There’s a strange phenomenon in the trucking industry and that is the level of turnover each year. At first you may think it’s the newbies switching jobs after getting a year or two of experience, but no. It goes far deeper than that.
Statistics have shown that many truckers change jobs after only a year, creating employee turnover of more than 100% annually. You probably know people like that and they are in every industry – always looking for the highest salary, the best benefits, and the most popular employer.
When the economy is in a downward spiral, drivers often go to other professions like construction or manufacturing because those industries pay higher salaries and they also provide better quality-of-life perks like time at home and affordable insurance coverage.
Why are truckers changing jobs so often?
It is no doubt due to multiple reasons – could be poor planning by dispatchers, better benefits at other companies, less time away from home – who knows for sure? But the bad part is that companies seem to accept that that’s the way it is when maybe they should be making changes. And the good news is – some companies are.
Some of the blame goes to the drivers too always looking for another few bucks when a lot of times it’s just a matter of sticking out the slow times. Companies are starting to change their tune. Now if they have an applicant with multiple jobs in one year they avoid these drivers.
As employers are getting familiar with this trend, they are working to create more incentives to convince their employees to stay. The three big ones are: higher number of miles, a competitive pay package, and getting more home time.
The better-run companies look more closely at an applicant’s work history now, because it costs a lot of money to hire and train new employees that will leave in a year. And if you think about it, the better-run companies are the ones people should want to work for.
Starting out in the industry, everyone’s got a better deal than you, but after five or six years of experience, things have a tendency to even out. Sometimes it’s wise to stay where you are.
Whenever you quit you have to clean out your truck, leave it with the employer, get a ride home, and spend the first three days with your new company in orientation, and restock your truck.
You might not think it does, but the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence. No need to worry if you did some job-hopping in the early part of your career, but once you’ve got some experience, try finding an employer with whom you can stay for several years.
Do I Give Notice Or Not?
In most industries it’s the polite thing to do to give 2 weeks’ notice. Of course there are horror stories about drivers getting left out in the middle of nowhere right after they gave notice. Think about the two-week rule, but if you know or feel like the company will seek some sort of revenge then don’t. Use your discretion.
Here are a couple ways you don’t want to give notice:
Don’t Abandon The Load
In the moment you may make rash decisions but stop to think about several years down the proverbial road. If you abandon a company truck and load that one action will taint your record and give companies an excellent reason to throw out your application for years to come. People want to see a positive previous work record with a professional attitude.
Don’t Quit Under Dispatch
Be responsible and finish the job. If you truly cannot deliver a load because of obligations to your next job, talk to your dispatcher. You might be able to work out a solution and avoid burning that bridge.
And here are some positive ways to leave your job:
Talk To Your Manager
If you’re ready to leave your job, chances are your driver manager already knows it already. Still, have a talk with your driver manager to tell them why you’re leaving. No need to air all the dirty laundry, just clarify what parts of the job have not worked for you. Also be sure to stress what was good. Remain professional.
See The Job Through
It’s so tempting to start slacking when you know the end is in sight. You’re thinking ahead to your new job. Even thought it’s hard, keep your thoughts on your current job and finish strong
What Happens To My Truck?
If you own your truck then you can leave with it after delivering your last load. If the company owns it they can take it back immediately regardless of where you are.
Why Would I Stay?
There are a multitude of reasons that truck drivers change companies. Some want more money, more time at home, different routes, or different types of responsibility. Some don’t get along with dispatchers or management but while switching trucking companies might seem like the best way to deal with these issues, always remember that no company is perfect and all will have issues.
Make Sure This Is What You Want To Do
Talking it out with a manager can sometimes change your situation (if you have a good manager) and staying with your current company has its benefits. Some reward drivers with bonuses or other incentives for years of service and safe driving records.
The company may address your concerns by giving you a different route or letting you to spend more time at home. Good drivers are hard to find and who knows, your current company may accommodate the changes you need to thrive. So be sure to weigh your options carefully and think through all scenarios before deciding to drive for a different company.