One of the most pressing issues in today’s trucking industry is driver retention. Recruiting younger drivers is difficult due to the physically demanding nature of the work and the long hours away from home.
The driver workforce is also aging. If the current trend holds, the driver shortage is predicted to reach nearly 175,000 by 2024, according to the American Trucking Association (ATA). The ATA also reported that large truckload fleets experienced an 81 percent driver turnover rate in the third quarter of 2016.
Retaining drivers will, undoubtedly, be a continual challenge for the trucking industry, especially with the ever-increasing demand for product delivery – but there is a way to combat this. Carriers can and should invest in technology to keep their best drivers on the roads and to attract new ones. Here are the top five ways they can use technology to do so:
Cutting Out the Paperwork
Drivers like to be on the road, driving. That is why they seek out these jobs. Currently, however, they are required to fill out a great deal of paperwork (recording HOS, engine data, miles traveled, etc.) in addition to their role as drivers. Electronic logging devices are the most effective way to eliminate those responsibilities – taking the tedious paperwork away from the drivers and making their day-to-day responsibilities more satisfying and less tiresome. This also reduces the risk of non-compliance and gives more time back to drivers – a win-win for all.
Keeping up Communications
Telematics solutions offering two-way messaging tools help drivers and dispatchers better communicate with each other, reducing errors and cutting down on time, further eliminating friction with operations. Having an immediate, open line of communication alerts drivers to customer updates and requests, offers more efficient routes and provides step-by-step instructions – all in real-time.
That continuous connection with dispatch takes the guesswork out of the driver’s hands and helps them complete their jobs on time. Messaging options also help drivers stay connected with family – a benefit that cannot be overlooked. Drivers often leave companies for closer-to-home operations and tech keeps them connected, helping to maintain their work-life balance no matter how many hours or days they spend on the road.
Ensuring Safer Conditions + Better Routes
Safety is a key concern for truck drivers and long hours on the road leaves room for error – but technology can help. GPS fleet management software notifies drivers to upcoming stop signs and sends alerts to make sure drivers stay awake during lengthy trips – improving overall safety.
Fleet management solutions also shorten trip turnaround times and routes – something that is especially important with unforeseen roadwork or accidents – and allows drivers to make more deliveries in less time. And with improved safety and routing, technology can truly reduce the stress level many drivers face on a daily basis when confronted with unexpected situations.
Providing Better Training
The road is a tough place to perfect a profession because it does not slow down for anyone. Drivers who are onboarding with a company are trained in real-world circumstances. Technological advancements in fleet tracking can help improve driver safety (navigation, lane departure alerts and cameras) and replay actual road events so drivers can learn from them. Technology acts as a key player in the training process – helping new drivers understand and then prevent their mistakes as they continue their journeys.
Rewarding Good Driving
There is nothing like incentives or positive reinforcement to keep people motivated and happy. Rewarding and encouraging good driver behavior through analysis of road events and metrics is an excellent way to give a nod to the best and most valued fleet drivers. Drivers spend much of the day working alone, and recognizing that good work gives them reason to not only stay with their companies but also maintain their efficient and safe driving practices.
High performance trucks drivers are an incredibly valuable resource to any company, as their roles require constant awareness and good judgment. It’s in everyone’s best interest to ensure drivers are satisfied and rewarded so they can retain them. That is why it is critical to factor in some level of telematics into drivers’ daily routines, helping them get their jobs done faster, safer and with less frustration.
To learn more about the benefits of telematics, visit http://www.teletracnavman.com/gps-tracking-benefits.