NRS Survey Finds Solutions to Truck Driver Job Shortage

Truck driver job shortage survey results – “Without Truck Drivers America Stops,” this is the message seen on many tractor-trailers as they crisscross the country. It is a statement meant to drive home the value of the trucking industry to our economy. No one knows the truth of this statement better than the people within the transportation industry whose job it is to recruit the drivers needed to deliver the goods we all use and need every single day of the year.

NRS Survey Finds Solutions to Truck Driver Job ShortageThe Trucking industry has been severely impacted by the truck driver job shortage.

NRS Survey Finds Solutions to Truck Driver Job Shortage – See Survey Results Below

In a 2014 survey, National Retail Systems, Inc. (NRS) polled thousands of truck drivers nationwide in an effort to determine what makes a driver choose one truck driver job over another.

With millions of truck driver job ads flooding the market, the survey found that 79 percent of the drivers polled agreed that salary was most important when choosing a job. Home-time was ranked as the second highest; and sign-on bonus and training were the lowest.

David Bullins, NRS’ east coast recruitment officer for truck driver jobs, said, “It used to be that regional and long-haul drivers were making better money, but now with the new hours of service they are required to have more downtime.”

“That downtime ultimately means less money so drivers are now making the push to become local drivers instead. Since drivers cannot run like they used to home-time has now become a higher priority,” said Bullins.

With pay being most important to drivers it poses the question: how much are trucking companies able to increase driver pay?

“Market conditions will not allow transportation companies to increase pay beyond a certain level. With driver pay increases it is challenging for asset-based transportation companies to make money,” said Joe Brady, Vice President at NRS. “Customers are reluctant to raise pricing even though ever increasing variables such as new equipment, maintenance, and employee benefits continue to rise with inflation. These expenses add up, and transportation companies many times are forced to incur the cost-differential.”

When drivers were asked how many truck driver jobs they have had in the past 10 years 42 percent surveyed between 3-5 jobs. Bullins said, “This just shows how in demand drivers are. They can work for a company, and if they aren’t happy with the color of their tractor or the tone of a dispatcher it is as easy as going down the street to pick up a new job.”

Seventy-nine percent of those polled had said they go to the Internet to search for a truck driver job. “As a recruitment tool, the traditional medium of newspaper advertising is now a distant second to the use of the Internet,” said Bullins.

Forty-two percent of the drivers polled for this survey apply for 2-3 jobs at a time when looking for a new truck driver job. Almost 8 percent say they apply for more than 15 jobs at a time. Lupe Casas, an NRS truck driver job recruitment officer who specializes in owner operator drivers wasn’t shocked by these statistics and emphasizes how hiring drivers is truly a race.

“As a recruiter you need to process a driver quickly because within a couple of days they could already be driving for another company,” said Casas.

With many recruitment departments now allocating much of their budget to retention we asked drivers what were the top reasons for leaving their previous job, and found that salary (43 percent) again was the main reason. Home-time was the second most common reason (28 percent) for truck drivers to leave their current job.

“Retention is as important as recruitment and training,” said Bullins. “Why spend thousands of dollars to continue bringing on new drivers when management can make changes to retain the current fleet?”

“In this business drivers are by far the No. 1 asset,” said Bullins.

“David is right, companies are spending thousands if not millions of dollars per year towards advertising truck driver jobs instead of addressing some of the root causes of the truck driver job shortage,” said Chris Saville, NRS marketing director. “NRS is also focusing its efforts more on initiatives that target some of the larger issues at hand such as a need for truck driver apprenticeship programs.”

“In many cases high school graduates do not have the option of choosing the career path as a truck driver due to the state minimum age of 21,” said Saville. “By the time any graduates with aspirations of becoming a truck driver have reached the state minimum they have most likely chosen a different career. Becoming a driver is almost like everyone’s plan ‘B’ because there is no career path directly out of high school. Insurance is also a barrier for these new drivers.”

“The only ones winning are the job recruitment companies because there is so much demand for truck drivers,” added Saville. “ This is only going to get worse as time goes on, and where will we be if there are not enough truck drivers?”

“America will stop,” said Saville.

NRS Truck Driver Job Shortage Survey Results Data

As a truck driver what most attracts you to a job? (Please select up to 3)
New Equipment – 47%
Salary – 79%
Company Reputation – 31%
Home Time – 67%
Benefits – 52%
Sign-on bonus – 13%
Location – 36%
Type of run – 32%
Training – 11%
Not Sure – 2%
Other – 4%

How many driving jobs have you had in the last 10 years?
1-2 – 47%
3-5 – 41%
6-8 – 5%
9+ – 7%

Where do you go to find truck driving jobs?
Internet – 79%
Newspaper/Magazine – 4%
Hiring Fair – 1%
Flyers – 1%
Truck Stop – 1%
Referral – 11%
Other – 3%

When applying for a truck driver job, how many do you usually apply for?
1 – 15%
2-3 – 42%
4-6 – 20%
7-10 – 7%
11-15 – 2%
15+ – 8%
Not Sure – 6%

What were the top reasons for you leaving your last job? (Please select up to 3)
Equipment – 22%
Salary – 43%
Company Reputation – 14%
Home Time – 28%
Benefits – 21%
Location – 9%
Type of run – 17%
Retirement – 22%
Health Reasons – 7%
Training – 2%
Lay-off – 16%
Other – 21%

The Ultimate 3PL

National Retail Systems, Inc. (NRS) includes Keystone Freight Corp. & National Retail Transportation, Inc. (NRT). NRS is an asset based 3PL that has been providing logistics services for the World’s leading retail companies for 60+ years. Our hub locations include: New York & New Jersey; Los Angeles, CA; Inland Empire, CA; Savannah, GA; Columbus, OH; Greensboro, NC; and Baltimore, MD.