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rising fuel pricesAll across the country, skyrocketing fuel prices are taking their toll on everyone. Offices are extending work from home policies to save employees money, families are postponing summer road trips, and people are staying home whenever possible.  

While the price hikes for consumer fuel are bad, it’s got nothing on the increase in diesel fuel over the past few months. In January 2022, the average price of a gallon of diesel fuel was $3.72. Fast forward a few months and that same gallon costs $5.57, with it going for over $6 a gallon in some places.  

rising fuel prices

Data courtesy of the U.S EIA

This issue is affecting the entire trucking industry, but the biggest group of people hit by this? Owner operators and small trucking companies.  

What’s Causing the Increased Prices of Diesel?

The global economy is massive and complex. There are hundreds of things at play at any given time that affect the price of everything from diesel fuel to toilet paper. That being said, most economists point to two specific things impacting the price of diesel fuel. 

The bounce back of the economy after covid is the first. Supply simply couldn’t keep up with the sudden demand for fuel. Things started to even out in early 2022, but then Russia invaded Ukraine in late February, which is the second factor. The ongoing crisis caused leaders in the US and Europe to ban the import of Russian oil, which caused further turmoil in the market. 

Comedown from Covid

It wasn’t long ago that owner operators were in the driver’s seat of the trucking world. After Covid, the US saw a huge demand for products from consumers ready to return to normal. Retailers weren’t able to keep up with the demands and there weren’t enough drivers to transport what they had.  

This brought a huge number of small-time trucking companies and owner operators into the market, ready to capitalize on the demand for their services. Times were good for a while, but with diesel rising to never-before-seen prices and supply chain issues still prevalent, these small operations are finding that the market they came for isn’t the one we have now.  

Larger carriers are able to weather storms like these thanks to their size, but these new entrants are having a very hard time staying afloat. 

How are Small Companies and Owner Operators Responding?

For many, the increased price of diesel (along with the increased price of everything else) is just too much to bear. It’s leading them to either exit the industry altogether or find other alternatives to keep driving. Small companies and owner operators are either downsizing or leasing on with larger carriers to get by. 

What Does this Mean for Recruiting?

While nothing’s certain (especially in transportation), it’s looking as though the pendulum is swinging the other way again. Hiring numbers in the trucking industry have grown steadily over the past few months with less and less carriers having issues finding drivers.  

As these owner operators and small trucking companies close up shop, expect a number of them to come back to being company drivers for the stability and reduced costs. Some may want to keep their rigs and lease on to a company as owner operators.  

Recruiting Owner Operators

If you haven’t already, now is a great time to think about bringing owner operators into your fleet. But, unlike company drivers, recruiting owner operators can be a bit more difficult.  

Owner operators are more independent and entrepreneurial-minded than your average company driver. They’re also more experienced and will usually have a better safety record.  

When it comes to recruiting them, the process can take a bit longer since it’s a business transaction between partners rather than a standard hiring process. Instead of being hired, the driver is “leasing on” with the carrier for a set amount of time.  

Owner operators also cost more to hire than company drivers with the average yearly salary at about $140,000. This number is of course offset by the fact that the carrier won’t be paying truck maintenance costs, insurance costs, or benefits to the owner operator. 

The best advice for hiring owner operators is to use the right channels to find them, be patient during the recruitment process, and be honest in all your communication. You can read more about how to best recruit owner operators to your business here.  

Increased diesel prices are affecting all aspects of trucking and logistics. While owner operators and small trucking companies are having a hard time staying in business, they can be helped by larger carriers leasing them on for the time being.  

If you’re planning on bringing owner operators into your business, consider partnering with Drive My Way. Our patented software matches drivers with jobs based on their professional qualifications and personal lifestyle preferences. 

Comprehensive CDL Recruitment Solutions

Ready to start recruiting the right drivers? Our solutions experts are happy to answer any questions and show you how Drive My Way uniquely approaches CDL driver recruitment.

Request a Demo

 

recruiting owner operators

Recruiting owner operators to your carrier is a much different experience than recruiting company drivers. Owner operators have different values and personality traits than set them apart from most company drivers. They’re more independent, entrepreneurial-minded, and adventurous. Therefore, recruiting owner operators to your company is a whole different ball game from recruiting company drivers.

So, why do carriers hire owner operators? the benefits include not having the responsibility of purchasing and maintaining the trucks. With the average price of semi trucks still very high, this benefit can’t be overlooked. Owner operators are also often more experienced drivers with better safety records.

The one big drawback of recruiting owner operators is that they’re much more expensive to hire, with the average salary around $140,000 per year. That being said, hiring owner operators is still the best option for some carriers, depending on their situation. Here are three tips for recruiting owner operators to your fleet.

1. Reach Them Where They Are

To recruit the best drivers, you have to reach them where they are. This applies when recruiting owner operators as well. Just because you’ve been finding success reaching company drivers through certain mediums, doesn’t mean that will translate when hiring owner operators.

