The average age of an over the road truck driver is 55 years old. Swapping 55-year-olds from company to company in an endless shell game will get you nowhere. You will need to find another way to find drivers in this shrinking labor pool.
Running a trucking company in 2019 means struggling to find and keep quality drivers. Struggling might not be a strong enough word to express your exasperation. That’s the reality of today’s driver problem where the older generation is leaving the workforce at a faster rate than newer generations are entering it. The solution, of course, is to hire younger drivers, but that’s easier said than done. If drivers are young or just lack professional experience that most companies require, they are forced to start their career with the mega-carriers.
This experience tends to ruin trucking for them. The mega-carriers program give their newbie drivers the minimal training and mentorship before tossing them the keys. These drivers either leave the industry or never develop into the driver that they could have been. They just bounce around driving for one company to another. Don’t rely on the mega-carriers to welcome and train your future drivers - get them early. Teach them the right habits from day one with a CDL finishing school.
A CDL Finishing School accomplishes several goals at once for a trucking company. It provides a structured curriculum to safely turn a green driver into a professional driver. Over an eight week curriculum, Finishing School students will navigate real life situations with a seasoned coach.
A strong Finishing School is built on an instructor training program who execute the daily curriculum. These instructors become mentors who show the ropes of how to manage life on the road.
You will become the employer of choice that attracts and retains drivers who value a strong safety culture. Some of the graduates of the Finishing School will become great instructors. They’ll be able to lean on their personal experience to teach future green drivers job-basics and defensive driving. This creates a driver mentoring system along with a homegrown driver development program. With this system in place, you can now open your doors to a wider pool of drivers without experience.
We have clients who have isolated their Finishing School graduates in their Income Statement to learn their earning 35% net margin. As they get more efficient with their school and at retaining their graduates, it’s becoming less expensive to grow their own drivers than to find the right experienced drivers.
With finishing school, you can solve the driver problem for your company while your competitors struggle to fill seats. You can teach your drivers everything they need and bring them along until they are ready. It’s a worthwhile investment that both shows new drivers you care about their success and also your driver instructors that they are an important part of the company’s sustained success. You can’t beat a program that promotes a driver-centric culture and improves safety at the same time.
If you want to see how a finishing school works, check out AvatarFleet’s basic syllabus. Don’t just keep doing the same things and hope you can suddenly find more drivers. You can bring those drivers right to you and make them the best and safest professional team around with the right program.
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