How to Rid Your Company of Driver Turnover & Improve Your Bottom Line

how to rid your company of driver turnover improve your bottom line

By: Ray Haight
Creator, Driver Retention Masterclass

Ray Haight Masterclass WorkbookDo you want to make more money in 2018?  I guarantee you will make far more money getting your driver turnover in line than you ever will growing your fleet while you still have high turnover.

In fact, if you’re a trucking company with high driver turnover, growing your fleet size should be the last thing on your mind. The purpose of being in the trucking business is to make money, which means your first focus has got to be on reducing your driver turnover.

Turnover goes hand-in-hand with reducing your operating cost to the lowest possible number.

It is often said, “You cannot manage what you cannot measure.”  Before you can start reducing turnover, you need to know your numbers.  Once you know where you truly stand on driver turnover, you can begin the strategy phase of determining exactly how you are going to take your driver turnover number and reduce it as much as possible.

Want some motivation for this effort?

  • Companies with lower turnover have fewer accidents.
  • TCA’s InGauge Benchmarking Program confirms a direct correlation between lower CSA scores, insurance premiums, and best in class Return on Investments .

As you start to calculate your driver turnover numbers, it is important for you to include all drivers in your calculations.  This means you must count drivers who left on their own, drivers who were terminated, and drivers who left for health or family issues. For calculation purposes, why a driver left your company does not matter. Your goal is to simply find the honest number you need to start working on improving your driver turnover.

How to Calculate Your Overall Driver Turnover Rate:

  • Drivers no longer with the company (year to date) / Elapsed days x 365 / Total # of Drivers.

A fleet of 150 has lost 100 drivers year to date

  1. Number of drivers lost Year-To-Date: 100
  2. Divided by days elapsed from January 1st
    Example:  Today is December 27th so the number is: 348
  3. Divided by the total number of drivers in the company: 150

100 divided by 348 (the number of days since January 1st to December 27th) divided by 150 = 69.9% turnover.

How to Calculate Your Short-Term Turnover Rate:

  • Drivers no longer with the company that were hired in the last 12 months / drivers hired in the last 12 months.

What to Do With Your Driver Turnover Numbers

Once you have your driver turnover numbers, you can begin to analyze just how substantial the issue is for your company.  You can debate the kinds of improvement you think you can achieve over a reasonable timeframe and set goals.

What should the goal be over the next 12 months?

That’s up to you. The driver pool is shrinking, and without drivers, everyone at a trucking company is unemployed. No one needs a trucking company without any drivers.

If you think you need a clearer picture on what you might be able to achieve, I recommend that you drill down further with your measurements to discover specific reasons behind the turnover numbers. You’ll likely find some low hanging fruit right at your fingertips.  As you begin to look at numbers, you’re looking for anomalies that show you where to focus your efforts.

In the Driver Retention Masterclass, I walk you step-by-step through this process.  It is the same process I used when I was the President and COO of a 300-fleet trucking company that was sitting at 120% driver turnover.  In two years’ time, we had reduced turnover to just 20%, and we finally enjoyed coming to work again.

Making driver retention a key strategy is just good business. Moving your company to one that is driver centric takes work, but in the long run, it is the best way to ensure a sustainable best-in-class bottom line.

Ray Haight Vertical Alliance InstructorRay Haight is the creator of the Driver Retention Masterclass.  He has spent his entire life in the trucking industry.  He inherited the small trucking company his dad built. He logged over one million accident free miles as an owner-operator.  Over the course of 16 years, he grew the company to a fleet of 50 trucks, primarily focused on refrigerated freight.  He then found himself with a unique opportunity to merge with another company.  After the merger, he became the President and COO of a fleet of 300.  And like many trucking companies across the nation, the fleet faced a growing epidemic … driver turnover.

As the President and COO of that company, he recognized that contrary to popular beliefs in the industry, driver turnover is not systemic to the occupation of driving a truck.  He believed it was the result of poor companywide human relation policies and until those were fixed, all of the Band-Aid type solutions the company was implementing weren’t going to alleviate the driver turnover problem … which for his company was sitting at 120%.

Sitting in a boardroom, surrounded by a team of leaders, he asked one question, “What’s it going to take to reduce our driver turnover by 50% in the next 12 months?”  That question kicked off a two year project where the leaders of the organization did deep dive self-examinations of their departments. This led to creating and implementing real strategies that made drivers not only want to come and work for them, but also made those drivers want to stay long term.   Within 2 years, they’d reduced their driver turnover to 20%.

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