Podcasts have become extremely popular over the years. It seems like nowadays there’s a podcast for everything, from true crime investigation to industry-specific topics like truck driver recruiting and retention.  

 

Listening to podcasts from industry experts who explore emerging trends and technologies is a great way to get insight into the future of trucking while engaging in accessible and easy professional development.  

 

Transportation and logistics podcasts explore many topics, including:  

  • Industry News   
  • Product Reviews   
  • Safety Tips  
  • Logistics & Fleet Management 
  • Legislation Affecting Trucking 
  • Recruiting Strategies
     

Keep reading to find out Drive My Way’s top 6 podcasts to develop and refine recruiting strategies while staying ahead of the curve on dynamic industry trends.  

 

6 of Our Favorite Trucking Podcasts 
 

Beyond the Rig  

If you’re looking for a tell-it-like-it-is podcast from an experienced trucker’s perspective, then Beyond the Rig might be the perfect choice. Hosted by Will Phipps and Linda Dominy, Beyond the Rig is an entertaining podcast full of interviews, industry topics, and real-world stories of life on the road as a trucker.  

 

Everything is Logistics   

Everything is Logistics is a podcast by Digital Dispatch, an all-in-one platform for companies within the logistics industry. With a target audience of “the thinkers in freight,” this podcast covers topics including how to navigate supply chain management, how to market in an AI world, how to become a freight agent, and more.   

 

FreightWaves: Taking the Hire Road   

FreightWaves focuses on the global freight market and provides high-frequency data for the global supply chain on pricing and more.  

 

In their podcast entitled Taking the Hire Road, host and DriverReach founder Jeremy Reymer explores some of the key factors impacting driver recruitment and retention with a wide range of industry experts and professionals from the trucking industry.  

 

In the recent episode, “Who’s The Happiest Driver On The Road?”, guest-host Leah Shaver, President and CEO of the National Transportation Institute, dives into Drive My Way’s recent Driver Happiness Survey and the power of mentorship programs throughout the trucking industry.   

 

Drive My Way President and CEO Beth Potratz said of the Driver Happiness Survey: “There’s a couple really interesting tidbits in the survey results. They generally have to do with differences in the age gap on where the driver sits in terms of what generation they come from. We’re now seeing a different set of expectations starting to evolve from the millennials which is kind of interesting. I also would say, happy drivers, and they are out there, are really three times more likely to recommend their fleet to folks than unhappy drivers are.”  

 

What the Truck?!?  

According to Apple Podcasts, “WHAT THE TRUCK?!? is FreightWaves’ irreverent award-winning podcast breaking down the biggest stories in transportation and logistics.” On this podcast you’ll hear from some of the biggest voices in the trucking industry speak on issues such as supply chain disruptions, the freight economy, and more.   

 

The Logistics of Logistics    

The Logistics of Logistics is a podcast hosted by industry expert Joe Lynch, where he interviews founders, executives, and innovators who are shaping the future of transportation and logistics. Some of the topics include technology, warehousing, supply chain, and e-commerce.  

In one of the most recent episodes, titled The Right Fit for Drivers, Joe Lynch sat down with Beth Potratz of Drive My Way to discuss personalizing recruiting efforts to optimize your reach and retention rates.  

 

Truck N’ Hustle  

If you are an entrepreneur looking to break into the logistics and transportation industry, then Truck N’ Hustle is an excellent option for your next podcast to binge. Deemed the “number one transportation and logistics podcast in the world,” join renowned host and trucking entrepreneur Rahmel Wattley as he uncovers the newest trends and breaking stories from the world of transportation. With special guests who discuss issues ranging from building companies from scratch to the future of self-driving trucks, Truck N´ Hustle is a fast-paced and exciting podcast for any trucking professional.  

 

What podcasts do you listen to? Were there others that you think should have made our list? Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to let us know what podcasts should be on our radar for 2024.  

2024 is shaping up to be a true test of perseverance for every individual in the transportation and logistics industry. 

 

Facing a post-pandemic freight recession, shortage of qualified drivers, and ongoing supply chain disruptions, transportation companies worldwide will need to focus on streamlining operations and optimizing output in order to stay competitive in today’s global market.  

 

These circumstances can be especially difficult and detrimental for small, private carriers that don’t have as many resources or margin for error as larger companies. The first two years of the pandemic also saw many new carriers flood the market due to the freight boom, so the coming year will continue to reveal how many of these businesses are able to withstand economic uncertainty.  

