A message from Perry Olson:
“Driver shortage is an issue we are all familiar with in trucking. The issue is present every day we come to work. Unfortunately, the driver shortage issue is here to stay for the foreseeable future. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, the U.S. government estimates 33,000 truck driver jobs will be needed by 2020. How are we going to get there? I work for a trucking company my father started in 1980. I’ve learned that it is a battle to recruit drivers and it is a battle to keep drivers.
We all recruit truck drivers through our websites, trade publications, on our trucks, through social media, and hope word of mouth hits the truck driver community. We want current and potential drivers to know they will have guaranteed miles, consistent pay, home time, safety, recognition, speedy repairs, and technology to make their jobs easier. All this sounds great, right? Who wouldn’t want to come and drive for a company that has all this to offer to truck drivers? These ‘perks’ do attract truck drivers. On the other side, these are the same promises drivers have heard before and they still want to leave. In my 20+ years in the trucking industry, I’ve learned the most important part in keeping your quality truck drivers is respect.
Truck drivers are no different than other people in the world. They want to be treated like everyone else—with respect—and feel like they are a part of the family. All of you who are employed by a trucking company know that even if you are not biologically part of the family, you still feel like a part of the family.
I take pride in my drivers because without them they could not deliver our customers’ freight. Truck drivers are people—not a number. Know their names, their interests, and their family. If you genuinely care, they will genuinely want to drive for your company. Take time to you appreciate your drivers, as we know they are hard to come by. How would you feel if you walked into your office job and your boss did not know your name or anything about you? I’m pretty sure you would want to seek employment elsewhere.
Driver shortage is not going away anytime soon. If you appreciate what you have, you will be rewarded with drivers who want to work for your company. Drivers who want to be there provide the best service to you and your customers. No driving job is necessarily better or worse than another, but how you treat people and are treated in return can make all the difference.”
Source: Perry Olson