Driver turnover hits 99% at large US truckload fleets

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ARLINGTON, Va. — Turnover at large US truckload fleets continued to increase in the second quarter, according to The American Trucking Associations’ Trucking Activity Report.

Turnover in the second quarter rose two percentage points to 99%.

“Continued high turnover shows that the market for qualified, experienced drivers remains extremely tight,” ATA chief economist Bob Costello said. “The continued improvement in the freight economy, coupled with regulatory challenges from the changing hours-of-service rule and CSA will only serve to put a further squeeze on the market for drivers.”

Driver turnover now stands at its highest point since the third quarter of 2012, and is just slightly higher than the annual rate of 98% reported last year.

Turnover at LTL fleets dropped 9% to just 6%, the lowest level in two years, while turnover at truckload fleets with less than $30 million in annual revenue remained flat at 82%.

“A tight market for drivers will push costs higher for fleets as they work to recruit or retain quality drivers,” Costello noted.

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  • costello says costs will rise? u mean pay will go up? theres been a driver shortage for 25 years and drivers make kess niw than in the 1980’s, costs wont rise, relax

  • Why would anyone in their right mind want to work in an industry that makes you spend so much time filling out useless paperwork and not being paid a decent wage? No where else do you have to keep track of your entire life, working or not, and be harassed by officials all for a paltry income when all the hours are considered. Until drivers can go to work just like most any other job and get paid for what they do, it’s going to be impossible to keep drivers. After almost 30 years and seeing how much more frustrating it has become to simply do your job, I would never encourage anyone to enter this industry. What was once enjoyable has become stressful and confusing, definitely no reason to get out of bed every morning and head off to your job.

  • From a Game Theory point of view a lot of this makes perfect sense. Working and pay conditions within the trucking industry have gone seriously downhill in the last quarter century. The attitude of truckng companies towards their drivers went something like “who cares if you quit because there are ten drivers behind you who will take your job”. Now what is happening is that demographics are backing up on the industry since this pool of available labour is retiring and younger workers see trucking as an industry to stay out of. Most of the truckers who could go and get better jobs have left trucking compounding the situation. Now this industry cries to the government that there is a “truck driver shortage” and expects the taxpayer to pick up the tab for immigrants to cover their massive inefficiencies. Trucking companies also have an implicit agreement with each other to keep wages low, so truckers who quit and go elsewhere within the trucking industry find the same poor conditions. Summary: those drivers who can find other skills and industries get out and move on to better careers.

  • soon the industry will replace hard working truckers with robots. unmanned vehicle transports. cars can now parallel park and negotiate highways by themselves. the dock personnel will handle cargo by remote control drones. it is only a matter of time before this is ubiquitous. man is becoming obsolete

  • A fleet owner was heard one time saying ” Kick over a garbage can, and 12 drivers will fall out.”
    Gotta love the respect of these people. I rest my case.