 

While today’s market may seem daunting for small freight carriers, there are many resources available to help them navigate these challenging times. Keep reading to find out where to find these resources, and how they could benefit your business.  

 

Government Assistance Programs  

According to the World Economic Forum, direct government grants and zero-interest loans are the most helpful tool for small businesses facing economic uncertainty. It might feel challenging to ask for help, but there are many government assistance programs that exist entirely to support small businesses during economic hardship.  

 

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has been especially beneficial in promoting entrepreneurship throughout the US by providing limited small business grants for qualifying organizations that have struggled post-pandemic.  

 

Consider looking into the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program, which is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive and ability for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. The loan can be used on payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities, although at least 60% of the loan must be used for payroll in order to be forgiven.  

 

The government’s post-pandemic economic assistance programs are also important resources to research. Although some are no longer active, the Economic Industry Disaster Loan is still assisting small businesses that have suffered economic harm from the impacts of the pandemic. The maximum loan amount available is $2 million, which can be used for payroll, fixed debts, accounts payable, and any other bill that is unable to be paid due to the pandemic’s impact.  

 

Industry Associations  

Another valuable strategy to help small carriers safeguard against economic hardship is to join industry associations. Organizations such as the American Trucking Association (ATA) are designed to provide access to industry-specific information, networking opportunities, and a platform for carriers to advocate for their interests. A great way to start is to become a member of one of ATA’s  50 unique State Associations, which give members the chance to discuss local legislation and foster connections statewide.  

 

Other options include becoming a member of  The National Association of Small Trucking Companies which serves as an advocate for, a consultant to, and a source of collective buying power for its member companies, helping them save money. The Owner-Operator Independent Driver Association is another organization that offers members a platform for advocacy, a chance to learn about the newest industry updates, and the opportunity to receive exclusive deals and rebates.  

 

Technology and Efficiency Improvements  

Small carriers should also regularly conduct operational reviews to identify areas where they can improve their efficiency and reduce costs. By analyzing operational data and key performance indicators (KPIs), carriers can gain insight into what goals are being met and where new technology could improve operational efficiency.  

 

Consider implementing technology such as route optimization software and telematics to save time, lower fuel costs, and improve customer satisfaction. Route optimization software works uses algorithms to determine the most efficient route, considering factors such as delivery-time windows, total number and locations of required stops, driver schedules, and more.  

 

Telematics can help carriers to improve driver safety, reduce accidents, and lower insurance costs by providing real-time tracking of vehicles and monitoring of driver behavior. By investing in technology to improve overall operational efficiency, the up-front cost will be more than worth it in the long run.  

 

Other Resources  

Finally, carriers can benefit from other online industry specific resources, such as FTR and Freightwaves, to name a few.  These resources provide valuable data on economic forecasts and will help you prepare for likely market changes.  

 

In addition to keeping ahead of market changes, successful organizations make attracting and retaining top talent a priority. Drive My Way is now offering its own Small Fleet Plan to aid carriers in maximizing their brand reach and recruiting efforts. Through access to a large community of drivers and the use of advanced matching technology and digital marketing, Drive My Way’s plan can help carriers save time and money while attracting and retaining qualified drivers.  

 

While today’s highly competitive market might seem intimidating for small carriers, these resources can help any carrier find cost-effective solutions to their problems.  

 

For more strategies to save time and money while recruiting and retaining quality drivers, be sure to check out our Employer Blog or connect with us on social media 

The best way to increase driver retention rates, attract qualified candidates who are the right fit for your company, and boost overall employee satisfaction is to start by asking yourself: what do drivers want? 

 

We recently asked CDL drivers what they’re looking for from employers in 2024, and their answers might be more simple than you’d think. With responses such as better communication, dependable equipment, and increased pay, these drivers proved that it’s more important than ever to show your drivers that you are listening and willing to prioritize what they value. 

 

If you consider actual driver needs in your recruitment efforts, while creating a company culture of support and appreciation, you are likely to increase the scope of your applicant pool and decrease driver turnover rates. Keep reading to learn what CDL drivers are looking for from employers this year, and how to utilize evolving industry trends to take this into account and stay ahead of the curve.  

 

Competitive Pay  

The trucking industry might be ever-evolving, but one concern will always remain on the top of the list for drivers. In 2024, CDL drivers will continue to view competitive pay as a major differentiating factor when applying for jobs. Drivers want to feel like their time and hardwork are valued fairly, so by providing an increase in base compensation and benefits, you will attract more qualified candidates and stand out among your competition.  

