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How Should Carriers Go About Attracting and Retaining Good Drivers?

BOWMANVILLE, Ont. - Many of Canada's trucking companies are struggling with hiring and retaining qualified drivers, but what makes companies attractive to drivers?It is an aspect of the industry that ...





BOWMANVILLE, Ont. – Many of Canada’s trucking companies are struggling with hiring and retaining qualified drivers, but what makes companies attractive to drivers?

It is an aspect of the industry that is becoming more closely scrutinized, especially as we experience major legislative changes, tightening of budgets and increasing driver retirements over the next five to 10 years. Truck News visited the Fifth Wheel Truck Stop in Bowmanville, Ont., to hear what drivers have to say about what makes them want to work for and stay with a company.

James Strader, a company driver for Kriska Transportation in Prescott, Ont. said carriers should consider creating a pension plan to retain drivers.

“I think the main thing is pension plans,” said Strader, “It would attract drivers to the industry because there aren’t many companies out there that have one. And with all of the logbook issues now and new things coming out, it is making it really tough to get drivers interested in it. It’s getting pretty tough for a driver out there now, especially older drivers like me.”

“The trucking industry is getting very difficult,” said Harry Kuster, who drives for Goeland out of Montreal, Que. “I think if companies became more involved on the shipper/receiver side of the business, it would make a big difference in our jobs and that in and of itself would attract new and qualified drivers.”

Kuster said there should be more dialogue between carriers and shippers/receivers.

“Companies need to tell shippers it is a first come-first served basis rather than making appointments that don’t seem to work anyway. I’ve been trucking for a long time and it wasn’t like that before; it wouldn’t take an hour to get the paperwork done, and you wouldn’t be sitting at the dock for five hours.”

Marvin Keeler, a company driver for Foodline out of Layfayette, Ind., said increasing pay would retain good drivers.

“I think that companies have to up the pay to start with, there are a lot of demands on the driver from the companies, and much of it is unreasonable. They put a lot on the drivers’ shoulders and a young guy getting into the business does not know what he is getting into and he’s not going to stay once he is in. I think we’ve lost a lot of young guys that way, so I’d say the money is the biggest thing for the trucking industry and for everybody really,” said Keeler.

“The companies need to look at more home time, better equipment and whole lot better pay,” said David Harris, who is leased to Mason-Dixon of Toronto, Ohio.

“These are the biggest things, I’m out of the U.S. and there are people down there that are going two or three weeks at a time and the company is requiring them to do this,” he said.

Independence is what Kevin Ruth, an owner/operator out of Myrtle Beach, Fla. deems important.

“Financial independence is a plus. …Being your own boss and being a business person is important too,” Ruth said.


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