As many trucking fleets struggle to find qualified drivers, and as driver turnover increases, a recent survey provides new insight into what may help solve these problems.
The survey, conducted by PrePass Safety Alliance, the provider of PrePass weigh station bypass service, shows how both truck drivers and fleet executives rate the relative value of benefits offered by their companies. The survey used a 5-point scale, with 1 point being “not important” to 4 points being “very important” and 5 points being “extremely important.”
Of the 375 PrePass customers and non-customers, the top driver benefit response was “driver pay/compensation” with an average score of 4.18. The top three driver benefits scored very closely among both executive and driver groups. Following “driver pay/compensation,” “time at home/flexible hours” rated a 4.17 and “weigh station bypass service provided” rated a 4.07. (Blog continues below graphic.)
“While the importance of driver pay and time at home were no surprise, the survey results underline the importance of tools, including weigh station bypass, that help drivers do their jobs most efficiently,” said Andrew Johnson, chief marketing officer for PrePass Safety Alliance.
Driver turnover at large truckload fleets (those with more than $30 million in annual revenue) posted its largest quarterly jump in more than three years during the third quarter of 2019, hitting a 96% annualized rate, according to American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) data. The rate at small carriers rose six points to 73% in the same period.
A separate ATA report says the trucking industry will need to hire 1.1 million new drivers over the next decade – an average of 110,000 per year to replace retiring drivers and keep up with growth in the economy.
“It’s important that fleets offer benefits that will attract and help retain good driving talent,” said Johnson. “Using this company benefit study as a benchmark, in addition to internal driver surveys, can help carriers ensure they are offering benefits and work environments conducive to driver satisfaction.”
The survey also revealed trucking companies offering internet access was the fourth most important benefit, according to drivers, while having medical insurance was fifth. Fleet managers ranked these items in reverse order.
Life insurance, followed by having a rider/team driver policy, offering a 401(k) program and having a pet policy were ranked by drivers as the sixth through ninth most important benefits. Survey results of what trucking fleets managers said are the most important were slightly different. (See graphic below.)