Episode 25 – 5 Ways to Overcome Driver Shortages in 2021

Driver shortages are an ongoing challenge post pandemia that most fleet owners are facing. In this week’s episode, the Freight Guru gives advice on how to overcome this adversity under the current market climate.

Listen to the Full Episode Here 

Encourage Diversity 

Women make up 46 percent of the job market today and only six percent enter the trucking industry. The transportation and logistics industry is still a male-dominated industry with a strong barrier of entry for women. Although they are few there are women truckers that need to feel like their needs are being met and their voices are being heard. 

When onboarding women drivers it’s your responsibility to listen and make yourself available to her as a fleet owner. Being a driver is a hard life, living on the road for long periods of time, sleeping in a truck, and bathing in public showers. Considering this, safety is paramount, especially for female drivers. 

Keeping these perspectives front of mind is essential to keep your female drivers comfortable and be able to retain them long-term. 

“Every fleet owner should do everything possible to make the barrier of entry for a woman to be easier…Ask the right questions, ‘What is it that makes so difficult on the road for women?’ Hear them out,” said Luis. 

Know your Driver Audience

Get to know your driver audience and their needs; in the South Florida area there is a predominantly Hispanic community, so speaking in Spanish and making recruitment ads in this language is more relatable to said audience. 

Knowing your audience’s struggles and necessities will make it easier to relate and cater to them. Understand what is their preferred social media to build a strong recruitment campaign on Facebook or Indeed. 

Bonus Programs

Large rates per mile and above-average compensation are good ways to attract quality drivers. However, the driver shortage has increased competition among fleet owners to reduce turnover. Since driver turnover is about 95 percent because fleet owners keep increasing bonus incentives due to demand, it’s even harder to promote loyalty among drivers.

Creating bonus programs that go beyond compensation are out-of-the-box solutions valuing drivers’ experience overcompensation.

Some examples are driver referral programs, driver of the month, 6-month loyalty benefits, holiday pay, good inspection rewards, etc. 

“What if they’re working Thanksgiving or Christmas and paying them 15 percent surcharge on top of their rate per mile? Those are the value-added that is going to separate you from the other midsize and small Fleet owners out there,” said Luis.

Transparency

Be clear when creating bonus programs. Make sure to have all conditions outlines in a clear language that benefits both drivers and fleet owners. That last thing you want is to create a bad reputation, trust is a key ingredient in driver retention. 

“For example, if I’m going to give a driver a $5,000 bonus program…I would pay $500 every week for 10 weeks and I would say that the driver has to be with the company for 12 weeks…after 12 weeks that driver has waived the $5,000 bonus from being returned,” said Luis. 

Explain in great detail how the bonus structure is going to be and what are the conditions that drivers need to meet. 

Add Value

Most fleet owners concentrate on compensation. While the rates per mile and bonus programs are good incentivizes, many drivers value other benefits over money. Since the average driver makes about $2,000 to $3,000 a week depending on the load and trek, it wouldn’t be their number one priority.

Other creative measures like health insurance, 401K, tuition reimbursement, and decreasing time on the road. The trucking lifestyle is in decline and drivers value more time with their loved ones and family than monetary gain. It’s best to meet drivers in the middle and offer a 2-week drinking cycle versus a 3-week cycle and retain a seat than losing a driver altogether. 

“If you’re able to offer drivers a two-week drive time and, two-week home time, they’ll take that over a big bonus program I can guarantee you…They rather do that than 4 weeks on the road and a big bonus program,” said Luis.

Offer consistent lanes to drivers. Having a lifestyle that requires drivers to be out on the road so long, it’s good to give them a sense of security through contracted steady lanes. Drivers love consistency and it’s a much better option than “playing” the spot market for loads. 

Communication is Key

Utilizing technology – Establish the mode of compensation with your drivers and directly deposit their checks into their accounts. Through the TruckHub TMS platform, drivers can access their payment within 24 hours of their proof of delivery (POD).

Offering top-notch equipment – Provide premium trucks that are up to date, has been sanitized against Covid-19, has a refrigerator unit, cooling and heating equipment. 

Build a brand – Drivers tend to be active on Facebook as their preferred social media platform. Let them know all of the benefits of working in your fleet using Facebook and indeed ads. Promote driver testimonials and Google/Facebook reviews to validate your reputation as a fleet owner. 

Respect drivers’ requests – Don’t push drivers to stay on the road if they want to come home. If you need them to stay on the road, adequately compensate them for their time on the road. However, don’t push them to the point of resentment. Building relationships and trust with your drivers is essential. 

Take a listen to these past episodes to set yourself up for success in the trucking industry:

Episode 24: How to Build Direct Relationships with Drayage Carriers in 2021

Episode 22: How to Generate 10k in Revenue on the Spot Market with DAT Load Board Pt. 2

Episode 21: How To Generate 10k In Revenue On The Spot Market Using DAT Load Board Pt. 1

Recommended Logistics and Trucking companies:

FTL Services – http://teamdgd.com – https://ftlhub.io –  https://gologisticshub.io

LTL Services – https://goltlhub.io

Hazmat Services – https://gohazmathub.io

TMS – https://mytruckhub.com

Logistics Services – https://gofreighthub.io

Fulfillment – https://www.sunshipecommerce.com

Warehousing – https://gowhsehub.io

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Meet Luis Lopez

Luis Lopez is the chairman of Go Hub Holding Group, a logistics holding corporation and the active CEO of Freight Hub Group.