Employers put a lot of time and effort into hiring on new drivers and are always looking for ways to maximize the return on those hires. One way to keep trucks on the road longer each day is to leverage truck driving teams. Carriers often invest in the best trucks and equipment, pay premium rates, and give priority loads to team drivers. In return, they need those teams to be stable and hard-working.
Some teams are already established and join a carrier with their team truck driving partner. But not always. Some carriers choose to play match-maker and seek to put together teams from their current roster of drivers. In those situations, carriers find that selecting the right teams to drive tandem takes some additional driver assessments. Here are some key things to evaluate when assigning team truck driving partners.
When putting together team truck driving partners, compatibility is key. The drivers’ personalities need to be compatible.
If the drivers have too many significant differences, they’re going to have a difficult time driving as a team.
In addition, their personal habits must be similar. If one loves driving to loud rock music, and the other needs quiet to keep their concentration, it’s going to be tough spending extended hours in the cab together. If either driver travels with a pet, the other driver needs to be able to tolerate that. Additionally, drivers need to have a general ability to get along, so extreme differences in background, religious beliefs, or what they like to do in their down-time should also be part of the conversation when assigning teams.
Driving Style & Preferences
Team drivers need to have driving styles and preferences that work well together. Putting together two night owls or two early birds, and they’re not going to be able to stretch their time on the road. They need to be compatible when it comes to work ethics as well. If one on the team likes to take a lot of breaks, and the other only wants to stop once or twice per shift, they’re going to be at odds.
The team truck driving partners should agree about whether they are willing to drive on weekends and holidays.
Each driver needs to be willing to make compromises on things. Being too rigid will make for tension over the miles. Lastly, their driving skills and experience should be similar as well, though a new driver could benefit from working with a more experienced driver. This could make that newer driver better over the long haul.
Every carrier is looking to maximize the return of time and effort put into developing their drivers. Leveraging team drivers is a great way to do that. Using these helpful tips when assigning team truck driving partners, can provide an addition to your overall strategy to maximize resources and return on your investments. These team drivers can be a long-term solution that will greatly benefit any trucking company.