 

In recent years, sign-on bonuses and benefit packages have continued to increase in value nationwide, a trend that will likely continue in the new year. Throughout 2023, some carriers paid as much as $200-$500 per day of driver orientation. This is a steep increase from the long standing industry standard of $100 per day.   

 

Beyond base pay, these are some of the added benefits that drivers will care about most in 2024: 

  • Affordable insurance and retirement plans 
  • Paid time off 
  • Salary bonuses for safety records, taking more difficult routes, or meeting mile goals 
  • Sign-on and referral bonuses 
  • Scholarships for CDL training or for further education  

 

Communication & Listening 

An increase in base compensation recently topped the list of driver concerns in Drive My Way’s 2023 Driver Happiness Report, which collected the responses of over 500 drivers nationwide. However, nearly 10% of surveyed drivers also answered that an increase in employer communication and listening would improve their satisfaction and workplace happiness.  

 

If you’re looking to recruit and retain quality drivers in 2024, start by showing your drivers that you value their opinions. Conducting frequent surveys and one-on-one meetings are great ways to gain employee feedback, but it’s essential to demonstrate your commitment to your drivers by actively using this feedback to adjust company policies.  

 

Frequent touchpoints are the best way to check in with drivers to ensure that they feel listened to and that their feedback has an impact. Truck driving can be an isolating career, so it’s important to make sure each driver feels like they are part of a larger team, whether they’ve worked at the company for 6 months or 6 years.  

 

Transparency 

When looking for a job in 2024, CDL drivers value honesty and transparency more than ever. In today’s highly competitive market, drivers want to know what benefits are offered, what the application and onboarding process is like, and if there are any minimum requirements that need to be met.  

 

Keep in mind the type of driver you are looking for when launching your driver recruiting campaign. Researching and understanding this persona will help you reach your target audience, and will also enable you to provide what that driver is seeking. For example, if your carrier allows pets or partner driving, mention that in your recruiting efforts. Even if some candidates aren’t looking for this benefit, those who are will be more inclined to apply.  

 

Safety First 

Every driver wants to feel like their employer values their safety above anything else. In a career as potentially dangerous as truck driving, drivers want to feel like their employer always has their best interests in mind.  

 

Safety begins from day one, by conducting proper training programs during orientation and beyond. Safety regulations and protocol should be clear, accessible, and always up to date. Make sure your drivers understand the hours-of-service regulations, as well as the importance of quality rest and break time.  

 

Today’s CDL drivers are also making clear that mental health is just as important as physical health. In fact, a 2018 study appearing in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found that the prevalence of depression in truck drivers is 13.6%, nearly double the rate found in the American public.  

 

There are many ways to prioritize and protect your drivers’ mental health, including providing mentor programs, online resources, and company counselors. By putting your drivers’ health first, you will show your dedication to being a driver-centric company, and your commitment to the well-being of every employee.  

 

 

By demonstrating your commitment to addressing CDL drivers’ top concerns, you will boost your recruitment efforts, decrease turnover rates, and foster a positive working environment. 

 

If you’re looking for more advice on bolstering your driver recruiting and retaining efforts, be sure to check out our Employer Blog, or follow us on social media 

When recruiting CDL drivers in today’s highly competitive market, it’s important to make every minute count. From the initial review of an application to the end of the onboarding and driver orientation processes, being efficient and effective with your time will save you money and maximize your success in hiring and retaining quality drivers.  

 

There are many tips and tricks to streamline the hiring process and ensure the best experience for each candidate, from start to finish. Keep reading to learn how to integrate this advice into your recruiting efforts, and you might be surprised by how quickly you see results! 

 

Creating the Best Candidate Experience 

Although a streamlined hiring process will save your company time and money, your goal should still always be centered around providing the best experience for every applicant. If a driver feels valued and supported from day one, they are much more likely to continue through the hiring process and become a committed employee. 

 

Develop a strategy for hiring that takes into account each driver’s unique background while ensuring every candidate receives the same level of attention and support. Having a strategy in place will also help keep everyone in the hiring department on the same page, so candidates don’t have to repeat information or parts of the process.  

 

The first step in any hiring strategy should be connecting with a candidate as soon as they express interest. The longer a driver waits, the higher the chance that they will find another opportunity with a different carrier. Make sure that each candidate has the option to provide multiple forms of contact on an application so they can be easily reached by phone call, text, or email.  

