CDL driver onboarding

Onboarding is one of the most important parts of the recruiting process. It can convince a new driver to stay on the team for the next decade, or it can send them packing before their first shift begins.  


An effective onboarding process sets the tone for the entire driver experience, from the moment they’re hired to the long haul ahead. In a career like truck driving, the onboarding process is especially important to cover safety regulations, how to manage equipment, and the relationships between dispatch, management, and drivers.  


Wondering how to implement innovative onboarding techniques that engage truck drivers of all experience levels? Keep reading to find out what strategies to keep in mind to streamline your onboarding process and set your drivers up for success.  


Clear Communication is Key  

An effective onboarding process establishes clear communication channels from the start. Different drivers may prefer different methods of contact, so it helps to offer various channels such as phone calls, emails, text messages, and instant messaging apps. 


Some companies encourage communication by assigning a dedicated contact person to each driver. This personalized approach fosters trust and encourages open communication to address any questions or concerns drivers have throughout the process.  


Regular updates are essential to keep drivers informed about any changes or updates relevant to their role, and to ensure new hires feel quickly integrated into company culture. Frequent touchpoints also demonstrate transparency and help drivers stay engaged and prepared. 


It’s important to remember that communication goes both ways. This is why implementing feedback mechanisms, such as engagement surveys, suggestion boxes, or one-one-one meetings, shows drivers that their opinions are valued and can lead to improvements in communication and onboarding processes. 


Invest in Technology  

Integrating modern technology solutions is one of the best methods to streamline the onboarding process and make it easier for both drivers and employers. Reducing the time a driver spends completing the hiring and onboarding processes can have immediate payoffs by improving employee satisfaction and decreasing driver turnover.  


Manual paperwork is time-consuming and error-prone, and often results in drivers needing to rewrite the same information over and over. By implementing electronic document management systems, essential information can be gathered more efficiently and easily stored and retrieved.  


Applicant tracking systems also help to organize the onboarding process by centralizing important data and ensuring that each driver completes the required steps efficiently and effectively. These systems automate tasks such as collecting applicant information to repopulate other forms, saving drivers time and effort.  


Along with diminishing the time drivers spend filling out redundant data, applicant tracking systems can assist with scheduling interviews and conducting background checks, helping to streamline the hiring process and ensure compliance with hiring regulations.  


Another way technology can improve the onboarding process is by creating mobile-friendly options to submit and sign important documents, access digital training materials, and communicate with HR or mentors.  


A digital onboarding portal can provide new hires with centralized access to interactive training modules, orientation videos, company policies, and onboarding checklists in a structured and user-friendly platform. The flexibility of remote onboarding and training will also attract busy drivers that value completing essential onboarding tasks at their own pace and schedule. 


Consider Mentor Programs  

A proven strategy to increase driver retention rates and foster a culture of support and continuous learning is through offering mentor or buddy programs. These work by pairing new hires with seasoned drivers to provide insights and career advice, even beyond the onboarding process.  


Mentors can share practical tips, best safety practices, and real-world insights that may not be covered in formal training programs, while helping new drivers quickly integrate into the company’s culture.  


The various processes and paperwork required throughout onboarding can often feel repetitive and impersonal, but mentor programs demonstrate that a company is invested in their employees and their success. Feeling welcomed and connected to a company from the start can increase driver retention and engagement while creating a work environment of communication and support.  


Create a Cohesive Onboarding Checklist  

A disorganized recruiting and onboarding process doesn’t just waste time and money, it can also result in dissatisfied drivers that will increase your turnover rates. 


By having a structured checklist for the onboarding process, employers ensure that no important steps are missed and that every driver has a smooth introduction to the company. A checklist also helps employers avoid delays in processing and allows HR to track the progress of every new driver.  


Since onboarding can be a complex process with multiple steps, a checklist breaks down each step into manageable tasks, providing clear guidance to both the employer and the new hire on what needs to be done and in what order. Additionally, a checklist helps to standardize the onboarding process across all new hires, ensuring consistency and fairness. This can be especially important for larger companies with multiple locations or hiring managers. 





