Transportation industry trends of late reveal a shift toward more sustainable business practices.
Per the American Trucking Association (ATA), the transportation industry experienced a slight recovery in 2022, with numbers slightly improving from over 80k in 2021 to 78k in 2022. However, that’s still just a 4% improvement, and the trucking industry has a long way to go.
Alongside improvements in wages and truck driver benefits, there is a call for a more sustainable way of doing things that is pushing carriers to be more responsible. Such a shift is necessary both for the sake of their employees and the environment.
So what makes a truck driver choose one transportation company over another? Here are the top seven reasons why a trucker will choose one company over another and why you should take these reasons into consideration if you would like to attract more drivers to your transportation business.
And if you’re a truck driver looking to find a carrier, here are some tips to help you make the right decision.
Top Reasons Why Truck Drivers Choose a Company
If you want to be the absolute best truck driver company for your current and potential employees, perusing this list is a great way to start. If you’re a driver on the lookout for a job, finding out what works (and what doesn’t) is also key to landing a stable, fulfilling job at a transportation company whose values align with yours.
Great Truck Driver Benefits
One of the pitfalls of several older companies in the transportation business is the lack of job stability and truck driver benefits for drivers. A reputable, driver-centric carrier offers competitive salaries, healthcare plans, truck driver vacation time, and retirement funds. Some even give bonuses to drivers who meet specific criteria or stick with the transportation company for a fixed or predetermined amount of time.
Intangibles also count as benefits. Factors like job stability, flexibility, and career advancement are also important considerations for drivers.
It’s no secret that higher wages attract quality drivers. In fact, poor wages are the primary reason why shortages are so prominent. Quality drivers make for quality companies, and many great carriers offer competitive wages to entice the best drivers in the transportation industry.
Not only does higher pay attract more qualified drivers, but it also keeps them around longer. When truckers feel valued with higher wages and other monetary benefits, they become more committed and loyal to their employer.
And if you are a truck driver, you could look at how much an average truck driver makes and use that as a benchmark for negotiating wages.
Genuine Recognition and Appreciation
Along with higher wages, recognition, and appreciation are important factors that keep drivers on board. The life of a truck driver certainly isn’t easy, and a transportation company that shows genuine appreciation for a job well done will go a long way in keeping quality drivers around.
Trucking companies, for example, can show drivers a little extra appreciation by sending them a small gift (or even just some good ol’ truck driver appreciation quotes) during special occasions like Thanksgiving, Christmas, Truck Driver Appreciation Week, and maybe even on their birthdays.
Of course, truck driver appreciation goes far beyond recognizing one’s employees only during special occasions. A culture of employee appreciation ingrained in the very business model is more likely to attract and retain quality drivers, helping the company and its employees succeed in the long term.
A Sustainable Business Model
With the advent of a new generation of drivers and consumers, the pressure is on companies to walk the talk, especially when it comes to sustainability. As things stand, a sustainable small business has a better chance of making it in the long run.
What is sustainability? Technically, it refers to the ability of an organization to maintain a continuous level of operations without having to reduce its services or product quality. In an environmental context, it also means looking for opportunities to decrease one’s environmental footprint to become more energy-efficient.
Transportation industry trends reveal that sustainable trucking business models include better regulatory compliance, a more driver-friendly work environment, better wages, and using electric and self-driving trucks, among others.
Recognizing Truck Drivers’ Limitations
The advent of eCommerce has been a blessing and a curse for the trucking industry. In the US alone, truck drivers transport over 70% of the country’s cargo.
Needless to say, the influx of packages that need to be delivered, coupled with a massively understaffed workforce, is a recipe for disaster. It will put undue pressure on the existing workforce, leaving them feeling burnt out and overworked.
Trucking companies need to recognize their drivers’ limitations and provide them with better working conditions. Companies should strive to offer improved routes, access to better rest stops, and more flexible hours.
How many hours a day can a truck driver drive? According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), drivers are expected to drive for 10 to 14 consecutive hours. Such long hours on the road can be mentally and physically taxing. It is, therefore, important to ensure drivers are getting enough rest between shifts.
Clear and Enticing Job Postings
It may seem a tad obvious, but often, even the best offers can get lost in a mountain of job postings, especially in the digital age where keywords, ads, and automated software can factor into an effective job or employee search.
Truck driver recruiters should also ensure their job postings are clear and concise, stand out from the competition, and draw in quality drivers. In addition to a basic truck driver job description, companies looking to hire can also post relevant information, such as salary range and benefits offered.
The platform where openings are posted can also make a difference. New and inexperienced drivers, for example, may not yet know where to look. So truck driver entry-level jobs should be posted on more accessible platforms like Facebook and local listings. More advanced positions, on the other hand, can be posted in more niche and specialized locations such as forums and job boards.
Great Resources for Truck Drivers
One of the best ways to motivate truck drivers to apply is to provide them with great resources. Often, it can be as simple as a regularly-updated, well-constructed website that contains guides on how to be a truck driver, a list of requirements to be a truck driver, laws concerning truck driving, truck driver resume examples, and informative blog posts about becoming a truck driver.
Have a Fulfilling Career at MDB Transportation
At MDB Transportation, we pride ourselves on creating an atmosphere of growth and development for our drivers. We believe every driver should have access to career advancement opportunities, competitive wage and benefits packages, and a safe working environment.
We understand the unique needs of truck drivers in this day and age, which is why we strive to ensure that each of our employees has what they need to feel fulfilled in their job. We have implemented several initiatives, such as providing better routes, modernizing our fleet, and offering more flexible work arrangements for better work-life balance.
When you join MDB Transportation, you are not just joining a top-notch sustainable carrier in LA— you are joining a family that supports and appreciates every team member. We provide our workers with medical, dental, and vision benefits, vacation time, retirement options, and many other benefits to promote their health and wellness.
Is being a truck driver a good career choice?
Yes! In light of the current truck driver shortage in the US, being a truck driver is one of the most in-demand careers today. And because eCommerce is here to stay, with customers expecting fast shipping for online purchases, the demand for drivers will only increase. Coupled with industry-wide policy shifts and the clamor for better labor practices, truck driving is shaping up to be a great career path once again.
How does a truck driver get paid?
Most drivers get paid per mile using a model called cents per mile, or CPM. Under this model, drivers are paid a specific rate for every mile they drive. Others are paid by the hour, by the percentage of the load, or via a fixed salary.