According to the American Trucking Association, the driver turnover rate for large truckload carriers has jumped up by 6%. Large truckload carriers now have a 94% truck driver turnover rate — which is a 20% increase from the turnover rate in the first quarter of 2017.

Large truckload carriers are those that have more than $30 million a year in annual revenue.

The data was shared by the American Trucking Associations in its quarterly report on driver turnover rates. Driver shortage and the increasing driver turnover rates are growing concerns in the trucking industry. Bob Costello, the ATA Chief Economist, said:

“The uptick in turnover is consistent with continued tightness in the market for drivers. Anecdotally, carriers continue to struggle both recruiting and retaining quality drivers – leading to increasing wages. The tight driver market should continue and will be a source of concern for carriers in the months ahead.”

For smaller carriers, the situation is only slightly different. The truck driver turnover rate at small truckload carriers dropped to 73% from the previous quarter. However, compared to the first quarter in 2017, the current driver turnover rate is up by 7 points for smaller carriers — those with less than $30 million in annual revenue.

Despite these results, Costello sees it not as driver shortage but an increase in demand for drivers due to rising freight activities. He said:

“Turnover is not a measure of the driver shortage, but rather of demand for drivers. We know that as freight demand continues to rise, demand for drivers to move those goods will also rise, which often results in more driver churn or turnover.”

He added, “Finding enough qualified drivers remains a tremendous challenge for the trucking industry and one that if not solved will threaten the entire supply chain.”

The driver shortage problem

Driver shortage is a significant problem in the trucking industry. The American Transportation Research Institute ranked driver shortage as the biggest industry issue in its report last year.

According to data collected by the American Trucking Associations (ATA), the industry will need 900,000 new commercial drivers within the next ten years. Moreover, approximately 440,000 drivers will be required only to cover foreseeable driver retirements. 252,000 drivers will be needed to handle ongoing freight growth.

Driver retention

Because of the driver shortage problem, trucking companies face various difficulties in hiring good drivers. However, driver retention is an equally big issue that carriers need to be aware of.

Driver pay, which was considered a big reason for driver shortage and driver retention problems, has increased over the last few years. According to the Driver Compensation Study, the median salary for a commercial driver has increased by 15% since 2013.

However, solving the driver retention problem is more than just increasing driver pay.

The 2018 Transportation Spotlight Report surveyed 1,000 executives and managers and sought their opinions on how they intend to solve the driver retention problem. Here are the results of the survey:

  • 61% of respondents said that they intend to invest in retention programs
  • 58% think initiating training and development programs will help
  • 54% believe in increasing follow-up communication
  • 53% want to employ non-monetary tactics such as driver appreciation programs
  • 42% think that they can retain drivers by increasing their pay
  • 40% want to give performance bonuses a shot

While these are all good ideas, they don’t take into account one important aspect: the use of electronic logging devices.

Most commercial drivers now have to use electronic logging devices (ELDs) to stay compliant. If the device, however, isn’t user-friendly or if drivers don’t get any support when they need it, it is going to affect their happiness and the turnover rate.

Motive recently conducted a survey that revealed that only 21% of drivers are happy with their current ELD solution. Moreover, 73% of drivers experience one or more ELD issues every week.

Furthermore, they also do not get the customer support they deserve. Approximately, 64% of drivers reported that they are not happy with the quality of customer service they get from their current ELD provider.

Try Motive

During the survey, 80 percent of drivers told us that they are very happy with the Motive ELD solution and are 6x more likely to recommend Motive to a friend.

Request a free demo of the Motive ELD solution today to experience it yourself. If you have any questions, call 855-434-3564.