For Company Carriers: Do You Feel Valued?

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Satvik A.'s Comment
member avatar

One of the things I’ve been thinking about recently is the unusually high amounts of driver turnover compared to most other industries. I’ve heard drivers mostly leave because they (understandably) find better rates at another company, so they jump ship.

For company drivers - is this true? What are the main reasons you leave a carrier?

And follow up - do you think a loyalty program from a carrier might inspire you to commit to them for longer?

Ex. For every 10,000 miles - you get a complimentary night at a premium truck stop. Every 3 months you stay with the company, your rate per mi increases by a few % points - so if you stay with one carrier for 5-10 years, you get paid way better than almost anyone else in the market, among other seniority/performance-based perks like: - Scheduling preferences for time home with family, - Discounts on groceries/food while on the road - Higher priority for rollouts of newer equipment - Therapy/counseling while you’re on the road etc.

Is this something you would like to see as a company driver?

I thought it would be a nice touch since it tries to improve driver quality of life in a personal way, instead of just paying slightly more and hoping it solves the problem.

Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

It's somewhat of a complex answer to a simple question. Being as that I'm currently in the process of switching carriers, I can give you my reasons why I chose to leave after three and a half years and close to 400,000 miles with the same carrier.

1. Total compensation package including CPM , benefits, ancillary pay and retention incentives are 15 to 18 percent higher at the new company.

2. More miles, consistently longer loads with less sitting and more accurate scheduling.

Since our work and ultimately our pay is based upon how many miles in loads we complete, it's crucial that we have the highest volume of loads and miles possible. As a driver, say that I need to have 24days running before home time. I want to be able to accomplish 12 to 14k miles in those days, the quickest way to accomplish that is by having the longest loads with the least wasted time. In our industry, if the truck isn't moving, we're loosing money.

3. Less restrictive policies and less corporate over reach. Again, referring to points one and two, if my truck, which is my tool to earn, is laden down with restrictive safety equipment, and governed slower, in the right environment, it reduces the amount of miles and thus loads I can complete per week, month and year. While probably not significant until a driver is capable and has the available freight to run, after a few years of experience it can make a 10 to 15 percent difference, especially in long runs on open highways.

When policies become the metrics for performance instead of being on time/early and simply completing the highest volume of safe miles and loads, it reduces overall compensation because we're not compensated by adherence to policy, again, we're compensated for completed loads safely.

Everyone is different and has different drives and motivations. Some, the medical benefits may be a priority, others may be flexibility of hometime, still others may be a combination of things. My personal motivation is volume of miles and pay package so that my time is at maximum efficiency. It's a very quick pace that is not necessarily everyone's cup of tea.

Although it's anecdotal, most grumbling I hear about is lack of miles and lack of pay from others. They also tend to view promotion programs and complex bonus structure as gimmicks. The simpler, although elusive solution is to get higher pay packages and more consistent miles.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

At prime we get a lot of perks...jackets, rewards points to be used at terminal cafe, salon/spa, and company store.... our healthcare is cut in half after 1 year, we get 2 raises a year based on our miles, at 8 years i got a 2cpm longevity pay... at a million miles we get to pick out our own truck with options. They spend millions every year on baquets and family days.

There's a lot. But when morale is down.. when freight is low... when trainees are making more money than trainers... all the food and jackets in the world won't help.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

NaeNaeInNC's Comment
member avatar

Identifying why turnover in trucking is higher than many other industries is somewhat more complicated and nuanced. This is an industry that a lot of people come into completely unprepared for the reality of trucking.

Unfortunately it's one of those things that you won't know it's a personal pitfall until you are going through it. Driving is rough on your body, with sedentary hours a day, unpredictable sleep schedules, too much solitude, and the inability to leave work at work are just the tip of the iceberg.

I actually laughed at "Premium Truck Stop." What do you mean, premium? Prime has some pretty bougie terminals that we don't have to "earn" a stop at.

