As a carrier, your business cannot operate without truck drivers. While this may seem obvious, the trucking industry is facing major issues: crowded shipping docks, supply chain shortages, full trailers, and not enough drivers. Carriers have cargo but no one to move it. Some call this a driver shortage, but we see it as drivers quitting their jobs. If it were truly a shortage, you'd have no control and would be stuck relying on the job market. Luckily, it's not a shortage but a problem.

And problems can be fixed. There are multiple reasons why truckers decide to quit job, and if you know the right reasons, you can prevent this from happening.

Here are 8 truck driver reasons for leaving a job

Trucking Info shows truck driver turnover is between 80% and 90%. The trucking industry can't keep running like this, and neither can you Depending on your industry, replacing a driver can cost between $5,000 and $10,000. With turnover rates this high, it presents a significant problem.  Consider how much your business could grow if you focused on improving driver retention. Having more drivers on board could save money and boost your operations.

Here are some of the reasons why truck drivers quit job:

  1. Drivers need more pay

Walmart pays its drivers up to $80,000 a year. If your company still pays truck drivers $45,000 a year, it might be time to re-examine your pay structure. Even if you can't afford $80,000, switching from paying per mile to a regular wage could make a truck driver feel more valued, even if the pay is less.

A study in the Research in Transportation Economics journal found that raising truck driver pay by about 6% might prevent them from wanting to quit job. It helps companies save money by reducing the need to hire new drivers. The study showed that drivers who stayed at their jobs earned about 6% ($2,836 annually) more than those who quit job. This pay difference is less than the $3,600 average cost of hiring a new truck driver, which includes fees for sign-on bonuses, training, and orientation.

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  1. Something is wrong with the treatment

Truck drivers may quit job because of problems with dispatch, supervisors, or the company. Truckers complain that the company doesn’t treat them well or at least listen to their issues. If you don’t listen to your employees, they won’t feel valued and quit their jobs. Drivers spend a lot of time away from home, driving in tough conditions to get goods delivered on time, so it’s important for companies to understand their needs and listen to what they have to say. Fleet owners should teach their supervisors and dispatch how to manage (and treat) their truck drivers to make them feel happier. If you can’t fix their situation immediately, at least listen to them and tell them you understand their suffering. Also, explain why you can’t help right now.

  1. Drivers demand more home time

People avoid trucking jobs mainly because they don’t want to spend weeks away from family and friends while on the road. It’s important to be honest with applicants about what you offer and to ensure that you and the applicant have the same expectations. Create a simple one-page expectations document outlining the job. Include how you handle requests for time off for events like ball games or family gatherings and how much notice you need for those requests.

Remember, some drivers are happy with the amount of time spent at home. But you need to be clear about it. Attracting drivers who want more time at home will just waste time and money. If you still struggle to find drivers willing to accept the offered home time, you need to make changes.

  1. Drivers might have health issues

Truck driving is known as one of the unhealthiest jobs worldwide. Long hours and lack of exercise are major reasons why many truck drivers face health issues. According to a national survey by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, around 69% of truck drivers were obese, and 17% were morbidly obese. Obesity can lead to serious health problems like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, sleep apnea, joint and back pain, cancer, and stroke, which might disqualify them from the job. Over 50% of long-haul truck drivers were smokers, which is more than twice the percentage of the general working population.

Encouraging healthy habits is important for truck drivers. Providing options for healthier food choices, like bringing homemade meals instead of eating at truck stops, and having kitchen appliances like toaster ovens and microwaves in the truck can help.

  1. Problems with dispatch and supervisors 

Truck drivers are hardworking people who just want to be treated fairly. They make a lot of sacrifices for their companies, so it's hurtful when they're treated badly by their supervisors and dispatchers. Sometimes, supervisors and dispatchers can be rude, disrespectful, or mean to drivers, making them want to quit job. It's not the company they're leaving, but the bosses. To fix this issue, companies can set up training programs for their frontline leaders. These programs can teach them how to communicate better, listen to their drivers, and solve problems. It is crucial to listen to drivers when they have concerns about how they're treated. Ignoring their feelings will only drive them away.

  1. Expectations weren’t met

Trucking is a crucial part of America's economy, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic when trucks delivered supplies all over the country. To support this, the government plans to train more truck drivers. However, some new truck drivers find themselves out of a job within the first 100 days. They feel misled by recruiters or realize the job isn't what they expected. It's important to work with a trustworthy recruitment firm that sets realistic expectations. They'll explain everything about the job upfront, so there are no surprises later on.

  1. Drivers don’t feel appreciated

When truck drivers feel valued, they're less likely to quit job. Sometimes, they don't feel respected by their bosses, coworkers, or customers. Create a workplace where everyone feels respected. Let drivers know they're essential from day one. Thank them for their hard work and remind them how crucial they are to the economy. You can also show appreciation by offering career advancement opportunities. Give drivers a clear path for growth within your company. Consider small gestures to make drivers feel valued, like special initiatives or perks. These little things can have a big impact on morale.

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  1. There are few opportunities for advancement 

Truck drivers may quit job because they see no chance to move up. This doesn't mean you should promote them to management right away. Instead, offer ways to reward drivers and keep them on board. You could offer bonuses based on their tenure with the company. Experienced drivers might get better routes or newer trucks. Any chance to grow in their careers can make them feel valued. Look for drivers who want to learn and improve. Offer to pay for their training, like getting a CDL license. This shows you're invested in their success and encourages them to stay.

It’s on you to make them stay

It's important to tackle the main reasons why truck drivers quit job early in order to keep them. By providing good training, clear communication, fair pay, and a good work environment, employers can make drivers want to stay. Also, offering chances to move up, recognition, and solving problems quickly can make drivers happier. Doing these things will not only prevent drivers from quitting but also make the company a better place to work. Let's team up to make truck driving jobs more satisfying!

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