The trucking industry has been struggling with a driver shortage issue since 2005 and the numbers have only continued to rise into a borderline national crisis. According to NPR, “more than 70 percent of goods consumed in the U.S. are moved by truck, but the industry needs to hire almost 900,000 more drivers to meet rising demand.”
No one is denying that driver shortage is an issue. Across the board, the relatively high age of truck drivers as well as demographics and lifestyle are impacting applicants and causing companies to struggle to find qualified drivers. However, truck driving is still an incredible job, on average paying drivers more than $50,000 a year, with wages on the rise and there are ways to attract and keep drivers with your company!
In an industry where driver shortage is a reality, how can you restructure your business to effectively recruit and retrain drivers? Let’s investigate the possibilities.
Solving the Driver Shortage Issue
Taking the most problematic factors causing the driver shortage, consider how your business can adjust and make improvements. Furthermore, since drivers are on the road more often than in the office, it’s important to improve the overall work environment. For example:
- Millennials are a huge part of the future of our industry. We know that millennial drivers are in search of flexible careers that also make a difference in the world. That is one reason why Veltri drivers have the luxury of being home with their families for dinner every day. We know how important trucking is to the health of our national economy which is why we make sure our drivers are taken care of. We couldn’t do this without them.
- At Veltri, we are an equal opportunity employer. As the number of female drivers in the industry continues to rise, make sure you are setting up a company culture that is respectful and beneficial to all employees.
- Offer tuition reimbursement or free on-the-job driver training to help new drivers get proper trucker training without the hefty price tag.
- Provide opportunities for drivers to mix and mingle, such as monthly events where drivers and their families can hang out and develop a sense of community or by using technology to help drivers take advantage of online portals or communities across the country.
- Ask your drivers what their most pressing needs are, such as finding healthy food or wellness programs over the road, and provide a viable solution for their problems. Make sure they understand that truck driving as a lifestyle does not have to negatively impact their health or well being.
- Communicate with your drivers on a regular basis, and in person whenever possible, to help increase morale and reduce driver turnover, which is another factor related to the shortage. Veltri has an open door communication policy and we want our drivers to know their voices are being heard.
The bottom line is that if you want to attract new drivers to your trucking fleet, then you must establish a company with a beneficial work environment. We know how important our entire operations team is to our company, including our drivers, which is why we also offer a competitive compensation and benefits plan.
The nation needs truck drivers to keep the economy moving. By working to reduce the driver shortage through focused changes to your drivers’ work environment, your business is in a prime position to excel. If you are interested in becoming a Veltri driver, we would love to hear from you!