Make the pay structure fair, and transparent. Don't outright lie to your drivers. Don't punish the many for the actions of the knuckle dragging few.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
PJ's Comment
member avatar

Some great points made. Here is another reason micromanagement.

Large companies set policies for everyone. They have too. The way it goes. Makes complete sense.

They hire from all walks of life. Some are good, some are great, and some are terrible. That is very common.

All policies start with a baseline then get reviewed and tweaked. Usually because of an event. So in the end the company clamps down on the actions of a few that impacts everyone.

The really good ambitious drivers evaluate the situation and determine if they want to continue working by those rules or go somewhere else. Some do and some don’t. It’s entirely up to the individual. What works well for one person doesn’t work for another. I have friends at various companies. They tell me stories sometimes about something and I think to myself, I would get fired in a microsecond. But it works for them.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
BK's Comment
member avatar

It's somewhat of a complex answer to a simple question. Being as that I'm currently in the process of switching carriers, I can give you my reasons why I chose to leave after three and a half years and close to 400,000 miles with the same carrier.

1. Total compensation package including CPM , benefits, ancillary pay and retention incentives are 15 to 18 percent higher at the new company.

2. More miles, consistently longer loads with less sitting and more accurate scheduling.

Since our work and ultimately our pay is based upon how many miles in loads we complete, it's crucial that we have the highest volume of loads and miles possible. As a driver, say that I need to have 24days running before home time. I want to be able to accomplish 12 to 14k miles in those days, the quickest way to accomplish that is by having the longest loads with the least wasted time. In our industry, if the truck isn't moving, we're loosing money.

3. Less restrictive policies and less corporate over reach. Again, referring to points one and two, if my truck, which is my tool to earn, is laden down with restrictive safety equipment, and governed slower, in the right environment, it reduces the amount of miles and thus loads I can complete per week, month and year. While probably not significant until a driver is capable and has the available freight to run, after a few years of experience it can make a 10 to 15 percent difference, especially in long runs on open highways.

When policies become the metrics for performance instead of being on time/early and simply completing the highest volume of safe miles and loads, it reduces overall compensation because we're not compensated by adherence to policy, again, we're compensated for completed loads safely.

Everyone is different and has different drives and motivations. Some, the medical benefits may be a priority, others may be flexibility of hometime, still others may be a combination of things. My personal motivation is volume of miles and pay package so that my time is at maximum efficiency. It's a very quick pace that is not necessarily everyone's cup of tea.

Although it's anecdotal, most grumbling I hear about is lack of miles and lack of pay from others. They also tend to view promotion programs and complex bonus structure as gimmicks. The simpler, although elusive solution is to get higher pay packages and more consistent miles.

I don’t want to hijack this thread so Davy if you answer you can start a new thread if you want.

Pretty big news from you. What company are you moving to and what is their limited speed?

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Zen Joker 's Comment
member avatar

I'm very happy at my carrier Veriha. I have only been in the business 15 months but I've been a quick study. Another reason for turnover which has nothing to do with the carrier is the harsh and demanding nature of the job. Many struggle with the isolation, time away from family/friends, and the stress this job produces like many others can't. They think the next carrier will be the sovereign panacea of great trucking. Company's do there best to make drivers lives comfortable and profitable in what is still one of the toughest jobs on the planet. When people ask "What Carrier", it's like asking if one likes Pepsi, Coke, Root Beer, or Mountain Dew? When the answer is I don't like soda pop (soda pop being the nature of the work/industry), well then you won't make it anywhere more than likely.

Aside from natural attrition/washout, I'll build on the prior comments. At the end of day, cpm is huge but that also balances out with miles. In other words, someone earning 60 cpm running 2500 per week is not going to leave to for a carrier that pays 63 cpm and only gives 2000 per week. One HUGE item for me is hometime. That is one thing my carrier is religious about. I've heard senior management audits the fleet leaders to make sure they are honoring driver's hometime requests.

