Tour and Travels · July 18, 2023

How to Reduce Driver Turnover: A Guide for Trucking Companies

truck driver job

Ever wonder why your trucking company struggles with keeping good drivers? The truth is, the average trucking company loses over 90% of new hires in their first 6 months on the job. As a fleet owner or manager, that level of driver turnover is killing your bottom line and preventing your company from scaling. But here’s the good news – there are some proven strategies you can implement to dramatically improve driver retention and reduce that pesky turnover rate.In this guide, we’ll walk through the top reasons why drivers leave and what you can do about it. We’ll show you how to create an environment where drivers want to stay for the long haul. If you’re ready to stabilize your workforce, decrease costs from constant recruiting and onboarding, and ultimately grow your trucking company in a sustainable way, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s dive in and talk about how you can start retaining your drivers. If you’re interested in CDL recruitment, leadgamp has valuable insights for you.

Offer Competitive Compensation and Benefits

To keep your drivers happy and on the road, you need to offer a compensation and benefits package that makes them want to stick around.

Pay your drivers a competitive salary, especially for long-haul routes. The national average is around $53,000 per year, so aim for at least that much, if not 10-15% more. You should also provide performance-based bonuses and pay increases for safe driving and on-time delivery records.

In addition to good pay, provide benefits like health insurance, paid time off, and a retirement plan with company matching. These types of perks give drivers peace of mind and financial security, making the job more appealing long-term.

You’ll also want to offer bonuses and rewards to recognize and motivate your drivers. For example, offer gift cards or cash bonuses for meeting certain milestones like 5 years of safe driving or over 1 million accident-free miles. You can also reward the ‘Driver of the Month’ with things like premium parking spaces, product giveaways, or points that can be redeemed for larger prizes.

Little things also go a long way, like providing drivers with amenities at your terminals like showers, laundry facilities, TV lounges, and cafeterias or meal vouchers. Make sure to show your drivers appreciation and respect at every opportunity.

Following these steps will help ensure your drivers feel valued, motivated, and not tempted to jump ship to another carrier. Competitive pay and generous benefits are the foundation, but creating a positive work environment and culture of recognition and rewards will really set you apart. Keep your drivers happy, and they’ll keep your business moving.

Provide Quality Training and Mentorship Programs

Providing quality training and mentorship is key to reducing driver turnover. New drivers often feel overwhelmed with all the responsibilities that come with the job. A structured training program helps ensure they have the skills and confidence to handle whatever comes their way out on the road.

Implement a training program that covers both classroom learning and time out in the field with an experienced driver. Classroom courses should review company policies, safety regulations, navigation systems, and more. Field training with a mentor allows new drivers to gain valuable real-world experience before going solo.

  • Pair new drivers with mentors who have a proven safety record and several years of experience. The mentor should ride along for the first few trips to provide guidance and feedback.
  • Extend the mentorship program beyond the initial training period. Continue to check-in and provide support for the first 6-12 months. This helps new drivers feel less overwhelmed as they transition into full responsibility.
  • Provide opportunities for ongoing learning and development. Offer refresher courses and incentives for good performance. A training program shouldn’t end after the initial onboarding process.

Investing in quality training and mentorship programs leads to safer, better-prepared drivers and lower turnover rates. When new drivers feel supported and empowered, they are more likely to stick with the job for the long haul. And that benefits both the drivers and the companies they work for.

Foster a Positive Company Culture

To reduce driver turnover, focus on building a positive company culture that makes drivers want to stay. Some key things you can do:

Offer Competitive Pay and Benefits

Pay drivers a fair wage and offer good benefits like health insurance. While pay isn’t the only factor in job satisfaction, it is an important one. Review industry standards and make sure your compensation packages are competitive.

Provide Growth Opportunities

Give drivers opportunities to advance their careers over time through promotions, pay raises, and new training programs. Some drivers may be interested in moving into leadership roles like driver trainer or dispatcher. Provide clear paths for career progression to keep good drivers motivated.

Show Appreciation

Express gratitude and appreciation for your drivers regularly. Send thank you cards or gifts, offer bonuses and rewards for safe driving and longevity. Hold company events to honor and celebrate your drivers. Feeling valued and appreciated tremendously impacts job satisfaction and loyalty.

Improve Communication

Keep the lines of communication open between drivers and management. Be transparent about company issues and seek driver input on important decisions. Have an open-door policy so drivers feel comfortable coming to you with questions, concerns or suggestions. Improved communication leads to greater trust and cohesion.

