Driving Relationships with the Trucking Industry 

Great Truckers

Surviving a Truck Driver Shortage (Part 1): Recruiting New Drivers

The past few years have seen a potential driver shortage problem turn into a real driver shortage problem. Many of the carriers I work with are paying closer attention to recruiting and retention techniques more than ever before.

Today, I’m kicking off the first in a two-part series on recruiting and retention. This post outlines techniques I’ve seen contract carriers use to bring in new truck drivers and in an upcoming post, I’ll share ways to keep quality drivers around.

What’s causing the driver shortage?
One of the biggest contributing factors on everyone’s mind is the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate that recently went into effect. And yes, the ELD mandate has made flexibility in hours of service more difficult. Accordingly, the same number of drivers can’t haul the same amount of freight as pre-ELD mandate. Of course, there are other reasons for the truck driver shortage, including the aging driver population and shared labor pools with construction and manufacturing.

Overcoming the millennial perspective
As I mentioned above, many of today’s truck drivers are retiring. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough millennials signing up to be truck drivers. It seems that millennials often have an ongoing perception that truck driving isn’t the right job for them.

Many people have an image in their head of a stereotypical truck driver. A loner who’s out on the road a lot and doesn’t make it home to spend time with family (or doesn’t have a family at all). They envision a lot of fast food and unhealthy habits. Those are the ideas that need to be broken down if millennials are going to help relieve the driver shortage.

Trying out new recruiting ideas
Like most things, every company has their own recruiting techniques, carriers included. Some of the most successful I’ve seen implemented by the contract carriers I work with include sign on bonuses and promoting on social media. But for many companies, friends, family, and referrals bring in the highest volume of new drivers. Additionally, the carriers I work with are restructuring their lane configurations to include a more regionalized approach to their network. This kind of shift expands a carrier’s ability to get drivers home more frequently. It’s a powerful recruiting technique for many. Even beyond initial recruiting efforts, because driver satisfaction increases, the result can also boost driver retention.

The future of driver recruitment
Beyond today’s incentives to attract new drivers, the future may require even more creative and widespread changes. I recently talked with Billy Cartright, executive vice president and COO of Southern Refrigerated Transport, at Covenant Transport Services about this and he had some interesting thoughts I’m including here.

Change driver pay to salary with paid time off and benefits.
Driver pay has always been a topic of conversation. Knowing how changing the pay structure for drivers would affect the industry is difficult to determine. Making driver pay more stable—not tied to miles travelled—could certainly be incentive for both new and current drivers. The industry would certainly change drastically were this to happen in the future.

Lower the age to get a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to 18.
Right now, the age to obtain a CDL is 21. But by that time, many young adults have already focused on a specific trade. Lowering the driving age to 18 could open up new recruiting opportunities to recent high school graduates, before they choose other industries.

Recruitment is only the first step
When in the midst of a driver shortage, finding new drivers is only the beginning. We can’t forget the importance of keeping the quality drivers you have.

Look for part two of this series in the coming weeks.

- Carrier Account Manager

Comments

Eugene

I am a 64 year old truck driver,not looking to retiere any time soon, more money,and respect, would help recruitment.personally if the brokers won't/can't pay, then they can't have my services.
I am not going to be tired and broke...I own my equipment...Thank God!!!

6.27.18

Reply

Philip DeKnight

Sounds like the same mega carrier nonsense to me "level the playing field all carriers have to have elds" now its lower the driving age to 18, are you kidding these kids barely got any experience driving a 4 wheeler now you want them behindthe wheel of a big rig, very bad idea,thats almost as bad as self driving trucks or platooning trucks. Heres an idea increase the rates onthe shipment,get with the shippers and receivers and get the drivers in and out of their facilities in a timely manner.now that would be a great start

6.27.18

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Azam

Simply put, the main reason for shortages of drivers is pay rate. After calculating all expenses driver make equivalent or less than they did in the past 10 years. To add to this, there is same rate going for short distance and long distance which is unfair for driver who leave everything behind.

6.27.18

Reply

Virgil. Ursu

We need to be better pay for mille Your mouth with the truck on the road Dry freight Ch Robinson pay not even dollar $ 1 40 cent per Mille

6.28.18

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Margaret oleman

Not sure how I feel about a 18 year old behind the wheel pulling some 80.000 pounds of freight. There is no substitute for experience, and safety. The thought of a salaried Driver is a new direction. I think that would work it would take the pressure off the Driver to perhaps run illegal or try to beat the system. Intrested to see what you have next.

6.28.18

Reply

Luiz Araujo

Mr. Maher Farah. Congrats.
It`s very good to know that CH Robinson is always thinking about their commercial partners.
ELD rules lock the hours of service of the drivers.
Trucking business needs to adapt to the law.
The issue is: E-log time can easily burn driver time day work when something happens on the shipper or the receiver.
The insurance and fuel are expensive compared to the prices of the load at this moment.
CH Robinson is a very important company and can help the carriers to grow with technology, services, and the load price.
By the way, a special thanks to Mr. Fernando Caballero (Orlando Office)who is helping us to keep working on the road.

6.28.18

Reply

Sanjay Tiwari

Hello, interesting blog with some good ideas. I'd like to add one more: focus on driver training and education. We make learning fun (21cceducation.com) through e- and mobile learning. If you offer a driver a chance to continue acquiring new skills then becoming a truck driver isn't viewed as a life time choice but as a stepping stone.
Would love to speak to CH Robinson on how we can similar solutions for you.

6.29.18

Reply

HOMER MCKALE

LETS GIVE THEM A LIVING OUT ALLOWANCE 30.00 PER 24 HRS AWAY FROM HOME

7.12.18

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