A new study by Stay Metrics has found younger drivers are only slightly more prone to leaving a carrier within the first six months than their middle-aged counterparts.
On average nearly 60% of all drivers in every age group will leave their carrier within the first six months, and as much as 35% will leave within the first 90 days, reports the driver retention consulting and analytics firm. Turnover is a critical problem in the trucking industry, with increased demand and decreasing capacity the need for drivers is as great as ever.
A common belief in the trucking industry, according to Stay Metrics, is that younger drivers are more apt to impulsive decision-making and are more likely to leave a job quickly. The research group’s study, which sampled 103,652 drivers from 140 carriers, did confirm this belief to an extent. Drivers aged 21-40 did have turnover rates higher than the average.
Drivers aged 26-30 had the highest turnover rate in the study at nearly 69% – but aged 21-25 year old drivers were only 2% more likely to leave than drivers aged 41-45. The lower rate for younger drivers could indicate that a lack of experience reduces their options to leave, keeping their turnover rate lower. The 56-60 age group had the lowest turnover at just 49%.
This information could be important for trucking companies who support a recent bill to bring younger CDL drivers into the trucking industry. The DRIVE-Safe Act, if passed, would allow drivers between the ages of 18-21 to operate across state lines if they meet training requirements.
“Contrary to popular belief, ‘Millennial’ drivers are only slightly more likely than middle-age Gen X drivers to leave their carriers,” said Tim Hindes, chief executive officer of Stay Metrics. “The study shows age is a factor, but we don't see that impulsive decision making we often associate with youth as a leading cause of early driver turnover.”