Carriers can improve the productivity and performance of drivers by meeting their requests to take time off, according to the results of a recent study conducted by Stay Metrics.

The study used data from 682 drivers provided by a flatbed trucking customer of Stay Metrics with more than 260 trucks. Stay Metrics works with carriers to help them solve driver retention problems through driver surveys interviews, data analytics and predictive modeling.

The study modeled time-off requests that were met by the carrier each month to find the effects that had on driver performance in the following months.

Using bonus rate, miles driven and total bonus pay as its variables for determining desirable driver performance, the study found that drivers showed improvement in each category when granted time off.

“To our knowledge, no one has yet looked at the trucking industry to see if generous time-off policies and procedures are able to realize higher employee productivity and job performance,” said Amir Erez, who serves as a member of Stay Metrics scientific advisory board.

The mean bonus rate for drivers in the study is 3.5 cents per mile. Drivers earned a monthly bonus based on their scores in four categories – compliance, vehicle care, fuel and production. In the study, each time a driver’s time-off request was met, their bonus rate increased three percent the following month.

On average, drivers drove 8,577 miles per month but when granted time off, the model showed that in the following month they traveled 218 more miles than drivers who did not take time off.

Using a rate of $2 per mile for revenue, each time-off request generated $536 more in revenue the following month.

Total bonus pay is the product of bonus rate and miles driven. Drivers averaged $344.66 per month in total bonus pay and the analysis indicates that drivers who took time off earned $17.85 more in bonus pay per month.

“We know at Stay Metrics that home time, or the lack thereof, is a predictor of driver turnover,” said Tim Hindes, CEO of Stay Metrics. “What this new study shows is that now an argument can be made by fleet operators that home time has productivity and financial benefits as well.”

For more information on Stay Metrics, click here.