Survey: Home Time and Health Issues Cause Drivers to Quit

May 12, 2016

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With a worsening driver shortage looming over the trucking industry, a HireRight survey has found that lack of home time and health issues are two leading causes of driver turnover.

HireRight, a provider of recruiting and retention services, announced the findings in its 2016 Transportation Spotlight report, which examines recruiting and retention practices in the transportation industry.

The survey found that 41% of drivers are leaving to spend more time at home and 21% are leaving due to health issues. While fleets are offering safety and accident prevention programs and driver health programs, as many as 45% of respondents to HireRight’s survey did not offer a wellness program at all.

“Driving is a physically demanding profession and getting proper rest, eating right and maintaining an exercise routine is a challenge due to the nature of the job,” said Steven Spencer, manager director of transportation, HireRight. “The transportation industry is realizing that wellness programs and other methods of improving the quality of life for drivers, while relatively new to motor carriers, are effective ways to attract and retain drivers and boost their overall health, well-being and retention.”

To improve retention, fleets are also offering monetary benefits with 51% of fleets offering increased pay, 49% offering upgraded equipment, and 41% instituting recognition and rewards programs. Some non-monetary benefits have also increased in popularity with 57% investing in driver appreciation events and 35% providing flexible work arrangements.

While the majority of drivers often decide whether they will stay with a company within the first six months, only 32% of fleets surveyed are not using retention tactics for new hires.

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  1. 1. Dan Gibson [ May 20, 2016 @ 02:49AM ]

    I'm so sick of every company rattling on how they increased driver pay. A penny per mile after an 8+ year pay freeze isn't going to cut it. You pay me enough and I'm not going to worry about home time. I can't afford to pay someone else on the upkeep of my home and stay out at the current industry standard.

  2. 2. David [ May 20, 2016 @ 04:37AM ]

    I still don't get the lack of drivers. Been at it for 32 years, and I am amazed every day on how many big trucks are on the interstates today. If this economy is so bad why is there so much freight moving?

  3. 3. Paddycake2012 [ May 20, 2016 @ 05:01AM ]

    In order to make any real money 10 days out at a time won't do it...Those that love the industry, and their families know that the first week out they get you rolling, and just when a driver could really get going, and get some real miles he/she is driving the 2nd week regionally to be home, and the miles are just not there...I did it for 20 years, and discovered that if a driver wants to make good money 4 to 6 weeks out will get you the miles you need...I understand that government once again has screwed the industry by messing with the 34 hour restart rule, but that will change...The trucking industry is stressful, but either you love it or you don't, and those that don't are far better off doing something else because most of those drivers are just steering wheel holders...most trucking companies give the driver 1 day off for every week out...If you spend 6 weeks out then you take a weeks vacation afterwards...If they can't handle this then they shouldn't be out there to begin with...Like I said...Either you love it or you don't.

  4. 4. Brian [ May 20, 2016 @ 05:10AM ]

    How are drivers to use a wellness program, eat right, sleep right when they work over 70 hours per week? People (most) who work the typical 40 hour week complain there aren't enough hours in the day to get everything done, truck drivers work almost double that. Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. Hypothetically if a trucking company were to offer drivers 100% company paid heath benefits and top it off with $10,000 to use for out of pocket health expenses, if a driver never has the time to use those benefits what good is it? None. I don't understand how this is so hard to understand. Again, people working 40 hour weeks have to take time off for doctor appointments or find a health care provider with late day hours, how are truck drivers going to do that working over 70 hours? Haven't seen any health care providers with lots made for tractor trailers and open 24/7, correct me if I'm wrong. I will repeat, facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.

  5. 5. Ron [ May 20, 2016 @ 06:26AM ]

    I quit driving 14 months ago after 8 years. Best career, health, and general wellbeing decision I've ever made! I've lost 40 pounds, make more money, and have time to spend with my family and most important time to do things that make me feel accomplishment in my life. I'm not speaking against the career of professional driving, but when the government and industry doesn't recognize the profession as skilled labor, it's hard for the labor force to get excited about their career. I was never a hateful or negative driver that constantly complained to my fellow employees. Unfortunately, most of the drivers in my 8 year career were people I never felt I had anything in common with and found it very hard to socialize with. Honestly, there's not one person from the industry that I've made contact with or even have their phone number in my contact list since I quit working as a driver, except the owner of the trucking academy that I attended. In my opinion, the industry including the trucking companies, manufactures, and government, are responsible for lack of compensation and home time. But you can't blame them for the health issue's. It's true them don't make it easy for drivers to eat healthy or exercise regularly, but it's the drivers choice to partake in an unhealthy lifestyle. Having said that, every dispatcher I ever worked with was obese. It's a global problem, not a freight business problem, The difference is the government can take you ability to work away from you if you have health problems, but demand discrimination if a major corporation doesn't want to employ unhealthy employees. What is a solution? Demand higher standards for obtaining a CDL, better compensation for OTR drivers, and less government control of the industry. Stop these companies from cashing in on government student training handouts. I don't think being a CDL driver will ever be a glamorous or high paying career, but it's a necessity until we find other means to distribute freight.

  6. 6. Swohawk [ May 20, 2016 @ 06:35AM ]

    Ha! 70 hours in the trucking bizain't 70 paid hours - not even close. I found eating right was the absolute easiest thing to deal with. I lost 20 pounds my first year. Getting 8 hours of sleep was not a problem. Getting home was not an issue.

    The thing that persuaded me to dump trucking is lack of miles - continuous lame arse loads that allow four days for a load that could be delivered in two and a half. Get to a delivery on Saturday morning and only then find out they're closed weekends. Make an "appointment" on time only to learn that they're first come first served (and you weren't first). Winter weather delays. Equipment repairs that don't offer detention pay for a day or two. Re-powers that have you sitting the better part of a day. And 34 hour breaks, even at home, usually end up closer to 48. Guess I've been working for the wrong companies.


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