As past truck driver turnover rates have maintained levels well above the 100% mark as well as having seen the rate with some carriers above 200%, any dip in the rate is seen by the industry as a cause for celebration.
In previous years, this turning over of drivers has been viewed as simple job-hopping, ignoring the true underlying cause. With the implementation of the CSA, drivers have decreased their attempts in trying to find a better truck driving job and instead, are just “sticking it out” with their current employer. The drop in turnover has nothing to do with the belief that drivers are more satisfied with their current position.
In reality, the large majority of carriers have not changed in their operational procedures as it relates to the driver. The most common complaint by drivers today is still the most common of past decades: not making enough money.
Even today, as talk of a truck driver shortage continues as it has for the past twenty years, drivers still face the two major problems which cause them to look for other carrier employment: not enough miles and lack of home-time.
For years, drivers were allowed to break rules and do whatever it took to get the job done, while the motor carriers pretended not to see. For the past 30 years, motor carriers have pushed drivers into breaking FMCSA regulations and all the while, looking the other way.
Now, as the CSA takes hold of the industry, these very same drivers are being terminated or finding it impossible to be hired for the very reasons that the carriers themselves allowed to happen for the past three decades. The industry refers to this as a truck driver shortage.
Although at a slower pace, professional drivers continue to look for that better paying job, only to find all too often, that the industry is still the same. The key factor to understand is that the majority of drivers are not actually in control of their financial future.
The carrier, by way of the dispatcher, determines how many miles the company driver will receive for the week, thus controlling how much money the driver will earn. The standard 2500 miles per week is now being seen by many drivers as 1800 to 2200 weekly miles. Unfortunately, most professional truck drivers will continue believing that the next carrier will be “better.”
As the industry portrays a drop in driver turnover rates as a positive sign, a large percentage of professional drivers continue to silently keep an eye open for what they hope will be a better paying job with a better carrier. What they find most often, due to the way the entire system is established, is that the grass is not always greener on the other side, just as it has been for decades.