When it comes to recruiting and hiring new drivers, the first thing recruits most likely look at is the pay rate. But, what happens when multiple companies have competing offers? At that point, secondary perks become more important. These are perks that will improve drivers’ quality of life, such as better in-cab conditions, good equipment and comfort items.
For Drivers - Comfort Counts and Time at Home is Key
Perks that improve drivers’ quality of life have become a serious benefit as the industry continues to face the driver shortage and companies continue to fight to differentiate themselves to attract recruits. Still, two of the more important points that drivers consider when choosing which company to work for are Hours of Service and time at home.
Hours of Service (HOS) has long been a topic of debate in the trucking industry. What constitutes work for drivers – only when they’re driving on the road, or are detention times included? History shows that trucking companies only paid their drivers when they were on the road driving. But, sometimes a driver could hit their deadline and have to wait for a dock to open up at a delivery location. In the old pay system, the driver wouldn’t have been paid for waiting to complete the delivery despite hitting his or her deadline.
Trucking companies have shifted their pay formats to either a minimum weekly pay rate or hourly pay. In both systems, detention times are accounted for and drivers are compensated for the time that they are on the clock and not just on the road. Another benefit of these pay formats is that if the company doesn’t have any work for the driver, the driver will still get paid. This will lower the likelihood that the driver will leave the company to go drive for another business to ensure that they are paid.
Home time is a huge perk for potential drivers. Truck driving is a lonesome lifestyle that often keeps drivers away from their family and friends for weeks at a time. Now, more trucking businesses are realizing the importance of allowing their drivers to spend more time at their home base.
Driver Time at Home...Then and Now
Before, drivers could be on the road for weeks at a time, completing a string of cross-country deliveries. When they would return home, they might only be there for a couple days before having to hop back in the cab of the truck and spend another couple of weeks on the road. Often times they couldn’t get specific days off unless the days were requested months in advance, which may have caused drivers to miss appointments and family obligations. These things matter to drivers. They want to have a family that they can spend time with and a social life that they can enjoy for a complete work/life balance.
Now, companies have shifted to short-haul strategies that have helped increase home time. Whether it’s limiting the delivery range or implementing a strategy where drivers can meet and switch loads, anytime that a driver can spend at home and sleep in their own bed is something that they value as a benefit. Drivers especially notice when a company honors their day off requests so that they can attend special events. But, it’s also important that the company tracks these requests to ensure that it isn’t being taken advantage of.
Shifts in how HOS and home time are approached by trucking companies has helped some businesses not only attract more recruits, but also retain drivers’ services well beyond the initial hiring period. When a company treats employees with care, drivers are more likely to remain loyal to the company that hired them.