For more advice on boosting your recruiting efforts, be sure to check out the rest of our Employer Blog posts and follow us on social media.  

 In the fast-paced world of the trucking industry, driver happiness can either be your company’s greatest asset or its biggest roadblock. At Drive My Way, we recognize the crucial role that driver satisfaction plays in keeping your business running smoothly. That’s why we put our expertise to work and conducted the 2023 CDL Truck Driver Job Happiness Report, reaching out to over 500 CDL drivers nationwide to gain a deeper understanding of what makes them happy in their careers and lives. 


Our recently released report is brimming with fascinating trends and key findings that every trucking company should have on their radar. By taking these insights to heart and proactively addressing them, you can boost driver retention, enhance your recruitment strategies, and keep your company moving forward in this competitive industry. So, buckle up and get ready to explore the world of driver happiness – your company’s success depends on it.  


Overall Driver Happiness Has Declined  

One of the most significant findings from our report is that overall driver happiness has dropped slightly since 2019. In 2023, only 51% of surveyed drivers reported being happy with their job, compared to 54% in 2019. This decline in happiness was more pronounced among younger and less experienced drivers, with those having less than eight years of experience reporting the biggest drop in satisfaction. 


This trend highlights the need for trucking companies to focus on driver satisfaction, particularly among newer and younger drivers.  

New Drivers Need More Support 

Our report also revealed that drivers with 1-2 years of experience reported significantly lower happiness levels than any other segment, with only 44% saying they were happy in their current role. Moreover, three out of four drivers in this group reported actively looking for other jobs. The primary reason for this dissatisfaction? A lack of information and support. 


Only 40% of drivers with 1-2 years of experience felt they had the information they needed to be successful in their roles. This finding underscores the importance of providing comprehensive training, ongoing support, and clear communication to new drivers, even after their initial orientation period. By investing in the success of new drivers, companies can improve retention and build a stronger, more loyal workforce. 


Happy Drivers Are More Likely to Stay and Refer Others 

Our report confirmed that driver happiness is closely linked to retention and referrals. Happy drivers are three times more likely to refer others to their employer than unhappy drivers, and they are also more likely to express a desire to stay with their company for the long term. 


However, our findings also revealed that even happy drivers are nearly twice as likely to look for a new job compared to 2019. This trend suggests that in today’s competitive job market, simply keeping drivers happy may not be enough to guarantee retention. Companies must go above and beyond to demonstrate their commitment to driver satisfaction and well-being, offering competitive compensation, benefits, and a positive work environment. 


Communication and Listening Are Key 

When asked about the one change their current employer could make to increase job happiness, drivers highlighted several factors, including better compensation, improved benefits, and more consistent work schedules. However, one factor stood out as particularly important for certain groups of drivers: better communication and listening from management. 


Our report found that female drivers and those with less than two years of experience were twice as likely to cite better communication and listening as the key to improving their job happiness. This finding emphasizes the need for trucking companies to prioritize open, transparent communication with their drivers, especially those who may be more vulnerable to dissatisfaction and turnover. 


Adapting to Driver Preferences in Recruitment 

In addition to insights on driver happiness, our report also shed light on how drivers prefer to learn about new job opportunities and communicate with recruiters. The top three sources for job information were general job boards (46%), online searches (42%), and word-of-mouth referrals from other drivers (33%). 


When it comes to communicating with recruiters, drivers expressed a preference for communication via email (32%), followed by phone (32%), face-to-face interactions (19%), and SMS (16%). These preferences varied somewhat based on factors such as age, gender, and years of experience, highlighting the importance of tailoring recruitment strategies to different driver segments. 


By understanding and adapting to these communication preferences, trucking companies can more effectively reach and engage potential hires, ultimately improving their recruitment efforts and attracting top talent to their organization. 



