In an effort to combat rising turnover among truck drivers, the Texas Trucking Alliance (TTA) – a collaborative group comprised of the Texas Motor Transportation Association (TTMA), The Bassett Firm in Dallas, TX, San Antonio-based Business Financial Group, Houston-based Lockton Companies LLC and SelecTransportation Resources – recently commissioned a survey to establish a “best practices” list of driver recruiting and retention strategies within the state of Texas.

The Texas Trucking Industry Study for 2012 highlighted seven key ways trucking companies can improve recruitment and retention efforts to find and keep good drivers for the longer term:

  • Hire drivers as employees, rather than owner-operators who are responsible for most of their vehicles’ expenses.
  • Provide drivers guaranteed “at home” time, paid vacation and paid sick time.
  • Offer drivers health care and retirement plans.
  • Pay drivers bonuses for longevity and safe driving records.
  • Provide electronic onboard recorders that eliminate the need for drivers to keep paper mileage logs.
  • Provide driver safety training.
  • Pay referral bonuses.

John Esparza, TTMA’s president and CEO, noted that this is the second annual research study TTA has commissioned concerning driver recruitment and retention efforts as turnover is rapidly becoming a major issue within the industry, especially for Texas-based carriers.

“The Texas trucking industry is faced with an ever increasing driver shortage challenge,” he stressed. “Through this intuitive study we are equipping our members with pertinent information to prepare for these situations and giving them tools to make educated decisions about their businesses reflective of the current economy.”

Esparza added that the American Trucking Associations (ATA) recently reported recently that turnover for large truckload fleets rose to 90% in the first quarter of this year – the highest level since early 2008 – while small truckload fleets saw a 16% jump to 71%, the highest level for that segment of the trucking industry since mid-2008.

TTA noted that the Texas Trucking Industry Study is based on a randomized telephone survey conducted by San Antonio-based Galloway Research Service back in June and includes responses from 266 trucking company owners, CEOs and senior executives at Texas-based trucking companies.

The research results were weighted to match the proportions of large and small companies and their geographic distributions across the state, and have a plus or minus 5% margin of error at the 90% confidence level, TTA added.