Building and fostering a sense of community helps driver fight off feelings of isolation and feel more engaged with a company.  -  Photo: Prime

Building and fostering a sense of community helps driver fight off feelings of isolation and feel more engaged with a company.

Photo: Prime

“Work-life balance” can mean different things to different trucking companies and different drivers. However, social activities for drivers, charitable giving or involvement, and other opportunities for drivers to get involved are important, says Mark Murrell, co-founder and president of CarriersEdge, which administrates the Best Fleets to Drive For program.

“Those are the things that build the relationships that help people stick around," he says. "They feel like they're part of something.”

Prime places an emphasis on having top-notch facilities with plenty of amenities to help tired drivers relax.  -  Photo: Prime

Prime places an emphasis on having top-notch facilities with plenty of amenities to help tired drivers relax.

Photo: Prime

Other factors come into play, such as:  

  • Are there good facilities at the terminal for the driver?  
  • Out on the road, do drivers have good equipment and support?  
  • What is provided to help a driver with wellness?  
  • Are things provided to help a driver have a better life outside the job? 
  • That can mean committing resources to programs and amenities that positively impact the lives of drivers. 

Invest in Truck Driver Facilities and Events 

For Prime Inc., which has about 10,000 associates, that means terminal facilities that include doctor's offices, spas and salons, fitness centers, workout facilities, personal trainers, driver health and wellness consultants, and nutrition and physical fitness counselors for drivers.

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How Can Trucking Fleets Keep the Best Drivers?

Why Do Truck Drivers Leave — Really?

Invest in Truck Drivers’ Lives to Improve Retention

Listen — and Respond — for Better Driver Satisfaction

Three Things to Focus on to Retain Truck Drivers

Prime’s three main terminals — Pittston, Pennsylvania, Springfield, Missouri, and Salt Lake City, Utah — have most of the amenities and programs mentioned above. Springfield and Salt Lake City have them all. 

“A lot of people say, ‘We appreciate our drivers,’ and a lot of people probably say that and do that. But do they show it with the investment and resources for those drivers?” says Jim Guthrie, director of operations for Prime.  

“We’ve seen some really nice facilities out there, but I don't think anybody goes to the extent that we do, that I'm aware of.” 

Events for drivers go a long way in helping build a culture that helps drive retention, according to Guthrie, such as: 

  • Holiday parties. 
  • Safety awards dinners. 
  • Truck driving championships. 
  • A gala for female drivers. 
  • Picnics throughout the summer. 

“Those are events that are really designed to help bring drivers into the culture and ingratiate them into the culture, Guthrie adds. 

At Prime, there is also a focus on supporting drivers both at home and on the road through programs like its Highway Diamonds program for women drivers, or through participation in Good Dads, a program that is not specific just to Prime but focuses on keeping the relationship at home strong. 

Invest in Driver Well-Being for Better Retention 

American Central Transport, a medium-sized carrier with 280 drivers and a regular among the Best Fleets to Drive For, provides a wide range of services and programs to help support drivers. That includes Rocky, the ACT chaplain who offers spiritual support and strikes up friendships with the drivers. 

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“It can be hard, and hard things can happen on the road,” explains Phil Wilt, ACT president and CEO. “You can have a family member diagnosed with cancer, or someone you know. We’ve had a lot of deaths, where someone’s family member dies and they’re distraught and they’re two states or three states away from their home. And so often Rocky will jump in and talk to them, listen to them, pray with them, if they want that.” 

The company also provides a life coach and offers things such as financial well-being classes on Zoom. There are mental health resources as well, including a mental wellness coach. 

“He's a coach, not a counselor,” Wilt says. “What we try to do is listen, and then if folks need additional services, or need additional help, then we get them tied into our insurance carrier, to our EAP [employee assistance program], or a counselor.

Giving drivers a safe, clean place to workout and shower are great ways to let them feel valued and improve their quality of life.   -  Photo:

Giving drivers a safe, clean place to workout and shower are great ways to let them feel valued and improve their quality of life. 

Photo: 

“It can be anything, really, based on having a conversation. Sometimes people just need to talk, and someone needs to listen.” 

In the works at ACT is a focus on helping drivers be healthy and more physically fit. There will be activities such as weight loss challenges and tips for staying healthy on the road.  

ACT has a chronic condition management program through its insurance broker. In this program, a health nurse works with any ACT associates who have been identified as having chronic conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes. 

For example, when working with drivers who have diabetes, she will help them think about menus, diets, and how to pack a cooler with healthy items when they are on the road.  

She also checks to make sure drivers and other associates are taking their medicines, following up with a doctor, and in general staying on track with what they need to be doing. Working with the nurse also opens up the opportunity for a driver to get a discount on his or her health plan. 

Related: Carrier's Edge Releases Two Courses on Driver's Mental Health and Security

About the author
Wayne Parham

Wayne Parham

Senior Editor

Wayne Parham brings more than 30 years of media experience to Work Truck's editorial team and a history of covering a variety of industries and professions. Most recently he served as senior editor at Police Magazine, also has worked as publisher of two newspapers, and was part of the team at Georgia Trend magazine for nine years.

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