Offer Job Flexibility

Provide options like part-time work, job sharing and alternate work schedules when possible. This flexibility shows you value work-life balance and are willing to accommodate drivers’ needs. Flexible schedules can help reduce stress and make the job more sustainable long-term.

Fostering an positive, supportive company culture where drivers feel valued and motivated will go a long way toward decreasing turnover in your organization. Focusing on elements like compensation, growth, appreciation and work-life balance will help create an environment where drivers want to stay for the long haul.

Improve Work-Life Balance and Flexibility

A top reason truck drivers leave their jobs is lack of work-life balance and flexibility. As an employer, there are several things you can do to improve in this area and boost driver retention.

Offer flexible scheduling

Allow drivers to have a say in their schedules and routes when possible. Permit drivers to take time off for important life events or when they’re feeling burnt out. Providing drivers flexibility and control over their hours can help reduce stress and make the job more sustainable long-term.

Provide adequate time off

Fatigue and lack of rest are major safety issues in the trucking industry. Make sure drivers have sufficient time off to rest between shifts and routes. Give at least 1-2 days off each week and mandate that drivers take longer stretches of time off, around 2 weeks, a few times a year. This allows them to reconnect with loved ones, recharge, and avoid burnout.

Improve communication

Frequently check in with your drivers to see how they’re doing and address any concerns. Build a supportive company culture where drivers feel heard and valued. You can also use technology to stay in better contact with drivers on the road through messaging systems, video calling, and scheduling software. Stronger communication leads to greater job satisfaction and loyalty.

Offer benefits and incentives

Provide benefits like health insurance, retirement plans, paid time off or vacation days to demonstrate you care about drivers’ wellbeing. You can also offer incentives like safety bonuses, referral bonuses or loyalty programs. These types of benefits and incentives make drivers feel appreciated and give them more reason to stick with the company long-term.

Making work-life balance and flexibility a priority will help create a sustainable career for your drivers. When drivers feel rested, supported, and valued, they’ll be safer, happier, and less likely to leave your company. Focusing on their wellbeing and quality of life will benefit your business in the long run through improved retention, safety, and productivity.

Invest in Newer Equipment and Technology

Investing in newer trucks and the latest technology is one of the best ways to reduce driver turnover. Drivers want to operate safe, reliable, and comfortable vehicles. When you provide them with newer equipment, it shows you value their time, safety, and job satisfaction.

Newer Trucks

Trade in older trucks for newer models at least every 3-5 years. Newer trucks offer the latest safety features and amenities that make a driver’s job easier and more pleasant. Things like collision avoidance systems, blind spot monitoring, lane keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control reduce stress and the risk of accidents. Comforts such as optimized seating, climate control, and ride quality also go a long way toward driver happiness and retention.

Advanced Telematics

Install advanced telematics and fleet management systems in all trucks. These tools provide real-time updates on location, fuel usage, engine diagnostics, and driving habits. They make it easy to identify and address any issues before they become problems. Telematics also allow remote monitoring of factors like speeding, hard braking, and idle time so you can coach drivers on safer, more efficient driving practices.

In-Cab Technology

Outfit cabs with the latest technology like large touchscreen displays, Bluetooth connectivity, Wi-Fi hotspots, and navigation systems. Entertainment options such as satellite radio, audiobooks, podcasts and streaming music services make long hauls more enjoyable. Hands-free calling and messaging let drivers stay in contact with dispatch and family. Provide company cell phones or tablets as an additional benefit.

Training & Support

New equipment and technology are only as good as the training and support that go with them. Work closely with drivers to understand their needs, answer questions, and provide guidance on using and troubleshooting new systems. Ongoing training, tutorials and a help desk phone number demonstrate your dedication to driver success and satisfaction. When drivers feel fully supported, they’ll want to stick around for the long haul.


So there you have it – four key strategies to help boost truck driver retention and decrease costly turnover. Treat your drivers well, pay them fairly, make them feel valued, and ensure they have a safe and comfortable work environment. Do that, and you’ll build a loyal team that sticks around for the long haul. At the end of the day, your drivers are your business. Keep them happy, and they’ll keep you in business. After all, without drivers, there are no deliveries, no customers, and no company. Make driver retention a top priority, and you’ll secure the future success of your trucking operation.