According to the Overdrive 2020 Connectivity Study, owner operators lean more towards consuming printed magazines while company drivers prefer email newsletters. Shifting your advertising towards printed media outlets will likely help you reach more owner operators.

There are of course other ways to reach owner operators as well. Truck drivers by large are all over social media. That same study showed that owner operators use Facebook just as much as company drivers do. Complement print ads with a mix of social media ads and platforms such as job boards, e-newsletters, and online forums, including trucking groups on Facebook.

Aside from ads, having a strong referral program is another great way to bring in owner operators. It’s no secret that drivers are more likely to trust what they hear about a company if it comes from other truck drivers as opposed to recruiters and human resources people. This is true as well for owner operators, which is why having a referral program in place can help spread the word about your company to owner operators looking for a new company to sign on with.

2. Be Patient and Ready to Negotiate

Once you’ve found them, the recruitment process for owner operators will be slightly trickier than it is for company drivers. Don’t be surprised if it takes a bit longer as well.

For owner operators, the recruitment process isn’t a job offer between employer and employee. It’s a business transaction between partners. 

While it is usually good to recruit sooner rather than later, you’ll want to take your time a bit more with owner operators. Get to know what job factors will be important to them. If there’s a certain sticking point, like home time, pay, or discounts, let them know that you can work on it and get back to them. There may be more negotiation and compromise required on the company’s part when working with owner operators.

If it doesn’t work out, make sure you part on good terms with the driver so that it doesn’t affect company reputation adversely. Plus, it’s always good to build relationships with drivers even when it’s not a great fit at the time. This way, you still have the option to connect later down the road.

3. Be Honest, Consistent and Predictable

Being honest and straightforward during the recruitment process is important for all candidates, but especially for owner operators. These entrepreneurs are making a big decision to work with your company and need to be confident about that choice.

There are few things that will irk owner operators more than a recruiter changing their messaging during the process. There shouldn’t be one message from the company during the initial advertising, something different during a recruitment call, and something else entirely during the meeting. If they sense they’re not getting all the facts or missing something, they’ll quickly move on to the next opportunity.

In addition to building distrust with the owner operator, it can also create a negative reputation which will find its way to other drivers as well.

While it’s acceptable to improve or negotiate the terms during the recruitment process, it shouldn’t be acceptable for recruiters to go back on something that was previously promised.

Once drivers are onboarded, predictability will also be valued on the job. Owner operators are more independent minded than the average company driver and will be less adaptable to changing work conditions from the company. They want to have the freedom of working when they want and being able to choose the loads they prefer, which is why they became owner operators in the first place.

Owner operators can be an attractive option for trucking companies to pursue. When it comes to recruiting them for your company, knowing what they have in common and where they differ from company drivers is the best way to bring them on board. Keep in mind these three tips and you’ll be bringing owner operators into your company in no time.

Comprehensive CDL Recruitment Solutions

Ready to start recruiting the right drivers? Our solutions experts are happy to answer any questions and show you how Drive My Way uniquely approaches CDL driver recruitment.

Request a Demo

home time

Home time vs. pay. For the vast majority of truck drivers, these are the two biggest factors they look at when choosing what carrier to work for. The question is, what do drivers care about more? As you could guess, the answer depends on the individual driver candidate. That being said, there are ways to make your jobs more appealing to drivers, no matter what they find more important. Here’s what to know about home time and pay.  

Pay

home time

 

Before all else, comes pay. A carrier can have the best home time and benefits, but they won’t be attracting many drivers if their pay is far below industry averages. And that average isn’t what it used to be.  

Due to Covid, stretched supply chains and other factors, many carriers have been steadily raising their driver pay over the past two years. Wal-Mart even announced recently that they would be raising driver pay across the board to between $95,000 and $110,000 annually.  

Paying that amount of money may be unrealistic for some carriers, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to hire quality drivers anymore. Offering overtime and detention pay are two smaller ways that carriers can show they’re committed to offering fair compensation without stretching the payroll budget. Referral, safe driving, and delayed sign-on bonuses are other ways to do this as well.  

Home Time

 

While money means a lot, it’s not always everything to drivers. It’s of course important to offer competitive pay, but recently truck drivers have been citing home time as a bigger priority for them. The Covid pandemic led many people, truck drivers included, to start valuing their home time and free time more and more.

For carriers who only hire local drivers, this isn’t an issue since drivers are home every night. For carriers looking to fill regional and OTR jobs, this new emphasis on increased home time may seem difficult to navigate.

As a carrier, it’s important to make an effort to understand each driver’s home time needs and make efforts to work with them. Instead of enforcing rigid schedules that can’t be adjusted, be flexible in what you offer drivers. Some drivers may prefer to be home 3 days every week, while others may want to be on the road for a full week, then home for a full week.  

You may not be able to accommodate every home time request, but listening to your drivers and being open to what they want will take you a long way in recruiting and retaining top talent.   

What Can Recruiters Do?

