Recruiting starts with retention and retention starts with respect, it is as simple as that.
No Shortage Of Drivers, Says Smith
With a popular blog entitled TruthAboutTrucking, and a reputation for speaking the unvarnished truth, you might get the impression that Aubrey Allen Smith is considered something of a rebel in certain circles. You’d be right.
“You hear talk about there being a shortage of drivers,” Smith said during a recent phone conversation. “I don’t believe it. If you asked me, the big problem is with companies that make a habit of keeping drivers in rotation. When you do that, you get drivers who are always looking for greener grass.”
The irony being that, in the pursuit of higher profits, some companies end up spending far more than they should have to, just recruiting new drivers to feed the pipeline.
What Drivers Want.
“The answer is pretty simple, says Smith. “Give drivers the miles they need to earn a good living, give them good home time, and treat them with respect, and they’ll treat you right in return.”
Two Sides To Every Story.
That said, Smith is the first to admit there’s a lot more to the problem than the companies themselves. “There are plenty of good companies out there, and I’ve worked for some of them. And the truth is, there are plenty of drivers you can’t please no matter what—and I’ve known plenty of them. You take away all the things they have to whine and cry about, and they’d have nothing to live for!” Hardly the talk of a single-minded rebel, indeed.”
Here’s Why Companies Are Listening To Smith.
“I’ve had several companies hire me. They want to pick my brain, help them get into the mind of the trucker, and find-out what they can do to make them happier. When I hear that from a company, I know there’s a pretty good chance they’re a good company—because it shows they care. And that’s really what matters to truckers.”
So What’s The Truth About Trucking?
“There are a lot of very good companies in this industry. A lot. But there’s not one perfect company.” Which makes sense, since they’re all run by people!
“Too often,” Smith concludes, “The story drivers and CDL students hear about trucking is over-glamorized. And when people buy into that story, they’re disappointed. In my opinion, the companies that are honest with their drivers are the ones who are going to be the most successful in retention. Because trucking isn’t a job. It’s a lifestyle.”
Allen Smith is a 34 year trucking veteran, nearing 4 million safe miles, and host of the popular internet talk radio show Truth About Trucking “LIVE” and the AskTheTrucker blog. He explains what every CDL student and new truck driver needs to know to make trucking work as a viable career.