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Posted on August 29th 2014 4:27 PM

A new survey concludes that pay is the most important factor drivers consider when deciding the carrier they should work for – and still the biggest reason they leave.

The poll, conducted by third party logistics provider National Retail Systems, asked thousands of truck drivers nationwide what makes them choose one job over another. Pay came out as the top reason for 79% of drivers, followed by the amount of time they get at home (67%) and then benefits (52%).

Sign-on bonus and training were the lowest, at 13% and 11%, respectively.

As reported by Heavy Duty Trucking:

“It used to be that regional and long-haul drivers were making better money, but now with the new hours of service they are required to have more downtime,” said David Bullins, NRS’ East Coast recruitment officer. “That downtime ultimately means less money, so drivers are now making the push to become local drivers instead. Since drivers cannot run like they used to, home-time has now become a higher priority.”

Despite pay being so important to drivers, and the fact that an increasing number of carriers are boosting pay this year in the face of a driver shortage, the survey suggests current market conditions are still keeping somewhat of a cap on wage raises.

“With driver pay increases it is challenging for asset-based transportation companies to make money,” NRS  VP Joe Brady said. “Customers are reluctant to raise pricing, even though ever increasing variables such as new equipment, maintenance, and employee benefits continue to rise with inflation. These expenses add up, and transportation companies many times are forced to incur the cost-differential.”

Lupe Casas, an NRS truck driver recruitment officer who specializes in owner-operator drivers, said the numbers only emphasize how hiring drivers is truly a race. “As a recruiter you need to process a driver quickly, because within a couple of days they could already be driving for another company.”

The survey also asked truckers the top reasons for leaving their previous job, and found that 43% said salary was the main reason. Home-time was the second most common reason at 28%.

“Retention is as important as recruitment and training,” Bullins says. “Why spend thousands of dollars to continue bringing on new drivers when management can make changes to retain the current fleet?”

NRS Truck Driver Jobs Survey Results Data

New Equipment 47%
Salary 79%
Company Reputation 31%
Home Time 67%
Benefits 52%
Sign-on Bonus 13%
Location 36%
Type of Run 32%
Training 11%
Other/Not Sure 6%

What were the top reasons for you leaving your last job?

  • Equipment 22%
  • Salary 43%
  • Company Reputation 14%
  • Home Time 28%
  • Benefits 21%
  • Location 9%
  • Type of run 17%
  • Retirement 22%
  • Health Reasons 7%
  • Training 2%
  • Lay-off 16%
  • Other 21%

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