 

Know your driver candidate. In your first call, have a discussion about what their priorities are for their next position. Some family-oriented drivers may be willing to sacrifice a difference in pay if they’re able to be home an extra night every week. A young single driver may just care about getting the biggest pay package possible. As a recruiter, it’s your job to be aware of these priorities so you can see if they’re a fit for what your company can offer. 

Another tip is to never give an answer to a driver when you don’t know the answer yourself. If a driver asks if there’s any wiggle room on the home only two nights a week part of the job, don’t just say “yes” without knowing if that’s true. Inaccurate information from recruiters can lead to frustrated drivers, increased driver turnover, and possibly a poor company reputation.  

For the first time in a long time, truck drivers have real control and a lot of choice for who they drive for. For carriers, this means that offering competitive pay packages and flexible home time options is now a necessity if you’re planning on bringing drivers to your organization. But, home time and pay aren’t the only things drivers are worried about. Building a driver-centric company culture where drivers are valued is another great way for your carrier to attract drivers. 

ultimate guide to truck driver recruiting

Ultimate Guide to Truck Driver Recruiting

Current ways of recruiting truck drivers just don’t work anymore. That’s because recruiting isn’t a transaction. This ultimate guide helps carriers recruit for retention.

Get the Ebook

You’ve probably heard the phrase “driver-centric” a lot over the past few years. It’s become a popular term in the transportation industry, especially when carriers describe their culture to truck drivers. But what does it mean? Simply put, being driver-centric means putting your drivers at the heart of every decision your company makes. A lot of trucking companies may say they have this kind of culture, but what does it really take to be driver-centric?  

We talked to two Drive My Way clients, Kam-Way Transportation and Danieli Inc. about their driver-centric approach to company culture. They shared insight on how they’ve been able to achieve this culture and how other trucking companies can do the same.   

1. Implement Driver Programs

Driver programs like these have become the norm for a lot of carriers, and it’s easy to see why. These programs lead to healthy competition among drivers, increased happiness, and most importantly, higher retention rates. This last part is especially true in relation to referral programs, as drivers who come from referrals will on average, stay longer than drivers who come from other sources.  

Danieli“We’ve implemented many programs such as V.I.P. bonus programs, driver of the quarter awards, anniversary gifts, and a very generous referral program,” shared the Danieli Recruiting Team.

In addition to performance and recruitment programs, showing appreciation to all your drivers is a great way to show your driver-centric culture. Small gifts for holidays and work anniversaries, free lunches, and giveaways are just some of the ways you can communicate to drivers that your carrier puts them first. 

2. Communicate and Listen to Feedback

This tip may seem like common sense, but there are many carriers who struggle with it. The crux is not just making small talk with drivers and checking in with them once every six months or a year. It’s implementing a plan like Danieli has to constantly communicate and gather feedback from drivers. Keeping an ear to the ground of what’s going on with your drivers, what they’re enjoying, and what they’re not can help you adapt things accordingly and keep them happy.  

“We have a ‘Staying in Touch’ policy where we regularly call every driver on the phone, even just to say ‘Hey, how’s your week going?’ or ‘Any concerns we can address?’. Being personable with our drivers, or ‘business partners’ as we call them is our top priority. Also, hear your drivers out! Some of our best ideas come from drivers on the road. Whether it’s the way you conduct orientation, the bonuses you offer, or the way you approach issues, find out what your drivers are saying and use that to your company’s advantage,” shared the Danieli Recruiting Team. 

There are many ways to communicate with your drivers. You can frequently call like Danieli does, set up an anonymous suggestion box (online or on site), use employee engagement surveys, or just stay in touch via text.  

Also, while it’s never good to hear a driver is leaving, make sure you take that opportunity to perform an exit interview. It’s a great way to get candid insight on how your company is running and what you can do better in the future to avoid doing any more exit interviews.   

3. Show Drivers Respect

Respect goes a very long way in the trucking world. What are some of the ways a carrier can show respect to their drivers? The first is to be upfront and honest about everything relating to the job when talking to candidates. Don’t hide important details just because they’re not the most attractive aspects of it. This will just lead to unhappy drivers after they sign on and may lead to a bad reputation in the industry. Making sure it’s a good fit for both sides is more important for long-term retention than simply getting drivers in seats. It’s also another big part of cultivating a driver-centric company culture.  

“We really take pride in making sure that our drivers don’t feel like they’re just a number. We really focus on solving any issues that might arise quickly to build a fantastic working relationship alongside our driving team. We believe in treating our driving team with respect, which means offering great pay, generous home-time, a great bonus structure, and more,” shared the Kam-Way Recruiting Team.

In the current job marketplace, drivers have more leverage than ever, so lowballing them in terms of pay won’t do your company any favors in the long run. Drivers understand that every company may not be able to offer the absolute best pay package in the world, but your pay should be competitive with industry averages. The same goes for benefits, bonuses, and raises.  

4. Have a Knowledge and Passion for Trucking

When drivers talk to recruiters or other people inside an organization who have little knowledge of the day-to-day responsibilities and lifestyle of a trucker, it doesn’t do much to establish trust. This isn’t to say that everyone in your organization has to be an expert on trucking, just that there should be an enthusiasm and general knowledge about the work drivers do when talking to them.  

