Why Drivers Leave—And What You Can Do About It

Posted by Skye Robinson | December 19, 2016 | blog, Newsletter

The truck driver shortage need not be mentioned here. If you’re a fleet manager, you already know there’s a shortage, and you might be struggling to retain the drivers you do have plus recruit new ones. As you fight the good fight to keep enough drivers employed in order to run your operation efficiently, you might want to consider the reasons why drivers leave so you can take steps to eliminate those reasons, retain more drivers, and spend less time having to look for new ones.

10 reasons why truck drivers quit
According to an article at TruckingInfo.com, drivers leave for one or more of these 10 reasons:

  • Reason 1: Not enough pay
  • Reason 2: Not enough home time
  • Reason 3: Not happy with supervisor
  • Reason 4: Not happy with way they are dispatched
  • Reason 5: They feel like they are set up to fail
  • Reason 6: Unmet expectations
  • Reason 7: Maintenance and equipment issues
  • Reason 8: No opportunities to advance
  • Reason 9: Poor or little communication
  • Reason 10: They don’t feel appreciated

This is a long list, and a serious one! But they all boil down to one big issue: making the driver a priority.

How do you put drivers first?
A lot of the frustrations that show up on this list of the top 10 reasons truck drivers quit have to do with workplace culture. Poor communications, poorly maintained equipment, scheduling that fails to allow for home time, lack of support, lack of appreciation, poor management—all of these issues are the result of the way a business is run.

So perhaps the solution to solving your truck driver shortage is to stop looking out toward the drivers and start looking in towards the company culture. Take these 10 reasons and honestly address each one, grading your company on how well you do or don’t handle it from the perspective of your drivers. Answer questions like:

Do your drivers have enough home time and is it scheduled in advance so they can plan around it?

Are your drivers dispatched efficiently, ensuring they are on the road and productive, not sitting idly twiddling their thumbs far from home?

How would you rank the communication between your drivers and dispatchers and management?

Are your drivers treated with respect and consideration, like human beings with families and concerns?

Change your company culture
Often fleet managers assume pay is a primary reason for drivers walking away, but this list of reasons shows pay is only one of many frustrations. And resolving these issues by addressing your company culture doesn’t have to cost you a dime, in comparison to raising pay.

Identify the issues. Decide to address them. Look for outside resources if you need to, for training in communications perhaps, or improved scheduling. Above all, commit to change. Even a little bit of improvement will show your drivers that you’re trying—and that you care.

At the end of the article, you’ll find several comments from truck drivers, all of them offering valuable first-person insight into their frustrations with pay and management. To deepen your understanding about why truck drivers quit, give these comments a read through.

Then start to change your company culture so you can keep more drivers on the road, and spend less time having to recruit new ones.


Find Your New Truck Drivers With These Online Tips
Even if you commit to changing your company culture as we’re suggesting in this month’s feature article, you’ll still need to recruit new drivers. So go where they are to recruit them: online. Read more…

Why Clean Cabs Are Good Fleet Management
Want happy drivers who feel like they matter, like you appreciate them? Keep their cabs clean! See how a clean cab can make for happier and healthier truck drivers. Read more…

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