Even though I still hold a CDL, it isn’t often that I get the chance to jump into a truck and drive a few miles. So, when I recently found myself driving one of our tractors 729 miles down to our Memphis switching operation it reminded me of just how important our drivers are and the critical role they play in the supply chain…
As a driver, making sure the truck is in good working order and managing your time are key elements to a successful delivery. By being in the driver seat of a truck, one can see the absolute importance of putting safety first. Driving alert, defensively, and with no distractions are all keys to a safe journey. A safe and successful delivery made by a driver translates into satisfied customers for the company he works for.
It’s important that we continue to show our commitment to our drivers and can accomplish this by developing innovative retention programs, and giving out safety and recognition awards. With today’s technology, communication with drivers should be regular and relevant. Updates on construction, safety items, and company information can all be transmitted to drivers through text messaging, email, and good old fashion U.S. Mail. Companies must begin to realize how expensive it is to recruit new drivers, and redirect some of that expense to an effective driver retention program that helps to focus on overall driver morale.
As our economy starts to rebound and regulations begin to tighten (CSA Compliance), most industry experts are predicting a driver shortage. Driver retention will play as large of a factor in a company’s success as driver recruiting. Carriers will not be able to afford driver turnover as replacement drivers are going to become harder and harder to find.
The hard work that drivers put in isn’t news to those of us in the trucking industry, but the responsibility they shoulder is great, and we need to make sure we offer support and recognition along the way. After all, happy drivers make for happy customers.