Women and Men Leave Truck Driving Jobs for Different Reasons

April 20, 2017

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Photo: Women in Trucking
Photo: Women in Trucking

A turnover survey of women truck drivers has found that dissatisfaction with tractors topped a list of reasons why they leave a motor carrier. That's accoridng to an annual survey conducted by Stay Metrics.

Women make up only 6% of the truck driver populatio,n according to the Department of Labor, and it is a segment of workers that could help the trucking industry address the driver shortage.

The annual driver survey is administered by Stay Metrics on behalf of its carrier clients to monitor driver turnover. The survey included responses from 12,502 drivers from 78 different carriers, of whom 1,122 were women.

“We consistently find that women drivers expect to be paid the same, to have equal opportunities, and to be treated with the same level of respect for doing the same job as male drivers,” said Tim Hindes, chief executive officer of Stay Metrics. “This research offers new insights into the relationship between women’s experiences and their propensity to leave a carrier.”

Dissatisfaction with the tractor topped the list for women drivers. Maintenance department and maintenance frequency were also important concerns, suggesting women place a high value on working equipment and avoiding breakdowns.  

Stay Metrics said it applied its latest predictive driver turnover model to identify correlations between areas of driver dissatisfaction or satisfaction with the known actions of drivers leaving or staying with their carriers.

The top 15 predictors of turnover for women drivers were found to be:

  1. Dissatisfaction with tractor
  2. Dissatisfaction with compensation for deadhead miles
  3. Dissatisfaction with hours worked
  4. Inadequately preparation during orientation for driving at this carrier
  5. Lack of respect at carrier’s facilities
  6. Dissatisfaction with Maintenance Department
  7. My work experiences match the expectations I had when I signed up for this job
  8. Dissatisfaction with frequency of maintenance done on equipment
  9. Dissatisfaction with dispatcher
  10. Dissatisfaction with pay
  11. Not getting enough miles
  12. Dissatisfaction with the respect my carrier shows me
  13. Work is not steady enough
  14. Desire to switch my dispatcher

Male drivers showed some correlation of predictors with women. Deadhead miles, the frequency of maintenance, dispatcher dissatisfaction, and desire to switch a dispatcher also appeared in men’s top predictors. However, dispatcher issues proved to be less of a concern for women as it only appeared in two of the top 15 issues while it was related to seven turnover predictors for men.

“The list shows the overall reasons why women drivers will choose to leave or stay with their carriers, but we all know that not all carriers are alike,” said Dr. Timothy Judge, Stay Metrics' director of research. “When applied to individual carrier data, our predictive models deliver important insights on the controllable causes of turnover that are specific to each company.”


  1. 1. Andrew Bork [ April 24, 2017 @ 09:31PM ]