The 2023 CDL Truck Driver Job Happiness Report is your roadmap to navigating the complex world of driver satisfaction. By diving into these valuable insights and taking action to address the factors that contribute to driver happiness, you can create a work environment that not only supports your drivers but also fuels your company’s success. Imagine a future where your drivers are more content, your retention rates are sky-high, and your recruitment efforts are the envy of the industry. You can read the full report here: Full Report


At Drive My Way, we’re not just along for the ride – we’re here to help you steer your company towards a brighter future. By keeping our finger on the pulse of CDL drivers’ evolving needs and preferences, we work hand in hand with trucking companies like yours to build a stronger, more resilient industry that benefits everyone involved.  

2024 has been off to a rough start in many ways for the transportation industry, with carriers still feeling the lingering effects of a labor shortage, rising prices, and supply chain disruptions.  


To top it off, the freight recession that began in 2023 has continued to affect carriers of all sizes, with layoffs and closings increasing across the country.  


However, as the economy begins to stabilize and consumer spending returns to pre-Covid rates, some industry experts are predicting a turnaround and return to normalcy by the end of the year.  


Although the future is unpredictable, there are some tools that every carrier should utilize to navigate the ongoing freight recession. Keep reading to find out what’s causing the recession, and how your carrier can cut costs and optimize operational efficiency to stay ahead of the curve and weather these challenging times.  


Understanding the Landscape 

In order to deal with the impacts of the ongoing freight recession, it’s essential to understand why it began in the first place.  


The first two years of the pandemic saw a rapid increase in consumer spending, leading many carriers to enter the market while shippers prepared for the trend to continue. However, the freight boom was relatively short lived, and there was soon an oversupply of trucks with a decreasing amount of available freight.  


This quick change had an dramatic impact on carriers nationwide, with FreightWaves estimating that 35,000 recently opened trucking companies had shut down by the end of 2023. The effects weren’t just limited to new businesses though, as seen when long-standing transportation company Yellow Corporation filed for bankruptcy in the same year.  


These factors, combined with high fuel prices and a fluctuating global economy, have made it imperative for carriers to prepare for the future and position themselves for success.  


Operational Efficiency is Key 

The best way to safeguard your carrier against the negative impacts of the freight recession is to ensure that you are effectively and efficiently utilizing both your equipment and team members.  


Carriers of any size cannot afford unnecessary expenses in today’s market, with the American Transportation Research Institute finding that operational costs rose over 53% per mile from 2022 to 2023. Fuel alone accounted for 28% of total operating costs on average, making efficiency a priority for every driver.  


Investing in transportation management systems and route optimization tools might come with an upfront cost, but the payoff is immediate as carriers can save on time, fuel expenses, and vehicle repairs.  


Fleet telematics and tracking systems, such as Electronic Logging Devices and GPS tracking, provide real-time data on vehicle location, fuel consumption, driver behavior, and maintenance needs. This allows carriers to optimize routes, reduce idle time, and improve fuel efficiency while increasing driver safety.  


Predictive analytics and AI-based technology work by analyzing existing data to forecast demand, optimize pricing, and prevent supply chain disruptions. These algorithms can also adjust capacity according to anticipated market trends and set competitive rates based on demand fluctuations.  


Digital freight matching is another tool many carriers are using to efficiently connect drivers with available freight while saving time on paperwork, optimizing space, and cutting costs.   


Instead of the traditional methods of freight brokerages and third-party logistics (3PL) businesses, digital freight matching uses predictive analytics and algorithms to optimize matches for service, efficiency, capacity, and cost. Since most DFM platforms are available as mobile apps or online websites, this also provides a single access point for every step of the matching process.   


Prioritize Driver Engagement and Retention  

Another ongoing problem that is likely familiar to every carrier is driver turnover and low retention rates. This issue can make the effects of the freight recession worse, leading to high recruitment costs, training expenses, and disruptions in service.  


By focusing on creating a driver-centric work environment and engaging existing employees, carriers can avoid additional expenses and cultivate a culture of hardwork and dedication.  


Consider offering frequent driver engagement surveys or one-one-one meetings to gather feedback and demonstrate your commitment to the needs of your drivers. Make sure to implement actual changes from the feedback to show that you really value their perspectives and experience.  


Investing in your team by providing skill development training, certification programs, and career advancement opportunities is another way to raise retention rates while also attracting other qualified drivers.  


