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Driver Recruiting and Retention – Another View

Driver Recruiting

Based on the FMCSA Proposal introduced today to mandate electronic logs, and in honor of Throwback Thursday we thought it might be interesting to republish an article from an older HorizonGO website.

Driver Recruiting and Retention – Another View

The driver shortage has been an issue, that has not been quite as bothersome in recent months due to the recession, lower freight levels, and higher unemployment.  However, as the economy improves more industry analysts are reminding us that long-term structural problems in the driver labor pool have not changed.  The average age of truck drivers is still well into the 50s resulting in more drivers leaving the industry than entering it.  Revised hours are service rules and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration continues its march toward stricter safety guidelines with the Compliance, Safety, and Accountability program (CSA). 

In a recent article in Inbound Logistics How to Make Driver Recruitment a Competitive Differentiator, Carriers were advised to highlight benefits, talk about compensation, know the competition, and invest in recruiting.  These are all good ideas and we, here at HorizonGO, endorse this approach as well. 

We would add that both to recruit and to retain drivers you must also consider their quality of life and the importance of their family.  The biggest barrier to recruiting drivers in my view is the time away from family.  A long-haul truck driver could easily get into a routine where he or she is away from family more than half the time.  My dad was an Air Force Sergeant and I know first-hand how tough it is on a family when a parent or spouse is gone for long periods.

EOBR

EOBRs are still somewhat controversial with some drivers but the reality is they are here to stay and sometime in the not-too-distant future they we be required on all commercial interstate fleets.  When HorizonGO has attended presentations by representatives of the FMCSA – also controversial in some sectors, we have seen that these are professional and often passionate people who sincerely believe they are making our world a safer place. 

Our challenge at MTI is to take this technology and help address not only the safety issues and the business issues but just as importantly driver issues.  HorizonGO believes it is in the business’s best interest to strive for driver and family-friendly communication systems – systems that help increase the driver’s opportunities for good and fair compensation and incorporate his family into the process – keeping them informed and making their welfare an important business objective.    

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About the Author

Chuck Melton

Chuck Melton is a pioneer in the transportation technology field. Founder of one of the early PC-Based trucking software companies – Integrated Transportation Software in 1984, he developed one of the first links to satellite-based onboard systems including Qualcomm’s (at the time) OmniTracs system. He sold the assets to Qualcomm and has managed a successful software company for over 30 years serving trucking companies across the nation.

Chuck continues to see plenty of pioneering opportunities to create value for trucking companies. With the advent of web-based database systems, low-cost EOBRs, tablets, and smartphones, the 21st-century trucking company can become a seamless part of the supply chain… anywhere, anytime on any device! READ MORE

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