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Treating Drivers Well Pays—Turnover Punishes

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When you treat drivers well, they will appreciate it and be more likely to stay and do a good job. When you don’t, it’s a source of turnover.

The sun also rises in the east and sets in the west. There’s no need to dwell on the obvious.

But now a new study by Stay Metrics has put some numbers to that.

Their report shows gains in driver productivity after meeting driver requests for time off from work. Most often it’s providing time to meet family obligations and issues. The results seen were an increase in bonus rate, miles driven and total bonus pay in the month following the time off.

In other words, not only is it driver friendly but also it pays to meet reasonable driver requests.

There is a lesson here for all carriers, especially large carriers where organizational complexity can get in the way of human relations.

The American Trucking Associations stated in a February 1 news release that the annualized turnover rate at large truckload carriers rose 13 points to 100% in the third quarter of 2015, the highest it has been in three years. However, the rate at smaller truckload carriers dipped to 68%, its lowest point since the final quarter in 2011.

A gross blanket statement would suggest that smaller carriers have more of a personal relationship with drivers and give them flexibility with their home life.


Bob Costello states that “It is just one data point, so it is hard to draw any real conclusions on what is happening with turnover…However, the increase in the turnover rate at large carriers matches up with what we’ve been hearing anecdotally from fleets: that the market for drivers continues to be tight.”


The numbers state that treating drivers like human beings has a positive impact on turnover. What authority do your dispatchers have to grant home time for family issues?




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