Survey Data Shows What Goes into Becoming ‘Best Fleet to Drive For’ 

The Best Fleets to Drive For program run by CarriersEdge for the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) has reported on more than 5,300 fleet responses and 9,000 driver surveys to provide a picture of practices employed by the Best Fleets winners.

As reported by Trucknews.com’s  James Menzies:

“We are aiming to recognize the programs that move the industry forward, first and foremost,” Mark Murrell, co-owner of online training firm CarriersEdge said during a two-part webinar series that looked to do just that. “A lot of the stuff that’s working really well isn’t that difficult to implement.”

The webinar series shared several best practices that have been proven effective by some of the Best Fleets to Drive For.

Pay, benefits and vacation time are not surprisingly three of the top things drivers say they’d like more of. While the Best Fleets program doesn’t score companies on compensation, it does keep an eye on emerging trends. And this is a good news story for drivers.

More fleets are paying drivers to participate in orientation, and the amount of compensation offered is also on the rise. The average is about US$213 a day, judges found, up from about $100 on average just a couple years ago. Some fleets even pay as much as $400-$500 per day of orientation. Meanwhile, fleets are moving some aspects of orientation online to reduce class time and keep drivers home if possible, while at the same time better compensating them for the time spent on the premises during orientation.

Trucking companies are also getting more generous with paid vacation time.

“This year, half the fleets are doing way more vacation than that,” Murrell said, referring to the legal minimums. Drivers at the Best Fleets are also finding they can attain more vacation time faster than in the past. Some are also getting access to vacation time sooner after starting the job. “Drivers are fans of it,” Murrell said.

In addition to wanting more pay, benefits, and vacation time, drivers also want more say in new equipment and technologies. There has actually been an increase in the drivers surveyed who say they don’t get a say in spec’ing new equipment, with 5.2% saying they “strongly disagree” when asked this question. Only 45.2% say they “strongly agree,” which has fallen sharply from the usual 70-90% range. Murrell acknowledged this could be a function of fleets having fewer choices in spec’ing equipment over the last couple years due to supply chain constraints.

The Best Fleets program also discovered only 58% of drivers follow the company they work for on social media. Murrell said this is surprising, since social media is a well used tool by fleets to communicate with their people. “It seems like a low-hanging fruit, to get more of them involved,” he said of drivers and social media.

Pay for parking is also on the rise, and something drivers appreciate when it’s offered by their carrier. Even parking at terminals goes a long way toward satisfying a driver – and it’s free.

And it should come as no surprise that drivers want to be able to travel with their pets.

“We definitely see fleets that are investing in this area,” Murrell said, noting some are building kennels, dog walks, and pet relief areas into their terminals. “Drivers absolutely love it.”

Full story here.

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