In the end, carriers need to reward good drivers with a good blend of miles and compensation, and place less resources on the less motivated, less intelligent, a**clowns in the fleet. On the same hand, drivers need to bring their best day in day out to operate safely, efficiently, and run a profitable truck. A lot of times when a driver is jumping from carrier to carrier, the driver is likely the issue (attitude, work ethic, safety record, or some combination thereof).

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

It's somewhat of a complex answer to a simple question. Being as that I'm currently in the process of switching carriers, I can give you my reasons why I chose to leave after three and a half years and close to 400,000 miles with the same carrier.

1. Total compensation package including CPM , benefits, ancillary pay and retention incentives are 15 to 18 percent higher at the new company.

2. More miles, consistently longer loads with less sitting and more accurate scheduling.

Since our work and ultimately our pay is based upon how many miles in loads we complete, it's crucial that we have the highest volume of loads and miles possible. As a driver, say that I need to have 24days running before home time. I want to be able to accomplish 12 to 14k miles in those days, the quickest way to accomplish that is by having the longest loads with the least wasted time. In our industry, if the truck isn't moving, we're loosing money.

3. Less restrictive policies and less corporate over reach. Again, referring to points one and two, if my truck, which is my tool to earn, is laden down with restrictive safety equipment, and governed slower, in the right environment, it reduces the amount of miles and thus loads I can complete per week, month and year. While probably not significant until a driver is capable and has the available freight to run, after a few years of experience it can make a 10 to 15 percent difference, especially in long runs on open highways.

When policies become the metrics for performance instead of being on time/early and simply completing the highest volume of safe miles and loads, it reduces overall compensation because we're not compensated by adherence to policy, again, we're compensated for completed loads safely.

Everyone is different and has different drives and motivations. Some, the medical benefits may be a priority, others may be flexibility of hometime, still others may be a combination of things. My personal motivation is volume of miles and pay package so that my time is at maximum efficiency. It's a very quick pace that is not necessarily everyone's cup of tea.

Although it's anecdotal, most grumbling I hear about is lack of miles and lack of pay from others. They also tend to view promotion programs and complex bonus structure as gimmicks. The simpler, although elusive solution is to get higher pay packages and more consistent miles.

double-quotes-end.png

I don’t want to hijack this thread so Davy if you answer you can start a new thread if you want.

Pretty big news from you. What company are you moving to and what is their limited speed?

I'll post once it's complete and the dust settled, it's not finalized in my mind until I'm doing my first load for them. Time will tell if it's a good fit and matches my goals for the foreseeable future. Holler at me and I'll fill you in.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
Time will tell if it's a good fit and matches my goals for the foreseeable future.

That's a great response from Davy. In trucking when we start something new it is almost always exciting at the beginning. That's why the lease operators who brag about their great income are always the new ones. They haven't been in it long enough to realize all that comes with the territory.

Everyone here is interested in Davy's success and enjoyment of his career. I wish him all kinds of success and have no doubt in his ability to be the best. He's got the kind of drive in him to reach those goals.

He's obviously been doing what it takes to be top tier at Knight. This freight market is tough. It affects everybody industry wide. Hopefully we're in the beginnings of a turnaround.

Go get em Davy! I have no doubt Knight will miss your willingness and ability to "git er done."

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Everyone here is interested in Davy's success and enjoyment of his career. I wish him all kinds of success and have no doubt in his ability to be the best. He's got the kind of drive in him to reach those goals.

I agree wholeheartedly. I hope Davy finds nothing but the best, and I believe he will because he's driven, he understands how business works, and he's shown a willingness to focus on finding solutions to his problems.

There is a stark contrast in the approach that terminal rats take versus top-tier drivers, and that's most apparent in their focus. Terminal rats focus on complaining, blaming, and criticizing, whereas top-tier drivers focus on being more productive, overcoming challenges, and counting their blessings. Davy is quite obviously top-tier.

I'm anxious to hear about this move myself, Davy. I'll be excited to hear more when you're able to share it.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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