 

Frequent touchpoints are beneficial to display your commitment to a candidate and will help keep them in the loop. The first point of communication should act as a preliminary screening, where you explain job requirements, criteria, and clarify any questions the driver has. At the end of each communication, explain what the candidate can anticipate for the next steps, and when you’ll be in touch again.  

 

Internal Organization  

Setting expectations and maintaining communication with every member of the hiring team is essential to streamlining the hiring process. Drivers will quickly lose interest if they are unable to easily schedule interviews, submit important documents, or receive updates on their progress.  

 

Because a lot of today’s recruiting and hiring is now held remotely,  a clearly defined process, roles, and repsonsibilites across your organization will make the process smoother for everyone involved. When it comes to steps which require the coordination of multiple members of the hiring team, such as interviewing, planning ahead is a must.  

 

Make sure that interview appointments are widely available enough to provide flexibility for candidates, and that the scheduling process is easy and straightforward. It might help to block off a certain amount of time each week for hiring managers to conduct interviews, making it easier to count on regular availability and reduce scheduling conflicts.  

 

When speaking over the phone, you should aim to directly warm transfer candidates to the hiring manager to schedule interviews. This ensures that the candidate doesn’t have to repeat information, and demonstrates the commitment of the whole team to the hiring process. If direct connection is impossible, try creating a link where the candidate can schedule interviews themselves. CDL drivers are busy, so this allows them to check their availability and decide on their own time.  

 

It’s also important to always come prepared to every stage of the hiring process. Before speaking with a candidate, make sure to have all the information needed from the safety and insurance teams on minimum criteria for hiring. For example, if there is a strict age requirement for insurance purposes, it’s much better to be up front to drivers.  

 

Background Checks and Clearinghouse 

Since the start of the pandemic, the alcohol/drug clearinghouse and background check stage of the hiring process has often taken longer on average. Although wait times have been decreasing recently, it can still sometimes take up to two weeks to complete this important step.  

 

Although there isn’t anything you can do to speed up processing times, preparing ahead and maintaining organization will help you move as fast as possible. As soon as you know you’ll be moving forward with the candidate, make sure they’re registered and up to date with the clearinghouse.  

 

Since there are criteria in place to regulate truck driver hiring nationwide, it’s important to be mindful of what each driver needs to complete their file. Each time you touch base with a candidate, confirm what documents and information you have on record, and what you still require.  

 

 

Hiring CDL drivers is an extensive process, and as a recruiter, this makes your time very valuable. However, it’s also important to remember that any time invested in a quality candidate is time well spent, even if the match isn’t perfect at the time.  

 

If there is a certain requirement an otherwise perfect candidate doesn’t meet, such as minimum age or experience level, be sure to keep in contact with them periodically through email or social media, until a spot has opened up or they meet the hiring criteria. 

 

For more advice on the hiring process and how to recruit and retain quality drivers, be sure to check out our Employer Blog, or follow us on social media! 

With over 750,000 active trucking companies in the U.S., according to the American Trucking Associations (ATA), there is a lot of pressure to offer unique benefits to attract top tier, quality drivers. One benefit that more carriers are offering is paid CDL training. Paid CDL training is a distinct way to differentiate yourself from other carriers and stand out to new drivers who are interested in a career in truck driving.  

What Is Paid CDL Training?  

Paid CDL training is a program adopted by a freight carrier to pay for drivers’ initial training and CDL certification, in exchange for some commitment to the company following the conclusion of the program. Generally, most carriers require a minimum of 6 months and up to several years commitment if a driver engages in their paid CDL training. Some companies offer the paid CDL training in-house, whereas some pay for the training through a third-party training program.  

When offering paid CDL training it is important to clarify whether the company will cover the costs of the training, or if the driver will be expected to reimburse the company through paycheck deductions once hired. Many drivers will not understand the difference coming in, so it is vital that this information is provided upfront.  

What Are the Benefits of Offering Paid CDL Training? 

Most carriers that offer paid CDL training find it to be extremely beneficial in building a strong team of drivers. Companies that have a large fleet generally gravitate towards company paid CDL training as it ensures a pool of available candidates, eager to begin their career in trucking and ready to get on the road as soon as they graduate.  

Paid CDL training is not only a great tool for recruitment, but it can be seen as a huge benefit to many new truck drivers who are not sure where to begin their career in trucking. Many enjoy the prospect of knowing they will have a job immediately upon graduation and having guidance through the process of attaining their CDL.  