    The American supply chain has no equal in the world. Their are many groups of people that make the American way of life the envy of the world. What goes on behind the scenes is so seemless that the general public knows nothing about it. No big city could survive without our supply chain. No store chain has enough product on hand to keep their shelves stocked more than 3 days. If the trucks stopped rolling. Lots of people work hard for our American way of life. But none sacrifice as much as the American truck driver! Of all the groups that work to make our supply chain work! The American truck driver is the only one who doesn't get to go home every night! The American truck driver takes part in a minimum of 3 stages of the supply chain. First we take the raw materials to the processing plant. Next we take the processed material to the manufacturing plant. Than we take the manufactured goods to a distribution warehouse. Finally we transport the goods from the warehouse to your local store. Day cabs are great for drivers who will be home every night. But since a lot of drivers do the long haul and won't be home every night and modern technology makes it possible for a driver to taking home with them. It seems to me providing these trucks to the drivers is a worth while investment. A custom sleeper only increase the cost of the truck by 33%. But currently we live like we are on a long camping or hunting trip with one of those hard shell travel trailers that has nothing but a few cabinets and a bed. It can very greatly in size depending on what company you work for. What we hunt for is generally a parking space especially on the east or west coast. What we forage for is generally not that healthy and rather expensive. Since truck stops have pretty much a captive clientele. Given they are the only place we can park safely in a lot of areas of the country. So is it any wonder that young people don't want to live a life style that is only slightly different than that of homeless person while they have a job? I really don't think so they are used to being able to goto the kitchen day or night and grab a bite to eat and go to the bathroom any time by just getting out of bed and going down the hall without having to get dressed first. While driver's provide a very important service for our nation! We are like everyone else we want respect and to do an honest days work for an honest days pay and to relax at night during the week and when payday comes around we expect to be able to take care of our families with what we have earned. The only ones that have custom sleepers are very successful owner - operators. Part of how they got them was they thought about their retirement when they were young so they have land also known as collateral. When you have one their is no waiting in line to use a shower a 100 people have used that day. You can eat healthy and relax. You actually have time to relax and prepare for the next day. Their is a lot of talk about a drivers health and disqualifying drivers if they don't meet certain standards. Where is the talk about how to give a driver a good quality of life? With a good quality of life drivers would natural be more healthy. We could rest better, eat better and everyone would be safer. Their would be no waiting in line and no need to eat expensive fattening foods which is mostly what truck stops offer. People want to complain about trucks in their town, trucks being in their way. But that truck is carrying your American way of life. Those people are cutting down and making life harder for the group of men and women who make their American life possible. In this modern country of ours every driver should be provided a truck with a custom sleeper. Custom sleepers should be the industry standard sleeper! Of course that wouldn't fix the bad management problems most companies are currently struggling with. I know for a fact the companies I have worked with haven't changed how dispatch and management work from the early 90's except very slightly. The biggest change and most companies have done this is to offer so called lease purchase programs. They offer a chance for a driver to own his own truck. That is the claim. I have tried 4 myself. So the facts are quite different. What they actually do is with a contract they rename a company driver position a lease operator. While under the contract you can not seek your own freight, you can not alter the truck in any way and you can not even get it serviced without permission. On the financial side the driver is paid half the actual revenue of the truck and has to pay all the bills for the truck and support their family with their half of the revenue. Some may call it good business I call it stealing from your drivers. Their are simple alterations to the way trucking companies run their offices that would make them competitive and profitable again. Sadly they all seem to have blind faith in the idea the more trucks the more revenue and give absolutely no thought to the driver to dispatcher ratio which is even more important. Open your eyes guys and be profitable and competitive again.

  2. 2. Shiloh [ April 28, 2017 @ 03:37AM ]

    Hmm...Same reasons I've left carriers. So, your saying women expect to receive "special" treatment. Although, I can say things have gotten a LOT better than when I started back in 1979, but some things remain the same. Deal with it. I see Walmart and McDonald's are hiring.

  3. 3. Alex [ April 28, 2017 @ 02:40PM ]

    My biggest complaint is equipment and maintenance also. I will refuse to drive equipment I know is not DOT and I will watch them fix it if need be. While some give me respect that all drivers should get, I find that some in my good ol simply don't think women can do a good enough job and are looked down upon. Whatever. I do my job, make hella good money, and call it a day.

  4. 4. Brian [ April 28, 2017 @ 05:30PM ]

    It doesn't require an advanced college degree to figure this one out. As an OTR driver you spend as much, or more, time in a truck than a maximum security prisoner does in a cell. Any self respecting driver is going to expect very good equipment and pay. Very good equipment is easily available. It's the mega fleet, bottom feeding cheap aces that are leading the race to the bottom. By that I mean getting ignorant drivers to accept unreliable, castrated econobox trucks and cheap pay. Like a lot of things in life, if you take crap you're probably going to get more of it. Stupidity can't be cured.

  5. 5. Hiring Drivers Now [ May 05, 2017 @ 11:21AM ]

    The dissatisfaction among Truck Drivers is not a new topic. There are always complaints from drivers, and that is to be expected when a driver feels unappreciated. Truck Drivers are the single most key component of what makes a trucking company successful. Without the driver, everything stops. The positive, is that it is currently a drivers market. Drivers are in such high demand, that many companies are taking steps towards ensuring a smaller turnover rate, by offering legitimately better incentives (Higher Pay, Better Benefits, and More Home Time). Yes we've heard this from most companies promising great incentives, but not all companies follow through. You can be assured though, that some companies ARE following through and providing excellent perks, and actual higher pay. A Truck Driver discouraged by the job he or she has, can always find a better job. There is most definitely a better company hiring, who DOES put the driver first. helps truck drivers find a new career fast, by matching a drivers qualifications to companies hiring drivers in their area. Hiring Drivers Now works with the top trucking companies. If you're a driver, visit to find a better driving career.


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