Encouraging and rewarding driver milestones and safety accomplishments can also increase driver morale while saving money on fuel costs and vehicle repairs. Studies have shown that driving above 60 miles per hour lowers fuel efficiency, a behavior that can be changed by safety rewards and fleet telematics.  




For more information on the state of the transportation industry and advice to recruitment and retain qualified drivers, be sure to check more of our Employer Blog posts and follow us on social media 

How to be Proactive During the Driver Shortage

In today’s highly competitive market, transportation companies often face an uphill battle when it comes to recruiting and retaining qualified drivers.  


The ongoing driver shortage has been especially impactful on traditional recruiting methods, amid a post-pandemic oversupply of carriers and record high turnover rates.  


With the American Trucking Associations (ATA) projecting a driver shortage of over 82,000 for 2024, it’s important for carriers to be proactive and embrace modern recruiting solutions in order to stay ahead of the curve and remain competitive in this evolving industry.  


What’s Causing the Shortage? 

In a constantly expanding economy, some might wonder how there is still a truck driver shortage, especially amid a serious freight recession.  


While there currently are more carriers than available freight, industry experts worry about the shifting demographics of the trucking workforce as less younger people enter the field and more drivers age out and retire.  


The trucking industry has also historically struggled to attract female drivers and other members of underrepresented communities due to a lack of accommodation, safety measures, and support. This disparity continues to limit industry growth and development, despite increasing representation in leadership roles.  


At the same time, many drivers have left the field entirely, reporting low pay, insufficient benefits, and a challenging work/life balance. In fact, the transportation industry has lost 6% of its workers since the pandemic, and experts are expecting a shortage of 160,000 drivers by 2030.  


Prioritize Retention  

The best strategy to safeguard against the ongoing shortage is to retain the drivers you already have by demonstrating your commitment to their needs. By offering competitive pay and comprehensive benefits, you can create a positive work environment that attracts top talent and decreases turnover rates.  


Many drivers leave positions due to feeling underappreciated and unmotivated, which can make your carrier stand out by providing performance-based incentives and opportunities for bonuses such as referral programs, anniversary gifts, or driver-of-the-quarter awards.  


It is also important to enhance onboarding processes and prove to your drivers that you’ll be supporting them from the initial interview to their first day behind the wheel and beyond. Implementing frequent touchpoints throughout the hiring process improves communication and allows drivers to become more quickly integrated with existing company culture.  


Route optimization software and digital freight matching platforms can also improve the driver experience and even save your company money in the long run. By leveraging modern technology you can reduce down time between loads, create more efficient runs, and make your job offering more attractive.  


Diversify Your Selection Pool  

Another proactive strategy is to broaden the scope of your candidate selection pool. By reaching a larger and more diverse audience of differing ages, backgrounds, and experience levels, your company can ensure a steady influx of skilled drivers despite the challenges posed by the ongoing shortage.  


Meet drivers where they’re at by posting to a variety of online job boards and social media platforms. Innovative recruiting technology, including AI-driven applicant tracking systems and intelligent driver match technology, such as Drive My Way can make it easier to reach wide audiences and achieve better alignment between drivers and carriers.  


It is also beneficial to promote inclusivity by providing opportunities that support members of underrepresented communities in trucking, including women and people of color. These groups can be an untapped resource when looking for new drivers, so consider partnering with important organizations such as Women in Trucking or create a culture of support and acceptance through mentorship programs and training.  


Invest in the Future 

Sometimes, the best advice to overcome current setbacks is to set your sights on the future.  


By providing educational opportunities for your drivers, such as subsidies that cover the cost of obtaining a commercial driver’s license or other essential training, carriers can attract more candidates that might otherwise have been deemed unqualified.  


Partnerships with driving schools are another way to establish a direct pipeline of trained and qualified candidates while demonstrating your commitment to driver education. Hiring recent CDL graduates can also help build a strong foundation of drivers that will benefit your fleet as more seasoned drivers begin to retire.  