Carriers That Are Helping to Pay for CDL Endorsements 

Carriers that help pay for CDL endorsements often find that their retention rate increases, as does company morale. Offering beneficial programs like paid training show prospective and current employees how much the company cares about building a successful team and keeping them around for the long haul.  

There are many carriers offering to pay for CDL endorsements including, but not limited to:  

  • Sysco Asian Foods 
  • Swift Transportation  
  • Maverick Transportation  
  • XPO Logistics  
  • C.R. England Global Transporation  

Offering paid CDL training has several pros and cons but could ultimately be a solid strategy for ensuring your team has an ongoing influx of experienced drivers coming onboard after receiving their CDL endorsements. For more tips on the best recruiting and retention practices in trucking, make sure to check out our blog.  

 

Nearly every truck driver can tell a story about taking a job with a company that does not provide them with the tools and resources they need to be successful. Whether it’s poorly maintained trucks or a confusing onboarding process, there are some clear indicating factors that will impact a company’s driver retention rate. Truck driving is already a stressful occupation, which is why drivers will not hesitate to change companies if they feel their needs are not being met.  

To ensure that your company has a strong driver retention rate, you should set your drivers up for success from the moment they first apply to work for you. 

Clear Application & Onboarding Processes: Long applications, lack of response, or being treated like a number are several reasons drivers have cited about why they decided to join another company. To keep quality drivers, you must first be able to hire and onboard them successfully, which is why this step is so critical. Work with your recruiting department to ensure that there are clear goals about responding to drivers in a timely manner, making them feel welcome, and following up regularly during the process. Solid communication during this initial phase of employment lays the foundation for the drivers’ experience with your company as a whole. It is also advisable to have a driver mentor program to help facilitate a new driver’s experience once they join the team.  

Set Realistic Delivery Goals: Once drivers have joined your team there are several areas that they may run into issues while working, but we have noticed the top one is related to delivery. Many shipping companies set timelines that are extremely tight providing truck drivers with little room for error. Delivery times can be impacted by many factors including traffic and weather, so it is important to give drivers some flexibility to account for unexpected events. The last thing your company needs is drivers driving recklessly to meet tight deadlines.  

Providing Resources for Mental & Physical Health: Truck driving takes a toll on a person’s body both mentally and physically, which is why providing resources for your drivers is a key way to help set them up for success. Health issues common amongst truck drivers include stress, high blood pressure, obesity, depression, lack of sleep, and more. To mitigate these issues, it is worth providing benefits that allow drivers to take better care of their health including insurance, gym memberships, schedules that allow for sufficient rest, and paid time off. Companies can also provide equipment to help trucks become more comfortable including seat cushions which provide lumbar support.  

Balance Home Time with Time on the Road: Another way companies can help drivers be more successful and lead a healthier, happier life is by balancing time at home, with time on the road. As mentioned above, depression is one of the biggest issues facing truck drivers today and it is largely due to the amount of time spent alone. To help your drivers combat loneliness, it is important to make sure their schedule does not keep them away from home for weeks at a time and that they have plenty of breaks to communicate with their families.   

Regularly Maintain Trucks & Equipment: Deliveries are only possible if drivers can arrive at their destination safely and without issue. Drivers are often faced with trucks and other equipment that is not functioning properly. To ensure your team is able to do their jobs successfully, maintaining trucks and equipment regularly is a must.  

The market for experienced and quality truck drivers remains competitive, which is why it is vital to consider new and innovative ways to increase driver retention. For more tips on how to increase driver retention, make sure to check out our blog for employers regularly.  

Commercial truck driving is one of the most dangerous jobs in America. It’s also one of the most important, with drivers across the nation responsible for transporting over 70% of the United States’ freight.  

 

Each year, Truck Driver Appreciation Week provides the perfect opportunity to recognize and celebrate the tireless commitment of commercial drivers around the country. Here at Drive My Way, we’ve noticed that many of our clients have found creative and thoughtful ways to uplift their drivers with fun gifts, exciting games, and heartfelt messages. 

 

Keep reading to find out how our clients are shining the spotlight on their drivers this appreciation week, and how to keep the recognition going all year round. 

Goody Bags, Prizes, and More! 

Presents don’t have to be limited to birthdays or the holiday season any more! This September 10-16, many companies will provide their drivers with unique merchandise, useful tools, or fun swagto show their appreciation. A personalized gift is a thoughtful way to reward drivers for their hard work and show that you care.  

