Driver turnover increases

Updated Dec 14, 2011

The turnover rate for truckload drivers at large fleets rose to 89 percent in the third quarter of 2011, the fourth straight quarterly increase, the American Trucking Associations said Dec. 12.

The large fleet truckload turnover rate is an indication of increased demand and competition for drivers.

“Clearly, due to the economic recovery, as well as regulatory factors like CSA (Compliance, Safety, Accountability), we are seeing the market for good, quality drivers tighten,” said Bob Costello, ATA chief economist. “As our tonnage index has shown recently, demand for freight continues to rise, so we expect the need for quality drivers to become more acute going forward, particularly if regulations either force current drivers out of the industry or force fleets to put more trucks on the road.”

The third-quarter increase follows a turnover rate of 79 percent in the second quarter and sets the benchmark rate at its highest level since the first quarter of 2008. Since bottoming out in the first quarter of 2010, the turnover rate has risen 50 percentage points and has averaged 81 percent so far this year.

Elsewhere, the turnover rate at small truckload fleets jumped 10 points to 57 percent, the highest level since the third quarter of 2008, while less-than-truckload turnover remained low at 10 percent.