CHATTER BOX

For many trucking company, it remains a mystery – how do you attract and keep good drivers? That’s the question we posed to readers. Their answers weren’t too startling . . . .decent pay, good equipment, honesty and respect topped the list.

“How Do You Attract and Retain Good Drivers?”

Ryan Ronning: Good employees will always be drawn to companies that have a well established reputation for taking care of their workers. A happy employee is a productive employee who will take care of his/her equipment and do the job right. So I say a good employer looking to attract people need do no more then offer a good rate for honest labor and treat the employee like a member of a team as opposed to just a number.

Adam Larson: Companies should keep their end of bargain, such as keeping the trucks maintained, or if they tell you that you can take a truck home. Don't make drivers wait for their checks, but mostly, if the boss says something is going to be one way then don't beat around the bush: do what you say you will.

Darren Hall: Nice equipment and good pay are good but the biggest key in keeping a guy is treating them well. Always thank your crew at the end of the day, ask them if things are going well or what you can do to help make things better and little things such as hats, personalized jackets and company barbecues make them feel appreciated far more than a dollar or two an hour. Loggers and truckers are pride driven and if you make them feel proud then they will perform at their best.

Edwardo Mendoza: Money has always been an issue, and now even more important are the benefit and retirement package. It is a driver's responsibility to work with the shop to keep their rig running safely and profitably to help support one’s wages and benefits. Good teamwork within the Company brings success to all.

Casey Winters: Nice equipment and good pay goes along way.

Darren Hall: Nice equipment and good pay are good, but the biggest key in keeping a guy is treating them well. Always thank your crew at the end of the day, ask them if things are going well or what you can do to help make things better. Little things such as hats, personalized jackets and company barbecues make guys feel appreciated far more than a dollar or two an hour. Loggers and truckers are pride driven, and if you make them feel proud then they will perform at their best.

Scott Keyser: Owners should never forget their roots. Never forget to praise good work and teach when mistakes are made.

Scott Foster: The one way to retain good drivers is giving them rewards and acknowledgements for things like no tickets, delivering early, etc. A driver that is treated right and knows that the boss impressed with good honest work and good quality will stay with a company a lot longer.

Ray Ahner: If an employer will go out of the way for their employees, then the employees will go out of their way for their employers!

David Horsley: This is an easy one... treat your drivers the way you would want to be treated. Most owners were at one time company drivers and they forget too easily how it felt to be treated badly. Don’t go by what is the "industry standard" for pay; if a guy works hard, isn’t hard on the equipment, keeps it looking good, and represents the company well then show your driver you care and bump him up a percent or two. It might not seem like a lot but it means a lot to the driver to know you appreciate all he does for you. Benefits are a plus also.

Jason Tapani: Make sure the check is there on time and it will cash; pay them overtime and be honest with them. Make sure you hire good quality help with experience. A bad driver and a New York lawyer can make for a bad day for you and can ruin you financially.

Jason Biggs: To me, it’s all about balance: how you’re treated, training, input into the equipment you are operating and a choice when it comes up for replacement. The dollars need to be at or above the going rate, and time off when you need it.

Lendon Mcconnell: Good equipment is a must in today’s times doesn't have to be new just good and solid reliability! I don't know what pay is on the west coast but where I'm from its been 25-27.5% of gross for the last 20 years or longer this in today’s times isn't enough to keep many hands faithful! I also know in the last 20 years fuel, tires, etc have quadrupled in price also I also know that Contractors and timber pay more but are very guilty of skimming off the top on haul pay! I know the money is being paid at the top its just gotta start flowing down like it’s meant to!

Todd Ellis: I grew up in the Les Schwab organization. Back then, Les always said, #1 take care of your people, they in turn will take care of your customers, and your customers will take care of profits. If you do things in that order every time, you can't lose! So I guess the answer is to simply show how important a good employee is to you!
Danny Reichel: Good trucks and better pay. . . its not rocket science.