New Trucking Study Investigates Hiring and Retention of Truck Drivers

The results of a new study investigating methods used to hire and retain truck drivers was recently commissioned by the Texas Trucking Alliance (TTA), according to a statement released on September 18.

The study commissioned by the TTA - which comprises the Texas Motor Transportation Association, Houston, Texas-based Lockton Companies LLC and SelecTransportation Resources, Dallas, Texas-based The Bassett Firm, San Antonio-based Business Financial Group - sought to create a list of "best practice" hiring and retention strategies for the state of Texas.

The TTA stated that a random telephone survey supplied the data for the study, and 266 owners, senior executives and CEOs of Texas-based trucking companies contributed to the poll.

The 2012 edition of the Texas Trucking Industry Study identified seven key methods to recruit and keep these drivers over a longer period of time, which included hiring drivers as employees instead of contractors, or owner-operators; give drivers guaranteed time at home, paid vacation and paid sick time; offer these workers the ability to take advantage of healthcare and retirement plans.

The results of the research also suggested that employers reward drivers for safe driving records and longevity by giving them bonuses, provide compensation for referrals, give drivers electronic onboard recorders and give these workers training on safe driving.

Turnover a problem

The findings of this report are worthy of mention since the annual turnover rate in Texas could be once again pushed above 100 percent by natural gas drilling in the area and economic growth. The turnover of large truckload fleets recently increased above 90 percent during the first three months of the year, according to the American Trucking Associations.

In addition to the increase in turnover experienced by these large truckload fleets, turnover in small truckload fleets surged from 16 percent to 71 percent, which was the largest quarterly jump in the segment since 2008.

"The Texas trucking industry is faced with an ever increasing driver shortage challenge," John D. Esparza, president and chief executive officer of TMTA, said in the statement. "Through this intuitive study we are equipping our members with pertinent information to prepare for these situations and giving them tools to make educated decisions about their businesses reflective of the current economy."

The shortage that exists in the U.S. trucking industry could potentially be exacerbated by the adoption of the hours of service rules created by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

"The cornerstone of our practice has been to provide a full range of legal services to the insurance defense community.”