This is also why bringing in driver recruiters with CDL experience can be a huge boost for your company’s recruiting efforts. These recruiters have a knack for building relationships with drivers and turning candidates into hires, which is invaluable for any recruiting department.    

“It’s important for us to share our company culture either by conversation or through social media in order to allow potential drivers to see the value in our company. Transportation has a special place in many of our hearts, and our hope is that drivers seeking employment with us feel that fondness towards the industry. Many of our office team members have been in the transportation business for many years. Allowing that expertise to shine through is just one of the many ways our company culture can positively impact anyone looking to join our team,” shared the Kam-Way Recruiting Team. 

5. Broadcast Your Culture

Just like the population at large, most truck drivers, are active on at least one social media platform. These social channels like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok could very well be the first place where drivers learn about your company. This is why it’s important to broadcast your company culture on these platforms. Aside from having quality pay and benefits, drivers want to work somewhere where they know they’ll be valued and the right messaging can do just that.  

“We believe that sharing the industry with both non-driving individuals along with drivers is so valuable. It shines a light on the transportation industry and allows everyone to see how vital it is to our economy and more. Creating a sense of transparency builds trust, which in turn, provides a strong company culture. We also really love featuring our hard-working men and women on our social media platforms so that they can be recognized by everyone,” shared the Kam-Way Recruiting Team. 

But, as we know, drivers are understandably skeptical of what comes from a company’s recruiting or marketing team. Showcasing the drivers themselves in testimonials is the best way to build trust with potential candidates and show your driver-centric company culture through social media. 

A driver-centric company culture is much more than a popular buzz word. It’s truly putting the needs and priorities of truck drivers at the front of your business. It can seem like a big task, but making small changes and implementing the tips above will make your company a place where drivers will be happy to come aboard.    

Quick Guide to Truck Driver Appreciation

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Quick Guide to Truck Driver Appreciation

Truck driver recognition is a great way to show your drivers they are appreciated. This quick guide helps employers learn about truck driver appreciation and how to make drivers feel valued.

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ThompsonGas

We had the chance to talk with Aphrodite Reifsnyder, Driver Recruiter with Drive My Way client, ThompsonGas. She shared what she’s learned from her time in recruiting, how a centralized recruiting process can benefit hiring efforts, and how she stays motivated as a recruiter.  

How did you get started in the trucking industry? 

I actually never pictured myself working in trucking. After 5 years of working at a bank, I was displaced during a merger. Because of my financial background, a trucking company offered me a position as an inventory coordinator.  

In 2011, after a year of digging my heels in and making waves, another department director recognized my skill set and took me under his wing as a driver recruiter. I was in this role until 2014, when I took a pricing analyst position for a few months. I soon found that I missed interacting with the drivers and serving as a bridge between drivers and empty trucks. Apparently, I had found my niche. I decided to move back into recruiting, and I’ve been loving it ever since. 

When you arrived at ThompsonGas, what were your main goals for the recruiting department? 

As the first dedicated driver recruiter for the company, I wanted to establish the basics and build from there. I first had to meet with area directors to see what they wanted from prospective drivers. Next, I had to evaluate the individual 140+ markets we operate in, to see what advertising would make the biggest impact.  

From there, my top 3 goals were to bring in new vendor relationships, integrate a new ATS known as Tenstreet, and focus on military recruiting efforts. 

What are the benefits to a centralized recruiting process? 

Having our recruiting centralized allows for us to focus on big picture concepts. You have a budget, which can help us to negotiate better contracts when covering multiple areas. You seek connections and business relationships that are productive on a big scale but can also provide that local feel to connect with the drivers.  

Most importantly, you have a much better opportunity to share ideas that work in some areas and mirror them in areas that are struggling to fill roles. Being able to have a go-to point of contact for sharing tips on what works in different areas really helps the organization as a whole to collaborate and work together.  

There is no cookie-cutter way to recruiter drivers. Just because you have a centralized focus or department shouldn’t mean that it has to produce a generic blanket of ads. Just like the diversity of people is important in the workplace, so is the “diversity” of an advertising and marketing strategy for driver recruitment.  

What have you learned from working with hiring managers across the country? 

slip seating

Not only is local insight crucial, but keeping up to date with a market and industry in a state of constant flux is vital. You have to be flexible in transportation and willing to take risks. Bottom line, when I’ve collaborated with local hiring managers, I’ve found that I don’t have to re-invent the wheel. 

Taking the time to talk with the hiring managers  gives me the unique opportunity to find out what has and hasn’t worked in the past. If a hiring manager tells me, for example, that they’ve tried a certain advertising campaign in the past that didn’t produced results, why would I run the same ad and waste valuable time and money? It is far more beneficial to start with something they know has worked and integrate my ideas later.  

As a driver recruiter, what are some of the ways you keep yourself motivated? 

It’s very easy to get bogged down with the constant demand that operations and managers place on recruiters. It is often a thankless job in good times, and the first to blame in bad times.  

