You already know the trucking industry faces a driver shortage crisis. You also know how hard it is to keep a driver long-term. But the worst is when your best drivers leave — for another carrier or when they leave the industry completely. Recruiting, hiring, and training a new driver is expensive. Keeping a good driver saves money and time and helps your business grow. Before you lose someone else, check out these tips.
Identify Your Best Drivers
Some stars come right to mind, but really good drivers could be flying under the radar. They don’t cause problems, but they don’t stand out either. So before you implement any incentives, make sure you know who your best drivers are. The easiest way to do this is to track driver behavior.
Gorilla Fleet Intelligence makes it easy to see what everyone’s doing behind the wheel. It allows you to track and measure certain behaviors that lead to accidents or higher fuel costs:
- Hard braking
- Hard acceleration
- Idle time
- Seatbelt usage
These numbers are concrete proof of who’s doing what out on the road. Also think of the drivers who never go over their hours or who never get into or cause accidents on the road. This is the list of people you want to keep.
Recognize Good Work and Boost Morale
While you need to work with drivers who don’t perform to standard, you also need to recognize those who do their job well. Correct in private; praise in public. Let everyone know which drivers are great. Not only will it boost the morale of those who do their job, it may incentivize lower performing drivers to step up to the plate.
Offer Prizes and Perks
Retain your best drivers by rewarding them when they consistently do well. You may want to track monthly or quarterly, but set goals for your drivers — reducing idle time, fewer accidents, fewer violations. Good drivers will step up to the challenge and meet or beat them. You can pay a bonus, offer small financial rewards (like gift cards), or offer in-cab upgrades to make their life a little easier.
Provide Reliable Equipment
Want a decent driver to stick with your fleet? Make sure they have the tools they need to do the job. Get their trucks and equipment in for regular maintenance. Take care of service or repair issues quickly. Offer your best drivers access to low mileage vehicles — you know you can trust them with it. Update and upgrade older equipment so it runs well. Your drivers are only as good as the equipment they use.
Get Them Home
Truck drivers know that the job takes them away from home and family. But when they know they’ll return on a regular schedule and get some down time, they’re more likely to stay with you. Consider offering flexible schedules so no one gets stuck with the longest route for too long. Work with your drivers so they get the time off the road they need.
Keep Communication Open
Drivers stay with a fleet when they feel respected, understood, and heard. The easiest way to do that is to keep the lines of communication open. Every driver, from your best to your worst, should know they can bring concerns to you. Don’t wait for them to come to you. Make communication a part of the fleet culture: Send weekly or monthly emails, hold calls or meetings, bring them in for training. Share information and listen when they have something to say, and your best drivers will know they’re important to your business.
Gorilla Safety makes it easier than ever to hang onto your best drivers. Track driver behavior, make communication easier, offer easy to use equipment, and even make the maintenance process easier — all with our fleet management system. Interested in how it all works? Contact us today!