High Turn Over In Trucking?

Topic 4376 | Page 1

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SnakeSkin's Comment
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So from reading a few posts here as well as other sites I've found there's a rather high turn over for trucking jobs (which explains the quick hire process) but my question is why?

I understand that you're away from home 90% of the year (roughly) and so I know there's a toll on the home life, but is that really the only factor being played here? Or is that just the biggest one with a thousand little ones?

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar

So from reading a few posts here as well as other sites I've found there's a rather high turn over for trucking jobs (which explains the quick hire process) but my question is why?

I understand that you're away from home 90% of the year (roughly) and so I know there's a toll on the home life, but is that really the only factor being played here? Or is that just the biggest one with a thousand little ones?

One of the biggest factors is people have this glamorous idea of what they think truck driving is and even though we try and tell them they still have their own thoughts. When people find out what we said is true and it's actually a real job they are not so keen on travelling anymore.

And then there are some that come into trucking to support their families and they get out on the road and miss home and can't stand it and go back home to beg the job they left to take them back. Or they might find a local job working 12 to 14 hours a day unloading ltl freight and work 10 times as hard and still have no home life cause they go home and go straight to bed.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier
SnakeSkin's Comment
member avatar

Heh, I work that 12-14 hours a day now, and know exactly what you mean about working then sleep, wash, rinse, repeat. And that's driving too.

At least with trucking there's less down time then in a cab. And less people trying to throw up.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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It really does take a special person to thrive in the trucking industry. So by definition of "special", most people aren't cut out for it. I'd dare say an overwhelming number of people aren't cut out for it.

The conditions are really difficult. There's a lot of stress and very long days. You have erratic sleep patterns, tight schedules, and you're at the mercy of everything from traffic to weather, changing schedules to breakdowns, DOT officers to dock workers. There are a million variables that are constantly changing and they affect every aspect of your life out there.

You also have to be fiercely independent, highly motivated, and resourceful. It's more like running a business than it is having a job. You're constantly having to figure everything out yourself - how to setup your schedule, routing, fueling, rest breaks, and find parking when you need it. You're making a ton of decisions all the time, often on the fly, and you simply never know what lies around the next bend. You'll make a plan, have it messed up by things outside of your control, and then formulate a new plan about 50 times a week it seems.

Very few people are used to such a dynamic environment. Military personnel, entrepreneurs, and athletes are some of the people that thrive in this industry because it's so dynamic.

Then of course the time away from home, family, and friends. That's a complete life-changer for everyone, not just the driver. That can really take a toll on some families.

But like Tom Hanks said in "A League Of Their Own"...."The hard is what makes it great." If you're the type that loves an adventure and you want every day of your life to be completely unpredictable and endlessly challenging then trucking is one of the most fascinating and rewarding careers imaginable. There isn't anything that compares. But when you take a close look at the people around you, what percentage of our society would you say fits that description and would really thrive in that environment? Very few.

There are of course other factors that play into the turnover. The companies themselves create some of it with their policy changes, shortcomings in training & orientation procedures, trainers with abrasive personalities or no interest in teaching, and heavy recruiting of experienced drivers from other companies.

So there's really two types of turnover. There are drivers moving from company to company within the industry, and there are people that leave the industry altogether. Both types lead to a continuously strong demand for drivers, even in a very poor economy with few blue collar jobs left that pay a living wage. Unfortunately that loss of blue collar jobs has brought an influx of people into the trucking industry and prevented the demand for drivers from being strong enough to drive wages higher. So companies are always hiring because of the turnover, but they're not struggling so much to find drivers that they've had to raise wages in recent years.

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.

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