Driver Retention Report Highlights Key Areas

A recent report conducted by The Canadian Trucking Alliance recently highlighted areas where trucking companies can improve driver retention and provide a better working enrivonment for drivers. The CTA represents the trucking industry on national as well as international issues and policies that arise and affect the industry.

The gist of their message was directed towards the industry itself. Simply put, look inward for the reasons for their problems as well as for the answers.

The report's objective is to initiate a complete and candid attempt to address the impending shortage and come to decisive conclusions that will define the problems and offer solutions.  The report highlighted the following conclusions:

  • Truck driving is a skilled trade. Local and national branches of Canadian and Provincial governments and other certifying entities should officially acknowledge that.
  • Truck drivers are the face of trucking companies and the truck driving industry. They represent our industry to our valued customers and to the public. As such, they are the most crucial cog in our wheel and deserve the respect and gratitude due that stature.
  • A mandatory national standardization of driving skills and experience should be incorporated that would include an entry level and apprenticeship. Only by the inclusion of professional standards can we expect to improve our performance and achieve the level of professionalism necessary to ensure both safety and performance.
  • Trucking companies should provide compensation packages for truck driving jobs. They should adequately compete with and surpass packages in alternative industries. In addition, drivers should be able to predict their weekly pay with reasonable accuracy.
  • Trucking companies should provide a comprehensive, realistic, affordable wellness program for drivers, one that adequately provides for the driver's immediate family as well. This should be a top priority item on the agenda.
  • Truck drivers should be properly compensated for all their job-related tasks. Said compensation should be enough to reimburse drivers for reasonable, work-related expenses incurred while on the job regardless of how much time is spent on the road.
  • Truck driving jobs should be stress free with regard to a driver's personal time off the clock. Truck driving jobs require a high level of concentration resulting in stress that requires a stress-free period of relaxation to recover. To that end, drivers shouldn't be forced to come back to work earlier than their scheduled time.
  • A driver's time is valuable and should not be spent waiting for shippers and consignees' employees to answer a simple question. Neither should their time be spent idly waiting for their truck to be repaired and ready for the road. Their time and responsibilities should be respected and treated as such.

One of the intentions of the report was to inspire the transportation industry to initiate a national dialogue within its ranks. To that end, issues like reformed immigration and compensation were directly addressed without prejudice or hesitation.

The report also addresses issues like "piece work", a shortage of qualified drivers and the responsibility of the industry to fix its problems from within.

The CTA CEO, David Bradley admits that driver shortage may take more than a few years to rectify, but that it is an issue worthy of the battle. Ultimately, he stated, these and all issues will only be resolved over time with the attention and cooperation of the transportation market, carriers and their customers.

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