June 4, 2018 12:00 AM, EDT

Addressing Driver Retention

Longhaul vs. last-mile turnover

Longhaul turnover rates can range between 100-300%, depending on the carrier. It’s a tough life, being away from home a lot, living in your truck. Turnover rates here really depend on how drivers are hired, how much time they get at home, compensation, and even the mix of company drivers vs. owner-operators in an organization.

When it comes to last-mile delivery, if you ask those fleet managers where they get most of their drivers, they’ll often tell you they were over-the-road drivers. They like to drive but don’t want to be away from home all the time. They’ve got lower turnover rates, generally depending on the compensation package and the type of company — it can range from 10-50%, with an average turnover rate of about 25%.

The reason for much of that turnover is the aging driving population. It’s a difficult, physical job — they go out with everything loaded on the floor of your truck, and then take a handcart and go up and down the ramp all day, delivering products to store owners. Those jobs pay a lot, so the benefits and compensation packages are great — but it’s not for everyone. When drivers hit their 50s and 60s, many start thinking, I’ve been doing this a long time, and I’m not as young as I used to be — I need to find a new line of work or just cash it in.

Reducing turnover on both sides

The focus for both industries needs to be: What do I need to do to make the driver’s life easier? Providing better equipment for getting product off the truck, making docks more available, helping drivers get around traffic, helping with their workload — that’s all extremely important in driver retention.

Technology is the key

Our point of view, in providing software for hours of service, etc., is that we need to make that experience easy for drivers, because the compliance piece of their world is difficult. Our focus is always on the driver — our products are never successful unless the driver is happy with them. If we make it easy for the driver, if every time the driver touches something on his device for service hours, it’s intuitive for him, makes sense for him, and is easier, then he wins, we win, and his company wins.

Putting the driver first is the way to keep everyone happy.

In the distribution business, the driver is everything. He has all the say, because he’s the one that sees the customers every day, and has those relationships. The company can have great prices and great products, but it’s the driver who makes or breaks it. If he gets there on time, is well-groomed and happy, and has a good relationship with the customers, that’s what’s really going to seal the deal.

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About Omnitracs, LLC

Omnitracs, LLC is a global pioneer of trucking solutions for all business models. Omnitracs’ more than 1,000 employees deliver software-as-a-service-based solutions to help more than 12,000 customers manage nearly 1,100,000 assets in more than 70 countries. The company pioneered the use of commercial vehicle telematics over 25 years ago and serves today as a powerhouse of innovative, intuitive technologies. Omnitracs transforms the transportation industry through technology and insight, featuring best-in-class solutions for compliance, safety and security, productivity, telematics and tracking, transportation management (TMS), planning and delivery, data and analytics, and professional services.


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