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Large truckload fleet turnover rate hits 102%

ARLINGTON, Va. – The American Trucking Association (ATA) said the annualized turnover rate for large truckload fleets increased by two percentage points to 102% during the fourth quarter of 2015.

“This elevated turnover rate shows that the driver market remains a challenge for truckload fleets,” said ATA chief economist Bob Costello. “Obviously, attracting and retaining drivers remains a top concern for the industry.”

The rise indicates the second straight quarter turnover was at least 100%, the first such streak since 2012, and there was an average churn rate for the year of 93%.

Small truckload carriers saw a turnover rate increase of 21 points, hitting 89% in the final quarter of 2015, but remained six points lower than it was during the fourth quarter of 2014, and averaged 79%.

“The rising turnover rate, coupled with anecdotal reports from carriers, shows what a premium there is on experienced, safe drivers,” Costello said. “And those drivers have and will continue to benefit from rising wages and benefits.”

Less-than-truckload carriers turnover rose one point to 11% during the same quarter, averaging the same percentage for the full year.

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10 Comments » for Large truckload fleet turnover rate hits 102%
  1. Michael Gower says:

    102% turnover rate and the big fleets maintain there’s a driver shortage. It would appear they’re able to hire more than enough drivers but they fail to retain the drivers they hire. Must still be cheaper to hire new than exert effort in retaining existing drivers.

  2. Lucien Bleau says:

    Just to make this brief, “Pay them and they shall come and stay”.

  3. Jaret says:

    I’ve been in the industry for 15 year and heard this all the time. So it’s really either a bunch of bull or the industry is avoiding the elephant in the room. Drivers want to be paid for our time period if we work a 14 HR day we want to get paid a 14 HR day. We don’t want to give up time at customers, borders or in traffic. There’s alot more but real drivers are never invited to retention symposiums because fleet owner never want to hear the truth

  4. Ted Campbell says:

    I realize I was ‘small potatoes’ with only 12 highway tractors but my background was being a driver and a foreman, I knew the problems of recruiting and training and how upset customers were when a new person couldn’t find their location. I was careful who I selected to drive for me, my trucks were “owner-operator” spec., I paid slightly over the going rate and took every 1st trip myself. I made and constantly updated a 3-ring binder for every rig. Turnover was low, many that quit came back and job enquiries often came from drivers that met my people on the road. We had very little “brokered loads” most were our own customers. When I shut down my Ins. sent a $25,000.00 rebate cheque for money in an “unused risk fund” I keep in touch with many of “my people” There is much to be said for doing it right.

  5. rick says:

    I have been told that I was allowed to work 70 hrs a week and was expected to work 70 hrs per week,but I wouldn’t be payed by the hour.I would be payed by the mile,but would be expected to give the customer 2 hrs +of my time,and the customs as much time as they want,and the MTO as much time as they want.Sometimes I wonder what I ever saw in this occupation that was so attractive. I would hate to own a company, where in order to turn a profit,I would have to ask my employees to do this.

  6. billy says:

    Its not worth it to live in a truck for weeks at a time away from home for a few hundred dollars per week. Its a unhealthy, lowpaying lifestyle, that’s why I got out of trucking.

  7. john says:

    I have been involved in the trucking industry for 45 years. “QUIT” using helpless owner-operators and “PAY WAGES ” IN COMPARISON TO OTHER “TRADES”! The government has been stalling due to “LOBBYIST’S” for decades, classifying Professional Drivers as a special trade,thereby keeping wages low to accomodate THE PRIVATE SECTOR! Canada needs a driver training course of at least one year, combining with the trucking company’s a apprenticeship until they qualify, similar to other trades of 4 to 5 years. Driver turnover would decrease measureably and Commercial Accidents would be minimal.

  8. Rick Thompson says:

    I have been self employed most of my years trucking local and long distance. Would I do it over not a chance. The industry / Corporate really don’t give a dame about you. If you have a good look around out their now they say the industry has been taken over by none experienced drivers doing things I wouldn’t even think of even large carriers using their services why because it is simple they want cheap. Cheap isn’t always good and good isn’t always cheap. Pay for good drivers park the rest.

  9. A strong, comprehensive, partially company funded Group Health and Dental Benefits Program is a PROVEN way to attract and retain qualified drivers.

  10. Rick says:

    The trucking industry shouldn’t be surprised. You managers and consultants created this mess … Stop whining, you got what you wanted.

    20 years ago in the mid 1990’s I got $1.15 / mile for my tractor pulling a company owned tandem trailer, plus an extra .05 per additional axle loaded or empty for anything more than a tandem trailer. $38.50 / hr work time / wait time, with NO free time provided. $50.00 for any pickup or drop outside of our terminal gates, including spotting a trailer. Fuel was under .40 / litre. My insurance was approx $10,000 / yr with a $500 deductible. A new chromed up Freightliner, Kenworth or Peterbilt was between $95,000 – $115,000 fully loaded. We could make a good living on 2500 miles / week, and there was always a stack of qualified applications sitting on the manager’s desk, waiting for a position to come available. We had health plans & life insurance, and some companies offered pension plans. No tachographs, no security gates, and the scales & cops were relatively decent to us. We took care of our trucks, we knew how to do our jobs, and most of us did them well & with pride.

    Today you are micromanaged & monitored up the wazoo, for less money than 25 years ago. You’re dragging bigger, heavier & longer loads than ever, for less. Costs are through the roof, the public hates you, and the bureaucrats support that view. No one in their right frign’ mind would find the trucking industry attractive today. A cop makes over $100K / yr, firemen the same, nurses $80 – 90K +, teachers $80K+, plus benefits & pensions. Whats a trucker working 70 hours per week sleeping on the side of the road in a tin box make …. nothing even close.

    Thanks to all you eggheads and bean counters, you got what you wanted, … cheap freight … hope you’re pleased with yourselves. Stop whining and go hire another batch of monkeys for next week’s loads.

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