That being said, I believe it takes a strong individual to do this job and stay refreshed and motivated.  Things that have helped me are finding my work-life balance, flexibility in my daily routine, and recognizing when it’s time to make a change to avoid burnout.  

I have been very selective with the types of driver recruiting opportunities and the companies I’ve chosen to work with. It’s crucial to not just find a job for a paycheck but one where you can grow.  

What has made you successful as a driver recruiter? 

I think success comes from the team a recruiter works with as much as it does the individual. I’ve learned a lot over the past decade. I attribute that to the leaders, coworkers, and drivers I’ve worked with. I think any successful driver recruiter needs to be well-rounded in communication, creativity, innovation and perseverance. You can’t give up when the going gets tough. You have to keep rolling on. 

ultimate guide to truck driver recruiting

Ultimate Guide to Truck Driver Recruiting

Current ways of recruiting truck drivers just don’t work anymore. That’s because recruiting isn’t a transaction. This ultimate guide helps carriers recruit for retention.

Get the Ebook

advertising jobsWith thousands of carriers advertising jobs for truck drivers right now, how do you make sure yours resonates? If you’re recruiting for a smaller carrier, this can be even harder, since you may still be developing brand recognition. That’s not to say that creating a great job advertisement is an impossible task. It can seem daunting, but there are a few simple tips you can use to make sure your ads are getting noticed by the drivers you’re looking for.   

1. Don’t Oversell or Exaggerate

Truck drivers have a keen eye and low tolerance for job postings they find vague or suspicious. That’s why it’s extremely important to give drivers all the important and accurate information upfront when advertising jobs. When describing your compensation and benefits, avoid general terms like “competitive” or “fantastic” and instead, provide the details. While competitive means at or above market rate, the word has become so saturated over the last few years that it equates to “low” in the minds of many drivers. Drivers want to see hard numbers or odds are, they’ll quickly scroll away.  

2. Be Thorough

You never want a driver coming away from your ad, asking themselves “What’s the home time? Pay? Is it full or part-time?” Here is a list of the things that should always be included in any truck driver job ad. 

  • Employee Value Proposition: This is where you’ll answer two very important questions. Why is my company different (and better) than the competition? What about my company is attractive to truck drivers? (Visit our blog on the topic to learn more about the best way to answer these questions.) 
  • Job Title: Include what CDL class is needed type of haul, and type of run
  • Compensation: Include CPM or hourly, weekly, or yearly pay. Also include any sign-on bonuses or referral bonuses 
  • Benefits & Perks: What is covered under insurance, (health, vision, dental, etc.), PTO, 401K, etc. 
  • Home Time, Route, & Schedule: How often will the driver be home? What is the route and level of touch? 
  • Equipment: Truck specifics including technology and years of company trucks. 
  • Qualifications: Besides CDL class, are there other qualifications needed? Clean MVR? Minimum years of experience? Minimum age? 

job description3. Make It Easy to Read

You could have the best job posting, with all the information a driver could ever want about the position and your company. But that won’t matter if it’s organized in a way that’s difficult to read. After you’ve gathered all the information you’ll need for a job ad, start organizing by what would be the most important information to a driver reading it. Start with pay, haul, type of run, and move down until you get to smaller details like the model year of trucks to be used and pet-rider policy. 

Another best practice is to avoid using large blocks of text in your job ad. Instead, opt for bullets. This will make your job ad much more digestible for drivers, giving them an easy way to find information without scanning through chunks of text.  

4. Partner with a Job Distributor

Where the ad is placed is just as important as how it’s written. With hundreds of job boards and social media channels out there, it can be a pain to know where your time and resources are best spent to reach the drivers you’re looking for.  

Partnering with a recruiting platform like Drive My Way is the perfect way to get your jobs in front of qualified driver candidates.  We create customized advertising campaigns that reach drivers in the right place and the right time. Just like we did with Button Transportation, a family-owned and operated trucking company in California, that hired 10 new drivers within the span of just two months.   

 

Your job ad is likely the first impression a driver will have with your company, so making sure it’s a good one is key. The good news is that advertising jobs for your trucking position isn’t rocket science. Just put yourself in the shoes of the driver. If you were looking for a job, what information would you like to see and where would you like to see it? 

 

truck driver incentive program checklist

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Truck Driver Incentive Program Checklist

The best incentive program is the one that’s effective, sustainable, and engaging for drivers. Use this checklist to align your target behavior with rewards that motivate your drivers and create a program with lasting impact.

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Stan Smith

Just a few years ago, Stan Smith was a company driver looking to branch out on his own by becoming an owner operator. Fast forward to today, and Stan is the owner of KimChris Xpress Transport, his own trucking company based out of Cleveland, Ohio. KimChris Xpress Transport is a dedicated Amazon partner and is committed to exceeding customer expectations while keeping drivers first. 

We spoke to Stan about his time in the trucking industry, what it’s like to partner with Amazon, and his plans for the future of KimChris Xpress Transport.  