If your company isn’t currently hiring but you’re worried about experiencing future effects of the shortage, a driver waitlist could be the right solution. With this strategy, you can make offers to qualified drivers, but extend their start date out by as much as three months. Driver waitlists can help recruiting departments run more smoothly while ensuring a steady pipeline of potential hires for when positions become available.  


The truck driver shortage has already had a large impact on both carriers and drivers alike, making hiring more difficult while placing a larger demand on all drivers remaining in their positions. However, these strategies can alleviate some of the burden currently felt in all corners of the transportation industry.  


For more information on industry trends and how to stay ahead of the curve when recruiting and retaining quality drivers, head to our Employer Blog or connect with us on social media.  


What Does It Mean to be Driver-Centric?

In a rapidly evolving industry, the term “driver-centric” has emerged as a pivotal approach for truck driver employers and recruiters to attract top talent and decrease high turnover rates.  


A driver-centric company prioritizes the needs, well-being, and satisfaction of truck drivers throughout every aspect of the recruitment and employment process. From the initial application process, through orientaion, and every day behind the wheel, a driver-centric approach acknowledges the indispensable role of CDL drivers and aims to create a supportive and fulfilling environment for them.  


Keep reading to find out what a driver-centric approach really entails, and how to transform your recruitment methods to increase employee satisfaction while attracting and retaining qualified drivers.  


Understanding the Driver Perspective  

To adopt a driver-centric mindset, recruiters and employers must first understand the unique challenges, aspirations, and needs of truck drivers.  


This involves recognizing the demanding nature of the job, including long hours on the road, time away from home, and the importance of work/life balance. Additionally, acknowledging the diverse backgrounds, experiences, and motivations of drivers is crucial for tailoring recruitment strategies and employment practices effectively. 


Listening to your drivers and responding to their feedback is also key to demonstrating your commitment to driver needs and experiences. Consider implementing driver programs that display this commitment, such as one-on-one meetings, driver adivisory groups,  driver engagement surveys, or platforms for anonymous suggestions. Although seeing members of the team depart is always difficult, it is also important to conduct detailed exit interviews to gauge driver satisfaction levels.  


Driver recruitment methods should always take into account the driver perspective and meet candidates where they’re at. Utilize multiple social media platforms to broaden the scope of your reach and target all drivers, regardless of whether or not they’re actively seeking a job or not.  


Investing in Drivers 

Being driver-centric also means investing in training and development and optimizing processes to make a positive recruitment experience for every candidate.  


Ensure that your online application is user-friendly and optimized for mobile devices, and consider implementing features like an e-signature to streamline the application process. Leveraging online solutions for verification, such as VOE and Clearinghouse, will also save both applicants and recruiters time and energy.  


Drivers appreciate efficient and convenient communication, so it is important to utilize multiple channels for interviews and updates, such as texting and video chat. Touchpoints are essential throughout the entire application process to keep candidates on the same page and demonstrate your company’s commitment to communication and transparency.  


Additionally, investing in professional development programs, safety training, and skills enhancement initiatives are key strategies to support drivers’ career advancement and personal growth. Providing access to resources, mentorship opportunities, and feedback mechanisms fosters a culture of continuous learning and improvement that will attract qualified drivers looking to grow with the company.  


Driver-Centric Pay & Compensation 

Is pay the most important factor in driver recruitment? 


This is a question that many recruiters and employers ask themselves, and it’s paramount to consider when taking a driver-centric approach to recruiting. The answer is that many factors are extremely important to CDL drivers, but compensation and benefits often top the list, such as in Drive My Way’s 2023 Driver Happiness Report 


That is why offering competitive compensation and benefits is essential for attracting and retaining top talent in the trucking industry. Driver-centric employers must recognize the value of fair pay, including competitive wages, performance-based incentives, and opportunities for bonuses. 


Moreover, comprehensive benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time-off contribute to the overall well-being and job satisfaction of truck drivers. Many employers implement driver reward programs such as referral bonuses, anniversary gifts, or awards such as driver of the quarter or year.  