Company merchandise is a great way to show drivers how important they are to the mission, such as Go-To Transport’s tumbler.

This year, drivers at Go-To Transport can look forward to receiving a fun collection of company merchandise from display tables set up at their locations throughout the country. A Go-To tumbler, pen, and personal thank you card will be available to every company driver that stops by throughout the week. Drivers will also be able to choose between either a baseball cap, beanie, or a hoodie, depending on supplies.  

 

Drivers for NFI Industries are sure to enjoy choosing from a wide range of fun gear this appreciation week too. With locations across the country and over 4,500 drivers and contractors nationwide, NFI has stepped up by offering company hats, shirts, duffle bags, lunch boxes, and more!  

 

Meanwhile, Schwend, Inc. is utilizing its four locations across the South to set up stations for drivers to receive goody bags and door prizes this appreciation week. Prizes will range from Schwend merchandise to tickets for a weekend vacation!  

At each location, Schwend will also be setting up a breakfast and lunch serving station, where drivers can receive a home cooked meal each day of appreciation week. But for any driver that isn’t able to make it to a company terminal, there’s no need to worry! Schwend will offer to cover a few meals throughout the week for any driver out on the road.  

 

Do Something Nice 

You can never say ‘thank you’ too often. For many commercial truck drivers, they don’t hear it enough. This Driver Appreciation Week, show your team how much you care by sending out a thoughtful message or organizing an exciting event.  

 

The management team at Go-To Transport has been busy working with their marketing division to create a video of thank you messages for drivers to go on company social media pages. Hearing words of appreciation directly from management helps keep drivers invested in the company mission by highlighting the direct impact they have through their hard work.  

 

At NFI, it’s clear they know food is the way to everyone’s heart. Besides offering catered breakfast and lunch throughout the week, the company will be holding BBQ cookouts and picnics with food trucks, snow cone trucks, and raffle giveaways to celebrate their hardworking drivers across the country. 

 

At Schwend, their late summer employee appreciation picnics act as an extension of Driver Appreciation Week each year with cash prizes, CB radio giveaways, games, and more. Held at their Jasper, TN, and Dade City, FL, terminals, the picnics are open for all Schwend employees, but focus on drivers and their families.  

 

Truck Driver Appreciation Week is an annual reminder of the dedication, sacrifice, and commitment of commercial drivers across the nation. It’s a time to recognize and celebrate drivers, and to highlight the incredible contributions they make each day to the economy and our way of life.  

Drive My Way is proud of our clients and the efforts they make each year to acknowledge the hard work of their drivers.  

 

If your company celebrates Driver Appreciation Week in a unique way, or you’d like to be featured in more stories like this in the future, be sure to reach out to us on social media 

 

Driver retention is one of the most important, and sometimes most challenging, parts of the recruiting process. With the current driver shortage and evolving recruiting practices, it’s more imperative than ever to stay ahead of the curve and keep your drivers safe, satisfied, and engaged.  

 

One sure fire way to foster a team environment, while improving driver safety and retention rates, is to create a driver mentor program. By pairing new hires with more experienced team members, you can show your drivers that you appreciate their work and are willing to invest in them. In addition, mentoring relationships at any stage of your career can help you achieve personal and professional development goals, such as learning a new skill, strengthening a competency, or becoming more productive, just to name a few. Keep reading to find out why a mentor program could be the best move for your company.  

 

Mentor vs. Manager: What’s the Difference? 

You might be asking yourself: what’s the point of a mentor when you have a great team of managers on the payroll? Mentors play a less formal role, allowing management to maintain the necessary level of professionalism. A mentor gives new drivers a chance to ask questions they might not be comfortable asking managers, and takes the pressure off while they are initially familiarizing themselves with company protocols. Mentoring is open and collaborative relationship between a mentor and mentee that is built on trust.  The relationship is defined by both parties. It can be formal or informal.  

 

Engagement is the key to learning and development and being involved in a mentoring relationship can be quite profound as both mentors and mentees make themselves vulnerable, trusting in the process as they confidentially share insecurities, struggles ,mistakes, and valuable learnings with each other. It’s a level of transparency that makes this experience unique and helps accelerate one’s personal and professional development. Having a strong mentoring program not only helps to engage and advance women in the organization, it builds supportive relationships and fosters a culture of learning.” 

—Beth Potratz, President and CEO, Drive My Way 

  

What Are the Benefits? 

By instating a driver mentor program, you aren’t just helping your newest team members. You are also helping the experienced drivers who become mentors, as well as your company as a whole!  