Q: How did you get started in the trucking industry?

I was working at a factory and saw an advertisement for Great Lakes Driving School. I wanted to make more money and see the country, so it seemed like the perfect fit. After I completed training, I was hired the very next week with a logistics company in Northeast Ohio.  

My first check with this company was great. it was over $1,000, and I was excited about driving for them going forward. But, when it came time for my second check, I realized that the first one was inflated by a one-time bonus, and my checks after wouldn’t come close to that amount. I was also on the road for 3-4 months at a time with one weekend home in-between. Overall, I was disappointed with my experience at this company and began looking for something else. 

Q: What made you decide to start KimChris Xpress?

Once I left the first logistics company I was working with, I found a job with a smaller carrier. My experience there was much better. I learned from the more experienced drivers there and saw the advantages of being an Owner Operator. It didn’t take me long to decide that’s what I wanted to do. Shortly after, I financed my own truck and started KimChris.  

Q: Your company name is very unique. Where did it come from?

Originally in 2016, our name was KimLove Xpress Transport. We were named after my older sister who passed. The following year, my older brother passed as well and I decided to change our name to KimChris Xpress Transport as a way of honoring them both.  

The name is a way to always keep me motivated, and it helps their memory live on as well. My Mom loves to call me whenever she sees one of our trucks on the road.  

Q: When did KimChris Xpress Transport become an Amazon partner?

When you own your own trucking company, you have two options for how you get business. You can work through an intermediary broker, or you can deal directly with the shipper. After a while of going the broker route, I decided to get involved directly with one of the biggest shippers there is; Amazon.  

The results of this partnership have been great so far. As a company, they’re very accepting of smaller fleets working with them, which is perfect for KimChris. Obviously, they’re a huge company, so the work we get from them is very consistent as well.  

Q: What does the holiday season look like for KimChris?

We’re always looking for drivers around this time to help with the extra workload. Like with all trucking companies, this is definitely our busiest time, especially with Amazon. What’s nice about working with them is that they don’t rush drivers when they don’t feel safe or something goes wrong out on the road. Safety is the number one concern for them. This is especially reassuring for our drivers when the winter weather hits.  

Q: What does the future look like for KimChris Xpress?

My five-year-plan is for KimChris Xpress to become a medium-sized fleet. My ultimate goal is for us to become a mega fleet, but that’s down the road. For the immediate future, I want to keep working with Amazon and get more drivers and trucks. Trucks are the easy part; it’s finding the drivers first that’s the challenge. All in all, the future is looking bright for KimChris.  

Q: What makes KimChris Xpress different from other trucking companies?

We aren’t a huge carrier, but I feel like that’s a strength for us right now. During the hiring process, a driver will talk to me and maybe one other person. It’s not like some larger carriers where it’s very corporate, and you go through five rounds of interviews.  
I know my drivers by name and have a relationship with all of them. They’re not just a number here. I strive to give them the best home life balance possible by making their schedule a week out. They really appreciate this, since they’re able to plan their week and family time around it. My goal when starting KimChris was to build a company that treats drivers the way I would have liked to be treated at my first company, and I believe I’ve accomplished that. 

ultimate guide to truck driver recruiting

Ultimate Guide to Truck Driver Recruiting

Current ways of recruiting truck drivers just don’t work anymore. That’s because recruiting isn’t a transaction. This ultimate guide helps carriers recruit for retention.

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truck driver ghosting
Have you ever been talking with a driver, where everything seems to be going well? You’re emailing back and forth, going over the details of the position, and then seemingly out of nowhere, they stop responding. You send a follow up email, thinking your previous one slipped through the cracks, but once again, you get nothing back. It looks like this is a classic case of Truck Driver Ghosting.  

What is Truck Driver Ghosting

Ghosting is when a person stops responding and disappears altogether, like a ghost. The term is most often used in the dating world, but the same thing happens in recruiting daily.  

Truck Driver Ghosting has been on the rise over the past few years across the U.S. But, in the trucking industry where demand for drivers is at an all-time high, it’s even worse. We spoke with Jason Crowell, Director of Recruiting for Drive My Way’s client Custom Commodities Transport, and he shared his perspective on driver ghosting. 

Jason Kent Crowell

Jason Kent Crowell Custom Commodities Transport

“A Truck Driver is likely talking to 4 or 5 driver recruiters at once in their job search, saying yes to one of them, and leaving the other recruiters hanging.  We call it “ghosting” and it’s on the rise, contributing to the recruiter’s stress,” shared Jason. 

Why Do Drivers Ghost Recruiters?

There are two big reasons that drivers are ghosting recruiters more than ever. The first is that it’s much easier to do so than it was in the past. Social media and digital communication in general have laxed our sense of professional courtesy when it comes to replying. It’s much easier to simply not respond to someone than it is for a driver to spend a few minutes writing out an email explaining that he or she is no longer interested in the position.  

The second reason is that drivers can be much more selective about their jobs than they could in the past. A qualified and experienced driver looking for a job is likely talking to multiple recruiters at the same time. When the driver finally select the job that’s right for them, they’ll simply stop responding to the other recruiters.  

