You can tell a lot about a carrier by how it treats its drivers. Turnover rate, industry reputation, and overall employee satisfaction are all important markers that can make or break a company in today’s competitive market.  


Although every truck driver brings unique experience and preferences to the table, there are some traits that all drivers look for in a good trucking job. By understanding and implementing these traits, employers can attract and retain top talent.  


Whether you are looking to improve your current operation or attract new drivers, keep reading to find out 5 traits that the best truck driving jobs have in common.  


Competitive pay and benefits 

It should not come as a surprise that the top priority for most drivers is receiving a competitive salary and compensation. Drivers remain in high demand as the industry-wide driver shortage continues, which means they can be selective when it comes to choosing a job. Offering fair pay and benefits is a fantastic way to attract talent and increase your standing in the industry.  


Although driver compensation always differs depending on many factors, there are other financial incentives that motivate current drivers and new applicants, such as sign-on bonuses and paid time off. Other incentives can include yearly raises to increase company loyalty and safe miles bonuses.  


Providing financial incentives and benefits like insurance shows that you value your drivers, which can lead to positive word-of-mouth recommendations. On the other hand, compensating your drivers below the industry standard is sure to raise red flags and impact your company’s reputation.  


Listening and communication  

Although fair pay remained drivers’ top concern in Drive My Way’s most recent Driver Happiness Survey, nearly 10% of surveyed drivers also answered that an increase in employer communication and listening would improve their satisfaction and workplace happiness.   


In the same survey, only 51% of drivers surveyed said they were happy at their jobs. Demonstrating your commitment to listening to your drivers’ needs and considering their opinions can have a dramatic impact on retention rates and overall employee satisfaction.  


Consider implementing programs to learn what could be improved at a management level, while giving drivers a chance to speak freely and be listened to. Driver engagement surveys, anonymous suggestion boxes, and regular one-on-one meetings are proven methods to foster open communication and demonstrate that management values drivers’ input.  


Home time and flexible scheduling  

One of the most difficult parts of any trucking job is the time away from home. Even local or regional drivers can spend most of the day away from home or work an irregular schedule due to delivery requirements.  


Although employers can’t change the rigid nature of shipping and delivery schedules, ensuring drivers have ample time off is a wonderful way to reward employees and increase satisfaction. For OTR drivers, who spend an average of 300 days (about 10 months) out of the year on the road, regularly scheduled home time can mean even more.  


If a driver has been on the road for days at a time, ideally they should be able to take a few days off. Allowing opportunities for drivers to choose their schedules and runs the longer they have been employed is also a strategy that can increase company loyalty and employee satisfaction.  


Quality equipment 

By investing in reliable, quality equipment and technology, you also invest in the safety and well-being of every driver on the team.  


Carriers don’t have to have the newest or most expensive models to provide a high-quality working environment for their drivers. Regular maintenance and adherence to safety regulations ensure that vehicles are dependable and minimize the risk of breakdowns or accidents. This not only enhances safety but also reduces downtime and stress for drivers. 

Additionally, investing in technology such as route optimization software and telematics can significantly improve drivers’ efficiency and job satisfaction. Route optimization software helps drivers navigate more efficiently, reducing travel time and fuel costs, while telematics provide real-time data on vehicle performance, enabling proactive maintenance and immediate issue resolution. 


Opportunities for growth  

If drivers feel as though an employer is committed to their continued growth and learning, they are more likely to perform better and remain at the company.  


From the start of the onboarding process, drivers should be aware of opportunities to receive further training, certifications, or internal promotions. Providing a clear path for career advancement not only boosts morale but also enhances drivers’ skills and expertise, benefiting both the employees and the company. Mentor programs are another great method to engage drivers and strengthen company culture while improving overall employee performance.  




Looking for more advice on how to best attract and retain qualified drivers to join your fleet? Head over to our Employer Blog posts or connect with us on social media to receive the newest updates on the trucking industry.