At the Recruiting and Retention conference in Nashville, Tenn., hosted annually by the Conversion Interactive Agency, a panel of drivers featuring four captains of the America’s Road Team of longtime safe drivers (most with multiple millions of safe miles) spoke at length to recruiting/retention specialists in attendance. Their central message was that bedrock concerns continue to dominate what drivers want out of trucking employment/contracts. In the words of one: good pay, quality equipment, and a sense of being a part of the team — in other words, respect. Meet the four via the pictures below, and hear audio from a sizable portion of the panel via the podcast embedded above and at bottom.
The panel was moderated by Kevin Burch, president of majority owner-operator Jet Express and current American Trucking Associations chairman.
“At YRC, we get paid for downtime – if I’m at work, I want to be paid.” —Steve Fields on what he views as perhaps the biggest issue in retaining drivers for fleets — “Biggest problem in retaining drivers: shippers abusing them.” Fields drives for YRC Freight and is based in Kansas City, Mo. He’s got 3.1 million safe miles behind him and was named to the road team in 2007.
“Be honest with the driver. You won’t lost a driver any quicker than to tell him something and then he finds out 30 days later that it’s just not true.” –Walmart driver Allen Boyd (left, a former owner-operator). Boyd’s 3 million plus miles behind him, and joined the road team in 2011, as did Kenny Lowry (right), also with Walmart. Lowry’s got 3.8 million safe miles behind him.
“Good wages, good equipment, feeling like I’m part of the team. That’s easier said than done, but that’s the basis of it.” –FedEx Freight driver Don Logan on the bedrock keys to recruiting and retention for carriers, put simply. Logan runs out of Topeka, Kan., with 2.6 million safe miles. He joined the road team in 2013.
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