How to Stop Being Ghosted?

So, as a recruiter how do you avoid being ghosted? 

Focus on the Right Drivers

truck driver ghosting

The first step here is to be able to discern active and passive drivers. The simple explanation is that active drivers are ready and looking for employment right now. Passive drivers may be looking at opportunities but aren’t ready to make the jump into a new role.  

Asking a few simple questions during your first contact with a driver will usually help you discern whether they’re active or passive. While it’s important to nurture passive leads, knowing the difference and pursuing active drivers will often be the difference between getting ghosted or not.  

Move Quickly

In the current state of driver recruiting, speed is everything. You can bet that any driver looking for a job right now is talking to more than one recruiter. The best way to keep yourself from getting ghosted is to be quick when you reach out initially and be quick when you respond. Aside from not missing out on top drivers, moving quickly through the recruitment process has also been shown to decrease costs for businesses.  

Being timely is not only beneficial during the recruitment process. It’s the perfect way to set the tone of professionalism from your organization right off the bat. Just like drivers can impress by showing up to interviews early and sending a proactive “thank you” email, you can do the same with prompt responses. 

Avoid the Back and Forth

Avoiding needless back and forth emails is another way to avoid ghosting. If you and a driver have been sending emails for a week and a half about small details of the position, that can lead to frustration on their end and eventually ghosting. Try and set up one or two calls where you and the driver go over all the info either of you need regarding the position.  

Talk to Your Current Drivers

Your current drivers are definitely your biggest resource in avoiding ghosting. As people who have gone through your recruiting process and joined your company, they have a unique perspective. They can tell you what they enjoyed about the experience, what would have made it better, and what they disliked about other recruiting processes where they didn’t take the job.  

Truck Driver Ghosting is a symptom of the much larger problem of driver shortages across the country. While there’s nothing you can individually do about that, following these tips gives your company the best chance to bring on qualified and experienced drivers and avoid being ghosted.   

ultimate guide to retaining truck drivers

Ultimate Guide to Retaining Truck Drivers

You work so hard to recruit the best truck drivers for your fleet. The trick is retaining them. This guide is packed with tips for retaining your fleet.

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company pitch

The company pitch is extremely important when recruiting drivers. You only have a few minutes to talk to a driver and tell them why working for your carrier is the right choice for their career. So, how do you make sure you’re making the most of your time? 

What is a Trucking Company Pitch?

A trucking company pitch is where you introduce your company to a driver and explain why they would want to drive for you. Trucking pitches are used during the first point of contact with a driver.  

The most important thing to remember is that these pitches aren’t one size fits all. They should change based on the role you’re hiring for and any information you have on the driver and what they find important. Here’s an example of an effective Trucking Pitch. 

“Hello. Thanks for taking the time to speak with me. I work with ABC Trucking and we’re looking for Regional Dry Van Drivers in the Midwest. We’re offering qualified drivers $1,400 guaranteed weekly, full health, vision, and dental benefits, weekly home time, and a $2,000 sign-on bonus. Does that line up with what you’re looking for right now?” 

How to Perfect Your Pitch

We spoke to Michelle Habart, Business Development Coordinator for Drive My Way’s client, CLE Transportation, about how she structures her trucking pitch to drivers. 

Michelle Habart

Michelle Habart CLE Transportation

“First, I introduce myself and the company. I start with who we are, where we’re located and then ask questions to find out what their needs are. For example, if it’s home time, I am only going to offer them what I have that fits the needs they are trying to fill. I want to make it clear that we have options. If it’s equipment, then we will go over that in detail. If it’s pay then we go over the packages and benefits we offer, like bonuses, 401K, and profit sharing. I make sure they understand that health insurance is paid by the company because that will save them money. 

Next, I jump into the basic questions like experience, history and driving record. I will then send them the link to fill out the application and make it known that I am available to answer any questions that they have.” shared Michelle.  

Keep it Short, Specific and Avoid the Jargon

As you probably know, any driver you’re speaking with is probably speaking with at least one other recruiter as well. Keeping your trucking pitch quick and to the point is the best way to keep their attention and further the conversation. Avoid vague statements like “we offer competitive pay and new equipment.” Drivers looking for work read that dozens of times a day. This won’t do anything to help differentiate you in their mind. 

In general, drivers don’t like to beat around the bush. Avoid using buzzwords and jargon where it’s not necessary. The best practice here is to write down your pitch then read it out loud to yourself. Does it sound forced or unnatural? Chances are if it does to you, it will to the driver as well.  

Make it a Conversation

The next part to perfecting your pitch is to make it a conversation. Many recruiters make a habit of rattling off ten different things and then asking, “how does that sound?” The driver probably forgot the first three things you said by this point and will reply with a half-hearted, “Sounds good.” That’s not a conversation, it’s an information dump. 

Instead, ask questions throughout the pitch and try to make it a two-way street. After you give the important info, ask questions like, “Does that line up with what you’re looking for?” The most important part here is to make sure the job is a mutual fit on both sides. There’s no point in trying to force a square peg into a round hole.  

