No Drivers – Big Problem… Bad Drivers – Bigger Problem

By Jack Whatley
President, The Transportation Guys

The global financial crisis really did a number on the trucking industry. Lost revenue. Lost drivers. Lost contracts. Trucks sitting empty.

We’re starting to bounce back in a lot of those areas. Freight orders are on the rise, but the resurgent economy has not brought the lost drivers back. In fact, it looks like they’re gone for good.

Experienced drivers retired in droves. Younger drivers who got laid off found jobs outside the industry and decided never to come back. And finally, young prospects who might have become drivers, decided to pursue other careers when there weren’t any trucking jobs to be had.

Who can blame them? You can’t blame them. All you can do is develop a new plan for attracting and retaining the right drivers that make sense for you, in this new trucking environment.

Because if you can't deliver all of your incoming freight orders, you are putting your company at serious risk…bottom line risk for years to come! And if you're hiring the wrong drivers, you've just multiplied your risk 10X.

Here are the most common dangerous causes that are putting trucking carriers are at risk:

#1. Not establishing or maintaining high company standards for driver qualification and performance. When the “product” is scarce it’s tempting to cut corners to get it any way you can. But when it comes to drivers, you cannot lower your hiring, performance and risk management standards just to let more drivers through the gate. It will eventually bite you in the behind.

#2. Failing to emphasize career opportunity in the hiring process. A lot of companies I work with emphasize their well-known brand or their welcoming corporate culture. Driver candidates don’t care about that…at least not at the hiring stage.

Driver candidates are looking for answers to career-oriented questions like “How much will I make?” "When can I get a raise?" and “How much time will I be away from my home and family?”

#3. Always working in “Reaction Mode” rather than being proactive about driver retention, screening, interviewing, and hiring. I don’t know how many calls I’ve received from company execs screaming, “I need two drivers FAST! I’ve got full trucks sitting waiting to be delivered! Help!”

Failing to plan is planning to fail. You have to have a system running 24/7 that delivers a consistent, predictable flow of quality candidates to your door. While at the same time militantly screening out the “bottom 20%” who will be nothing but trouble for your company. Otherwise you’ll be left holding the bag…or the truckload.

#4. Always thinking it terms of “cure” rather than “prevention”. Here’s what I mean by that. “Cure” is saying, “I need more drivers, let’s go attract, screen, interview, and hire some more. Which if you're not an online advertising expert, is not always easy to do.

If you don't know what you're doing, it can be very time-consuming, and very expensive. It’s like waiting until you’ve got heart disease and then saying, “Give me a triple bypass to fix it!”

“Prevention” is using driver recruiting systems that bring you new truck driver leads every week, building your house database of quality prospects. Along with using retention programs that help keep your current drivers with your company. So, you don’t need “emergency surgery” all the time. It’s like eating right and exercising so you never get heart disease in the first place!

So you just got a serious dose of reality. What's your next move? Want to put yourself in a great position of never having to scramble for drivers ever again, eliminating the risk of clients not getting their freight orders delivered, and leaving you for another carrier?

Get the details about this worsening situation, and discover your next steps for minimizing these factors in your company today. Request your free copy of our eye-opening white paper for trucking industry professionals..."How to Survive and Thrive in The Great Driver Shortage" at this website.