 

For the mentee, the benefits cannot be understated.  

  • A low pressure way to learn about company culture and expectations.  
  • Access to an experienced driver’s tips, tricks, and advice.  
  • Guidance whenever they have questions.  

 

At the same time, experienced drivers who take on the responsibility of becoming a mentor will experience benefits too.  

  • A chance to progress their career by developing coaching skills.  
  • Increased pay or other company incentives. 
  • The feeling of company recognition for being selected in this important role.  

 

Besides increased retention rates, there are other ways a mentor program can benefit your company 

  • Lower your insurance rates with safer drivers.  
  • Foster a team environment through increased positivity and communication.  
  • Save money on training seminars.  

 

Changing the Face of Trucking, One Mentor at a Time 

Driver mentor programs also offer another benefit, one that will help in developing the entire trucking industry. As more women and members of underrepresented communities enter the field, mentors are a great way to ensure they receive the support and guidance they need while forging new paths in the industry.  

 

Organizations such as Women In Trucking (WIT) offer their own mentorship opportunities, including their Mentor Match Program and online community platform Engage. Through these programs, WIT promotes connection, support, and mentoring for women entering the field and offers a chance for experienced drivers to give back.  

 

Although programs like these are changing the trucking industry, there is no better way to support your drivers than by starting at a company level. A driver mentor program demonstrates to these employees that you appreciate and prioritize them, enabling you to grow your fleet while attracting top talent from diverse backgrounds.  

 

 

Driver mentor programs are a great way to save money and time while demonstrating to your drivers that their success is your top priority. Mentors also encourage diversity and growth in an evolving industry and are becoming an important differentiating factor in today’s highly competitive market.  

 

We’d love to hear any mentor success stories, or lessons you’ve learned while pairing up drivers, so be sure to reach out to us on social media! 

Truck driving is a career that is not for the faint of heart. With long hours, physical demands, and the stress of working on the road, it goes without saying that truck drivers are some of the hardest workers out there. Not only is truck driving a strenuous job, but it is also a vital one. Without the dedication of America’s truck drivers, communities across the nation would go without necessary goods; from food to clothing, truck drivers are the cornerstone of transportation in this country. For this and many other reasons, we honor our truck drivers every year during National Truck Driver Appreciation Week.  

History of National Truck Driver Appreciation Week  

According to the American Trucking Associations (ATA), National Truck Driver Appreciation Week is a time for Americans to show gratitude to the millions of truck drivers who make sure goods are delivered to communities across the country. This program is an annual celebration that was started by the ATA in 1988 to recognize the vital role that truck drivers play in our supply chain and economy. To put it into perspective, at least 80% of communities throughout the U.S. rely on trucks to meet their freight transportation needs. This year, National Truck Driver Appreciation Week is September 10th –16th 

 

Best Ways to Celebrate Your Drivers During National Truck Driver Appreciation Week  

There are many wonderful appreciation ideas for celebrating your drivers during National Truck Driver Appreciation Week. From bonuses to free lunches, these gestures go a long way in showing gratitude for your drivers. Some other creative ways to celebrate your drivers include:  

Ask Your Drivers: One of the best ways to celebrate your team is asking for their feedback. By having an open dialogue with your drivers, you can see the areas where the company is excelling, and the areas that could use improvement. Perhaps your drivers would benefit from the use of new technology. Do you have a bonus structure in place? Even new seats in their trucks could go a long way in showing that you value your drivers’ well-being. By asking them what would make their job more comfortable, you not only are able to show appreciation, but also demonstrate that their opinion has an impact on the company as a whole.  

Survival Kits: Way cooler than a gift basket, survival kits are a creative way to put together items that your drivers can use while they are on a haul. From healthy snacks to new tech, a truck driver survival kit is a fun gift that shows your team that you value their hard work and are dedicated to providing them with tools they need to continue to do their job well.  

Family Time: Truck driving is demanding physically, but it is also draining emotionally. Many drivers spend weeks at a time away from their families, which is tough. A great way to show appreciation for drivers is to include extra time with family. Whether that is an extra day off, family company events, or the option to bring your family on the road, these gestures mean the world to drivers. This story, shared on Healthy Trucking of America, highlights the ups and downs of having a parent that is an OTR driver. By ensuring that your drivers have a healthy work-life balance and plenty of time to spend with family, you can not only increase driver retention, but show your team that you genuinely care about them having quality time to spend with their spouses and children.  