If your company pays per mile driven, make sure to optimize your drivers mileage by reducing down time between loads and creating more efficient routes through technology such as telematics and digital freight matching.  


Emphasize Health & Safety 

Another way to show that your company puts drivers first is by focusing on employee health and safety.  


In the trucking industry, this involves implementing rigorous safety protocols, promoting adherence to regulations, and providing access to wellness programs and resources. Proactive measures such as regular health screenings, ergonomic equipment, and fatigue management strategies also contribute to creating a safe and supportive work environment for drivers. 


Reminding drivers of the importance of eating well, taking breaks, and remaining active while on the road will create a healthier and happier fleet of drivers.  


In a profession as potentially isolating and lonely as trucking, prioritizing and protecting mental health is just as important as physical health. Suggest resources to your drivers such as BetterHelp, which is an online platform that provides access to licensed, trained, experienced, and accredited psychologists.  



At its core, being a driver-centric company means that your drivers earn a reasonable living while maintaining a work/life balance in an environment that is suitable to them. However, truly being driver-centric is not something that employers decide, it is a reputation earned through the experience of every driver and employee.  


For more tips and tricks to improve your driver recruitment and retention methods, be sure to stay up-to-date on our Employer Blog posts and connect with us on social media 



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 

How do you gauge your driver satisfaction levels? With one-on-one meetings? By analyzing retention rates?  


Both of these are important indicators of driver happiness and the success of company recruitment efforts, but in today’s highly competitive market, they won’t be enough to paint the whole picture or demonstrate to drivers your full commitment to their needs.  


By utilizing frequent driver engagement surveys, you will receive an unbiased, detailed report from employees about their views on important company policies and their overall satisfaction rate. However, like any good survey, the key is in asking the right questions. 


Keep reading to learn the 5 essential question topics you should include in every driver engagement survey, and how these surveys could help your retention rates.  


The Importance of Driver Engagement Surveys  

Driver engagement surveys are increasingly becoming a popular tool for carriers to learn what could be improved at a management level, while giving drivers a chance to speak freely and be listened to. Every employee should feel like their opinion matters, which is why it’s essential to include the right questions that address common driver needs.  


In Drive My Way’s recently released 2023 Driver Happiness Report, which collected the responses of over 500 drivers nationwide, nearly 10% of surveyed drivers responded that improved employer communication and listening would increase their workplace satisfaction. Implementing a regularly scheduled survey (and addressing the top concerns!) is a surefire way to see a rise in employee happiness and increase your retention of quality drivers.  


Pay & Benefits 

Unsurprisingly, compensation will always top the list of main driver concerns. In 2024, CDL drivers will be sure to continue to view competitive pay as a major differentiating factor when applying for jobs. In fact, in the 2023 Driver Happiness Report, over 20% of surveyed drivers answered that an increase in base compensation would improve their workplace satisfaction.  


Many factors affect each driver’s pay, such as years of experience, type of run, and type of freight, miles driver, etc. but it’s still important to understand how your drivers feel about the overall fairness of their pay.  


You’ll want to ask drivers if they are satisfied with their current level of pay, if they perceive it as fair, and if they feel they are progressing as expected. You should also ask drivers about their current benefit packages and how satisfied they are with them. This will help you find out what you could offer to differentiate yourself from your competitors.  



The amount of time at home versus time on the road remains a major factor of consideration for every driver applying for a job or deciding to remain with a carrier. Each driver has a different opinion on scheduling, likely depending on their other commitments.  


Ask drivers how much time they currently spend at home, and how much time they would ideally spend at home.  


Remember that driver preferences can change over time as their home life changes. Younger drivers without families, or older drivers who have become empty-nesters, may prefer more time on the road. Drivers with families and kids at home may desire local jobs or runs with shorter time on the road.  



As the main point of contact between driver and carrier, dispatch has an essential role in mitigating misunderstandings and unexpected scheduling delays. This is why the relationship between dispatcher and driver is one of the most important in the company. 


Be sure to include questions regarding each driver’s relationship with their dispatchers, and if there is anything management could do to improve communication. Drivers and dispatchers should feel like they can communicate regularly with ease and respect, which will help in the case of any unexpected road conditions, weather changes, or equipment issues.  


