How to improve driver experience in 2022
January 18, 2022
Almost two years after the start of the COVID-19 global pandemic, the number of available jobs for truck drivers is at an all time high. Truck drivers all over the world have their pick of the bunch when it comes to new jobs. In the United States alone, there’s an estimated shortage of 80,000 truck drivers with similar figures in Europe and Asia. Even before the pandemic, driver shortages had been listed as one of the top trucking industry issues consistently for years.
This poses a problem to fleet operators. How do they attract truck drivers, and once on-board, how do they keep them? Common concerns for drivers when looking for a new role include pay, and the ability to sleep in their own bed each night. In this current employer/employee balance of power, drivers are literally ‘in the driving seat’. This means fleet operators need to go the extra mile to take care of their drivers and keep them onboard.
Listening to driver concerns and bringing them into decision-making processes can mitigate concerns and keep your work force happy. When asked about issues in the trucking industry, drivers mention disconnect between office staff and communication among their major concerns.
Related to this is the increasing use of digital technology in the work space - something that is only going to increase as the digital transformation effects more and more aspects of work life. Examples of this include ELD mandates in the USA and Canada and the increasing use of in-cab dashcams and digital checklists such as DVIR. While these technologies are designed to make driver’s job’s easier, at times they can feel like an overstep to drivers, an invasion of privacy and lack of trust in their abilities to get the job done.
Proper communication between drivers and back-office staff can go a long way to ease these tensions and get drivers onboard with new technology. Solutions can be developed that work for everyone – you get the most out of your investment while keeping drivers happy.
For example, dashcams present real concerns around privacy. Driver facing cameras in particular can be unpopular as drivers do not want to be watched all day. The purpose of dashcams however is safety, not driver surveillance. But without proper communication, drivers aren’t necessarily aware of the potential benefits that dashcams can provide them. By holding a Q&A session with your drivers before purchasing a dash cam system you can explain the benefits to your drivers while giving them an equal platform to express their concerns. This not only builds trust, but ensures you know your employee needs and limitations and you purchase the correct solution for your organisation.
Some benefits of dash cams you can talk to your drivers about include:
• Providing footage for exoneration when incidents happen that are not their fault
• Providing footage of defensive driving that can lead to positive reinforcement and rewards
• Increased driver coaching
Now more than ever it’s crucial to keep up proper two-way communication with drivers and understand their needs. At Coretex we design technology to increase drivers standards of working – not make it harder. To find out more about how our technology can help keep your drivers happy, get in touch with our team today.