 

Showing Gratitude for Your Drivers Year-Round  

While showing your gratitude to your drivers during National Truck Driver Appreciation Week is a wonderful gesture, year-round appreciation is an important tool for companies to invest time and energy into, so they can increase driver retention. For additional truck driver appreciation ideas, download our Quick Guide to Truck Driver Appreciation 

 

What are some ways your company shows appreciation for your drivers during National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, or year-round? Connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram; we would love to hear from you!  

If the ongoing  shortage of truck drivers  has made one thing clear, it’s that recruiting and retaining drivers is more important than ever. Hiring, training, and retaining dedicated drivers is crucial to finding success in today’s economy, and it all starts with the recruitment of the right candidates for the job.  

Struggling to attract talent or recruit them into your organization? Wondering how to meet the demands of the market and stay competitive in an ever-changing industry? These 4 tips are sure to help you set your organization up for success when recruiting truck drivers.  

  1. Make Your Marketing Driver-Centric

In today’s world, drivers look to the regular marketing channels to find information about prospective companies and fleets. This means that good recruitment strategies begin with strong marketing and carefully curated content.  

What kinds of content currently exist on the company website and social media pages? Information about how successful a company is won’t be of much interest to a potential employee. It’s important to highlight driver-centric content, or the kinds of benefits a driver can receive from your company.  

Ultimately, a driver wants to know that the company will treat their drivers with care and provide the benefits they are looking for.  

Highlight any wellness programs or culture initiatives that differentiate your company from the competition. Providing information on schedules, work-life balance, and fleet amenities can help drivers see how much you care. Including testimonials from current, satisfied employees builds trust and offers the real insight drivers are looking for.  

Remember, drivers are always wondering “what can they do for me?” Driver-centric marketing will leave no doubt in their mind that you’re the right company for them.  

  1. Target the Right Audience 

Before you start moving prospective drivers through the recruitment pipeline, you have to be sure you’re selecting from the best pool of candidates for the job.  

Many driving fleets have very specific needs and requirements that not all candidates are ideal for. Knowing how to target the right segment of candidates will make the process more efficient and effective.  

Databases allow you to select drivers based on driver type, years of experience, haul experience, geographical location, and other factors. Focusing on any of these segments early in the recruiting process can save you time and energy. It will also increase the overall effectiveness of the company. By not optimizing this stage of recruitment, you could potentially lose hours chasing leads which were never well suited for that particular fleet or job.  

If you don’t have an easy or effective way to browse data on prospective drivers, Drive My Way can help you target the specific segment of drivers needed for your particular situation.  

  1. Use the Latest Digital Recruiting Methods

Driver recruitment methods are constantly changing, so it’s important to stay up to date with the latest and most effective strategies. Social media continues to evolve as a tool, and drivers use these platforms to research companies, read comments, and evaluate employers. Since drivers are often on the road, they’ll use their mobile devices to search for job leads.  

When viewers like, follow, share, or comment on your content, it can increase the audience exponentially. But advertising job postings on social media channels isn’t enough to attract the talent you’re looking for.  

Post engaging content on your platforms which drivers will want to view. In addition, search engine optimization of your content will ensure that your website is receiving as much traffic as possible. Use software like Google Analytics and Google Keyword Planner to optimize your post by including trending phrases and words.  

Applications should be short and mobile-friendly to avoid any bottlenecking in the recruiting process. Drivers often don’t have enough time to fill out a long application, so a shorter version with only basic information required is best initially, with the option to complete the remaining components later.  

It’s helpful to stay on top of the latest digital tools for recruiting and analyze which strategies could be useful for your company.   

  1. Re-engage Old Leads

In the trucking industry, the unusually high turnover rate of drivers poses a unique challenge for recruiters.  

One of the best ways a recruiter can continually bring people into the pipeline is by re-engaging old leads or cold leads.  

Many drivers who could be a perfect fit but were previously unavailable or chose to drive for a different fleet might be available and looking for opportunities again. Leads and prospects that have gone cold or did not convert into driver status should not be forgotten. Instead, keep them in mind for the future and maintain a connection.  

Drip marketing, engaging content on blogs, social media, and newsletters are all great strategies to stay connected to old leads and assure that your fleet remains fresh on their minds when they’re considering a new employer.  

 

 

While driver recruiting in the trucking industry can be daunting, many of the unique challenges you face can be combated by these solutions. Master these four tips to experience recruiting as it should be: easy, effective, and rewarding.