#53673151QPetar Dojkic|Dreamstime
Biggest Issues Facing  Truck Drivers

Biggest Issues Facing Truck Drivers

March 6, 2024
Poor planning, inefficient load assignments, problems with maintenance and equipment can affect worker safety.

Understanding the key concerns of frontline workers is the first step in addressing them. The recently released WorkHound 2024 Annual Trends Report interviewed nearly 100,000 anonymous frontline worker across 100+ logistics and trucking companies about a number issues in the field.  

“2023 was a year with significant challenges in the trucking sector,” said Max Farrell, co-founder and CEO of WorkHound, in a statement. “Despite facing a freight recession and new NLRB guidance, the industry demonstrated remarkable resilience. Federal initiatives began addressing the truck parking shortage, and the sector saw considerable mergers and acquisitions activity." 

The report categorized driver comments into themes to simplify the data before measuring sentiment. The top theme of worker comments in 2023 was "People", underscoring the crucial role of interpersonal connections in enhancing the work experience.

Frontline employees don’t always see colleagues every day or even every week. So, when there are connections between drivers and dispatchers, for example, employees want them to be solid, reliable, and helpful.

The following are both the positive and negative feedback themes from the report. 

Positive Subthemes

Team Dynamics -- Employees are happy to recognize someone who helps them and seem to genuinely enjoy showing gratitude for the support they receive.

Support --It's also evident that, when issues arise, having responsive and understanding management can make a significant difference in a worker’s experience.

Effective Management --Many employees express gratitude and satisfaction with their colleagues and managers. These commenters often say they feel supported and listened to and appreciate the attentiveness of their superiors. The presence of effective communication and the willingness of management to address concerns and provide solutions are frequently mentioned.

Work-life balance and job satisfaction --Employees express satisfaction with their roles, citing factors like keeping busy, having consistent work, and enjoying good home time. The balance between work and personal life is highly appreciated.

Negative Subthemes

Operation Inefficiencies-- Operational issues such as poor planning, inefficient load assignments, and issues with maintenance and equipment can drive a wedge between the workforce and management. Workers often feel these inefficiencies impact their ability to work effectively and safely.

Management--A common thread, especially in logistics and trucking, is a call for better management, particularly middle management, suggesting a disconnect between workers' expectations and the support they receive.

Dispatch--Dispatch-related concerns are notably prevalent, with workers voicing frustration over communication gaps that impact their work and schedule.

Financial Impacts--Workers mention the financial impact of operational decisions, such as inefficient routes affecting their earnings or inefficient processes affecting their production.

Respect--Many workers share similar perceptions of disrespect and lack of appreciation within the workforce. They point to various examples ranging from intimidation and threats from management to untruthful training promises and poorly trained colleagues, driving a pervasive feeling that they’re being taken advantage of.

Additionally, a 17% increase in mentions of unions from 2022 to 2023 and increased concerns about pay" and "equipment reliability reflect the evolving priorities and challenges faced by drivers. 

 “Listening and communication are the keys to fostering better workplace environments and driving frontline industries toward a more inclusive, proactive, and positive future,” said Farrell.

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