As trucking industry recovers, driver turnover increases

by Today's Trucking

ARLINGTON, Va. – Driver turnover spiked in the U.S. at both large and small truckload fleets during the third quarter.

“After a calamitous second quarter, trucking – along with the rest of the economy – began recovering in the third quarter, leading to a tightening of the driver market,” said American Trucking Associations chief economist Bob Costello. “With a more robust freight market, we saw an increase in carriers seeking drivers, which led to increased turnover. Additionally, the driver pool has decreased this year for a host of reasons, including fewer new drivers coming into the industry as truck driver training schools train less drivers due to social distancing requirements.”

The turnover rate at large truckload carriers roes 10% to 92% on an annualized basis, while smaller fleets saw turnover increase 14% to 74%. However, driver turnover remains below 2019 levels.

(Photo: iStock)

“Ironically, turnover bouncing back is a good sign for the economy and for trucking,” Costello said. “The second quarter drop was almost entirely the result of Covid, and with scientific light at the end of the tunnel, it is possible we will see continued strong freight demand into 2021, and corresponding increases in demand for truck drivers. And, driver pay continues to rise as competition for drivers is intense.”

LTL carriers saw driver turnover increase 2%, to 14% annualized.

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  • Why would half of these drivers go to work they stay home get free cheque. Out here on the road they are second class citizens.
    Most are scared of their own shadow do to they came from other fields have no real knowledge of the trucking industry.
    The company gives them and Automatic and super singles and sends them down the road it’s kinda like send me down the road to danger zones so the company can save a couple of bucks.
    None of what the government or the trucking companies do is about safety it’s about money. The biggest problem in the trucking association they really do nothing to help the driver most only feed the problems and take big revenue from the trucking companies.
    The smaller trucking associations have a hard time changing anything because they are there to help the smaller trucking company comply with regulations.
    One day the tables will turn and the driver will have the upper hand in making safe roads. Not people that go home sleep in their beds every night and only wish they could keep up with the real truck drivers that have made a life out of keeping the world supplied.

  • Zero effort goes into retention. The mega carriers would rather let drivers slip through their fingers then snivel and whine about their driver shortage.