Don’t Oversell/Misinform

Overselling is a common issue in driver recruiting. It’s understandable that recruiters want to do everything they can to bring drivers in the door, but the last thing you want to do is promise something that you can’t deliver on. This leads to unhappy drivers that will probably be looking to exit as quickly as they came.  

“Here at CLE Transportation, we don’t sugar coat anything. Getting a driver isn’t about filling a seat. It’s about doing the best we can to make sure that the driver and our company will be a good fit for each other. We are not trying to waste our time or theirs. We don’t treat them as just another driver looking for a job, we treat them as professionals, because that’s what they are. It’s not just an interview process, it’s about hearing them.   

They need to know that we’re here for them during the entire process, from the initial “hello” all the way to them leaving to deliver that first load. Even then they can call me for questions they have. After I set up an orientation date, I will send them a picture of the truck that they will be in.” shared Michelle. 

Be Prepared for Common Objections

Drivers will almost certainly have things that they consider non-negotiable. This can be anything from home time, specific compensation, type of equipment, etc. Instead of thinking it’s a dead end if a driver pushes back on one of these, try and talk through it.  

The best way to do this is by asking questions like, “what is it about x that you dislike?”, or “What would make you consider x?” More often than not, this can lead to a compromise where both sides are happy.  

The trucking company pitch is something that takes time to perfect. The most important thing isn’t to sell the position at all costs. It’s to present the most important information related to the job while making sure it’s a good fit for both sides.  

The Quick Guide to Employee Value Proposition

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Employee Value Proposition

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5 Tips for Recruiting Non-CDL Drivers
With the huge changes in the U.S. economy over the past two years, almost every major and local retailer is offering some sort of delivery service. This has made the market for non CDL drivers grow at a considerable rate.

Need It Now DeliversWe spoke to Christian Rivera, a National Recruiter for Drive My Way’s client, Need It Now Delivers. He shared his perspective about the recruiting process and the qualities he looks for in non CDL drivers.

“Our hiring approach for non CDL Drivers does not change too much. We’re in communication throughout the process and disclose all parts of the job, just like we would for CDL Drivers. In the ideal non CDL driver, I would say we look for four things; a clean driving record, stable previous employment (preferably staying one year or more), good safety habits, and a customer first attitude,” shared Christian.

1. Nature of the Job

Like it is when recruiting CDL drivers, the number one thing that will help you is to be honest and knowledgeable about the position. Some drivers may be fine with just knowing the pay, schedule, and benefits. Others may want to know details on route, breaks, and day-to-day operations. Being ready to answer these questions is the best way to make sure it’s a fit both the driver and your company.

Make sure to disclose any customer service-related aspects of the job as well. Drivers want to know if they’re expected to just drop off deliveries or drop and have someone sign. In addition, they will need to know if the job requires full White Glove service, where they’ll be entering homes and businesses to install equipment or appliances.

It’s also important to understand that many non CDL drivers may not be in the trucking industry for advancement opportunities or to eventually earn their CDL. While some are, other non CDL drivers are simply looking for a job instead of a long-term career in trucking.

2. Home Time and Flexibility

Just like with CDL A or B local drivers, non CDL drivers will value home time more than almost anything else. While this shouldn’t be a problem with local routes, make sure to communicate what their home time will look like. Many times, drivers are expected to stay late to help with extra deliveries. While this is part of the business, drivers should be told upfront to avoid any surprises.

3. Schedule, Hours and Routes

One thing that non CDL drivers are most likely looking for is part-time possibilities. Opposed to CDL work, non CDL drivers may only have night, weekend or certain weekday availabilities.

That’s why it’s important to work with drivers to make sure their availability is respected. Scheduling employees outside of their agreed upon availability can not only lead to bad company culture, but it could also leave you and your customers high and dry if the employee decides not to show up on a particularly busy day.

4. Pay

Just like the costs for a CDL B license are lower than a CDL A, a non CDL driver incurs low costs before hitting the road. Because of this, pay across the board for non CDL drivers is understandably lower. At the same time, there is a ton of competition on the employer end for these drivers. Keeping an above average pay scale while providing performance-based bonuses is the best way to get the attention of experienced and talented non CDL drivers.

5. Company Culture

Since non CDL Drivers will likely be interacting with other co-workers and management on a daily basis, building a culture of communication and camaraderie is essential to keep morale high and drivers motivated. This can be done through daily team meetings before drivers head out on their routes, where important information is conveyed, and any questions or grievances drivers have can be talked about.

 

Just like with CDL drivers, non CDL drivers have their own unique characteristics and reasons they chose their line of work. Understanding this and what they find important is the key to bringing qualified, experienced drivers on board.

truck driver incentive program checklist

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Truck Driver Incentive Program Checklist

The best incentive program is the one that’s effective, sustainable, and engaging for drivers. Use this checklist to align your target behavior with rewards that motivate your drivers and create a program with lasting impact.

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