Although in the first quarter of 2005, as reported by the American Trucking Associations, annualized driver turnover for large truckload carriers decreased from fourth quarter 2004’s 136% to 120%, the issue remains most serious for the industry.
Increased pay is one avenue being used by truckload carriers to keep drivers. Analysts indicate that several of the larger carriers increased driver salaries between 8 and 10% in 2004. More increased are expected during 2005.
Quality of life issues are also being dealt with, in a variety of ways, by the industry. This is where Schneider National’s Home Run program is aimed at providing drivers with a more predictable work schedule with more time spent at home.
Home Run involves pods of three drivers or driver teams that live with each other and share two tractors. As the company explains, each driver or team gets one week at “home” while the other two “run.” Each driver receives a personal calendar that details their weeks at home for a year. Through the program, drivers have 17 weeks per year at home.
In operation for just a few months, the program has 250 Schneider National participants out of its 15,500 drivers. The expectation is that enrollment will double by the end of the year.