Equipment & Fleet Amenities 

Drivers spend an average of 70 hours a week on the road. This means that they know better than anyone the amenities they most use, and what equipment improvements would make their lives easier. They also can tell you the amenities they use the least, helping you determine where to invest your money.  


Ask drivers to rank their satisfaction with current amenities and to suggest what improvements could be made to existing equipment. This will help you prioritize what equipment should receive upgrades, potentially saving you thousands that you might have put into amenities which no driver is using.  


Company Culture 

This might not be the first question topic thought of when drafting a driver engagement survey, but it’s becoming an increasingly important differentiating factor in driver recruitment and retention. Drivers want to feel appreciated, supported, and valued in every interaction they have within a company.  


Ask your drivers if they feel appreciated, what else management could do to support them, and about the overall culture of the company.  


If your company is considering launching efforts to support drivers further, such as offering mental health services or a mentor or partner driving program, an engagement survey can be a great place to test run ideas and receive actual driver feedback. Keep in mind that if drivers don’t feel valued, they won’t recommend that company to others.  



Although there are countless questions you could ask in a driver engagement survey, including these five question topics will help you gauge overall driver satisfaction and monitor what your company should continue improving for the future.  


Here at Drive My Way we’re always looking to learn more about the best recruiting and retaining strategies. If you have any ideas for us, please reach out on our  social media so we can continue learning!  

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.  



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 

Now, more than ever, truck drivers have the ball in their court when it comes to selecting and applying for CDL job listings. Drivers are able to make their decisions based on many factors, including benefits, distance from home, freight type, and pay.  


Traditionally, many recruiters have focused on pay as the key differentiating factor that could set them apart from their competitors. However, today’s drivers are making it clear that higher pay is not always enough to increase driver satisfaction and retention rates.  


So then, what is the most important factor in truck driver recruitment? Keep reading to find out why pay isn’t always the number one answer, and how you can adjust your recruiting efforts to keep up with evolving industry trends.  


The Importance of Pay 

Driver compensation is still an essential part to recruiting and retaining quality drivers. In recent years, sign-on bonuses and benefit packages have continued to increase in value nationwide. In fact, in a speaker panel at the 2023 American Trucking Association Management Conference, CarriersEdge President Mark Murrell noted that some carriers are now paying between $200-$500 per day of driver orientation. This is a steep increase from the long standing industry standard of $100 per day.  


An increase in base compensation also still topped the list of driver concerns in Drive My Way’s recently released 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.  


In the same ATA Management Conference panel, American Central Transport President Phil Wilt noted the success of the company’s weekly driver surveys and the introduction of an employee life coach. Wilt believes that listening to driver concerns and providing extra support during the initial six months of employment has been critical to increasing driver satisfaction.  


“Every year, we’re figuring out what is the next thing that we can do that really positions us as a place where a driver says, ‘I wish I had come to you before,’” Wilt said. “And honestly, that’s probably what we hear a majority of the time from our drivers.” 


Listening to and Understanding the Drivers 

It’s important to keep in mind that different drivers prioritize different qualities in a position. Drivers just starting out might want to be on the road more than drivers who have a family. These drivers may only be looking for positions where they can be home each day.  


When launching your driver recruiting campaign, keep in mind the type of driver you are looking for. 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.  


There are also many ways you can demonstrate to your drivers that you listen to them and value their feedback. Providing surveys or frequent touch points is extremely beneficial, especially during the onboarding process and first months of employment.  


Carriers that create a positive work environment by prioritizing drivers’ physical and mental health are also more likely to have satisfied drivers with less turnover. Offering opportunities for professional development and support when drivers need it can increase your chance of word-of-mouth recommendation and internal promotion.   




Over the years, recruiting for CDL drivers has changed a lot. Pay is no longer the sole factor that can set your carrier apart from your competitors. By focusing on offering benefits, listening to your employees’ feedback, and fostering a positive work environment, you can decrease turnover and increase driver satisfaction.  


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