide them with ample rest time away from driving. This prevents driver fatigue and allows them to have better focus when they get back on the road.
Making sure drivers don’t get burnt out is an important consideration in this industry. If truckers get burnt out, they’ll feel unhappy with their job.
Since the trucking industry is facing a driver shortage, you can’t afford to risk drivers’ mental well-being. Having ample home time allows them to rest, receive support from their loved ones, and come back feeling recharged.
Provide Quality Equipment
Truck driver safety is another big concern in the industry. While poor pay is a top reason drivers leave their employers, no amount of money can make up for serious injuries. Providing drivers with quality equipment is the best way to ensure their safety.
The most beneficial thing any trucking company can do is make sure that their trucks are well-maintained. Performing regular maintenance can prevent breakdowns and accidents from happening in the first place. In addition, it ensures that tires aren’t balding, which can prevent incidents during inclement weather.
Ensure Driver Safety
Going hand in hand with the quality of equipment that you offer drivers, you’ll want to ensure their safety. As you know, there are a number of dangers that come with truck driving. It can be difficult to communicate and maintain focus on the road, there’s a threat of breakdowns or an accident, and driving for long periods of time can lead to fatigue.
Since you’ll want your driver to be in communication with you, provide them with Bluetooth headsets. This allows them to make phone calls without getting distracted on the road. In addition, they can be used for navigation or for listening to music to break up a long haul.
To prevent an accident, you can equip a truck with a reflective triangle. This notifies other vehicles of potential risks, such as a breakdown or trucks stopped on the side of the road to rest for the night.
A truck driver should also be provided with a warning sign if they have to haul an oversized load. This indicates to other drivers the danger, and they’ll give the truck ample space.
You can also offer a number of new technologies to enhance safety. Trucking companies should provide their truck drivers with advanced braking systems, lane departure warnings, stability controls, backup cameras, and more.
Trucking companies signal to drivers that they are cared for and valued by providing them with tools to keep them safe during transportation. Drivers will be more likely to stay with the company if they get the sense that they care about their well-being.
Offer Resources for Driving Long Distances
Truck driving is a unique job. It requires drivers to haul loads through the night and across long distances, which can result in driver fatigue.
To protect drivers from getting into accidents as a result of not having enough sleep, you’ll want to ensure that make frequent truck stops. Some employers offer coffee makers to help drivers stay awake until they reach their next truck stop.
Since they may be traveling across the country, which can take multiple days and nights, you can also provide them with things they’ll need at rest areas. This can include money for food or items for showering, such as shower shoes.
These extra details can go a long way in demonstrating your commitment to a truck driver that’s working for you.
Encourage A Supportive Work Environment
The biggest thing that employers can do is create a supportive work environment. This starts with open channels of communication between truck drivers, dispatchers, and managers. If transparency and trust are established, drivers will feel more supported.
It’s important to notify drivers if any changes happen so that they’ll feel prepared. Including them in the decision-making process makes them feel like their opinions matter.
As noted before, respect and recognition are other methods that give the drivers the sense that they’re supported. Another way to create this kind of environment is through accessible support. If they break down while driving, it’s reassuring to know they have access to immediate assistance.
Trucking companies should encourage regular feedback. If they understand drivers’ needs and concerns, they can make the necessary changes to improve their experience.
Another way to create a supportive environment is through team-building activities. This allows new drivers and other drivers in the company to establish camaraderie.
It’s important to demonstrate to both a new hire and other employees that these trucking companies are a great place to work.
Implement A Comprehensive Training Program
Any truck driver needs training in order to start a new CDL job. This helps them learn the procedures and rules that the company has in place. It also allows them to build a relationship with another truck driver, so they don’t feel isolated when starting their new job.
A comprehensive training program allows new drivers to get acclimated to the requirements of their new employer. If you want to go above and beyond that, you can offer additional learning opportunities so they can advance their careers.
Don’t forget to provide a new truck driver with comprehensive training. Even professional truck drivers are looking for training when starting a new CDL job.
These resources allow drivers to go a long way in the company and can also ensure their success in the future. If they don’t feel like they fit in or can grow, they’ll be more likely to leave.
Incorporate What Truckers Want Into Your Recruitment Process
Once you’ve learned what truck drivers are looking for from their jobs, you’ll be able to recruit, hire, and retain many drivers. It’s a lot easier to find truck drivers for open positions when companies are offering retirement plans, a high salary, comprehensive training and benefits, and more that appeal to their potential drivers.
Truck drivers who aren’t offered these benefits and resources are more likely to be unsatisfied and leave their jobs. If you want to recruit and retain drivers more effectively, utilize these tips to appeal to their needs.