Trucker Perspectives
Driver turnover

By Ray Shankle, Deerwood, MN 

Do carriers really stress over turnover? There has been quite a bit of talk about driver turnover for a long time now and my thoughts on the subject are, there is not a problem in the true sense of the word. I think carriers enjoy the big T. O. and use it to their betterment. The reason I believe this is if I was to do something that cost me a large amount of money that could be used elsewhere I would have to stop whatever I was doing that cost me the big bucks.

For example, if every time I used a certain brand of fuel something happened that would cost me time or money I would stop using that brand or whatever. If I had drivers that did not like something I did and they left I would not do whatever it was that upset them. Oh, I know companies say that it costs them so much money to hire new drivers and all that stuff, but what do they do that would keep drivers. Not a whole lot, because carriers have or had a driver-rich environment to select from – new drivers that is. It sure would be interesting to know how many new drivers have tried to start in this industry and have quit because the job was not what the employer said it was.

The buying power of a trucker today is not what it was in the past. Should we blindly take the word of these carriers that they are losing money with the turnover? Consider this. I build bug whistles or whatever and I am the only one doing it, do you really want to accept what I say the product will do? The smart thing to do is find someone that studies bug whistles and who is reputable to give us an outside opinion? I know a lot of companies have gone out of business over the last 15 or 20 years, but if you look at the ones that haven’t and look at their turnover and the holdings they have and still want to cry the turnover blues. It’s at whose expense? A trucker, that’s who. I see where they want to hire 18-year-olds. Why? Because they can really take advantage of them. Work them for a year or so, give or take, and then run them off and would they dare call it driver turnover again? Carriers do not want a driver base that has longevity with the company for this reason. New drivers are pliable and are easier to sell a bill of goods to. Otherwise truckers would have it a lot better.