MONDAY, JULY 10, 2023
Having a reliable and qualified driver workforce is crucial for commercial fleets' success. However, the ongoing driver shortage has left many motor carriers operating under capacity due to increased demand for freight volume. Therefore, businesses must evaluate how the shortage may affect them and take steps to attract and retain talented drivers.
Reviewing Factors That May Contribute to the Shortage
To attract and retain drivers, it's important to understand the underlying causes of the driver shortage. These include the fact that wages for for-hire drivers have only increased by 6 percent since 2006, while inflation and minimum wage have increased by 18 and 40 percent, respectively. Additionally, with an average age of 55 for commercial drivers and federal laws prohibiting drivers under 21 from obtaining intrastate commercial driving licenses, attracting younger replacements is challenging. Commercial drivers also work long hours without breaks and are often away from home, making open positions unappealing. Finally, the growing economy has increased demand for trucking capacity, putting a strain on available drivers.
In-house Changes Businesses Can Make to Attract and Retain Top Talent
One way to attract or retain drivers is by implementing in-house adjustments, which could include:
- Offering flexible scheduling to allow drivers to work closer to home and reduce time spent away from their families.
- Considering new fleet management procedures or technology that can help reduce the average length of haul and improve drivers' health and work-life balance.
- Adjusting training programs to target other industries or departments, which could help integrate drivers from outside the industry who may have different backgrounds and skill sets.
- Emphasizing safety as a top priority and providing necessary resources, such as safety training and technology, to help drivers feel more comfortable and confident on the road.
- Partnering with driving schools to recruit and train new drivers can help increase the pool of qualified candidates and provide a pipeline of new talent.
- Utilizing technology such as route optimization and automated dispatching to help drivers be more efficient and productive, making the job more appealing.
By implementing these adjustments, businesses can make their workplace more appealing to drivers and overcome the driver shortage.
To learn more about other strategies your business may find useful for navigating the truck driver shortage, reach out to Heritage Insurance Group today. We’re here to help you achieve your business goals, even if it’s beyond your insurance needs.
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