Six years in a row now, the American Transportation Research Institute’s (ATRI) Critical Issues in Trucking report has listed driver shortage and driver retention as the highest among fleet concerns.
To address these issues, carriers can’t simply eliminate all the frustrations drivers experience in a workday – that’s near impossible. However, fleets can at least remove certain common pain points by effectively using telematics data and the right mobile application.
As fleets scramble to offer competitive pay and benefit packages, many are also using new technology to increase driver job satisfaction. The following ideas show how fleets can provide drivers with more freedom and flexibility – plus make their work more productive by simplifying and centralizing tasks.
These ideas come from an expert guide Transflo recently published, “8 Genius Ideas to Maximize Value from Existing Telematics Data,” which has been successfully put into motion by both Hill Brothers Transportation and Condesa Freight International.
- Offer self-dispatch
When owner-operators and company drivers have access to self-dispatch technology, it removes dreaded back-and-forth load discussions and gives them more control of their work schedules. They can choose home time, pre-plan their weeks, and select and manage the loads they haul.
When Condesa Freight International set out to streamline dispatch, the San Antonio, Texas-based fleet decided to create a web portal to allow both types of drivers to self-dispatch. Drivers like how easy it is to access the portal from their mobile phones to view information on available loads. Once a driver selects a load, the company’s back-office system updates their dispatch assignment.
- Decrease detention
Drivers tend to rank ‘excessive dwell time at a shipper’ as one of their least favorite parts of the job – especially when they know they’re being detained but can’t always prove it. That’s why Hill Brothers uses Transflo to measure dwell time at shipping and receiving facilities. The Omaha, Nebraska-based fleet uses the data to identify which customers are causing utilization problems so operations and customer service can work to address the issues.
- Coaching for hours-of-service regulations
Drivers seek fleets offering integrated technology systems that help them be more efficient to maximize their earnings. With Transflo Telematics, Hill Brothers’ operations team can monitor how drivers utilize their available hours. The team coaches them on using the application to track their hours, stay on schedule, receive break reminders, and stay compliant with DVIR logging and certification.
- Integrate navigation
You never want to see a truck stuck under an overpass, and yet, it still happens. Even the most seasoned drivers can get tripped up with a non-trucking GPS system.
Fleets can give drivers an expanded menu of integrated applications via Transflo’s Mobile+ app which includes partners such as Co-Pilot Truck to keep rigs on truck-friendly roads with truck-specific GPS routes. Other integrated applications in the Transflo mobile app include weigh station bypass and pop-up “Safety Zone” alerts for drivers to be aware of risky sections on the road, such as low-clearance bridges, in advance.
- Eliminate paperwork
New drivers say they are overwhelmed by the sheer amount of documentation that comes with what they expected to be an escape from the grind of a desk job. That’s why new hires adapt so quickly to digitization solutions available through Transflo.
Many carrier offer their drivers the option to fill out and transmit digital forms to the office for vehicle inspections, surveys, job referrals, and weekly training evaluation forms – among other processes.
When looking at driver exit surveys, pay is often listed as a main motivation for switching companies. But when you do a deep dive into the research, it often comes down to how respected drivers feel too. Offering the latest technology that offers drivers both freedom and flexibility is an efficient way to show that respect.
Be sure to request your copy of the guide, “8 Genius Ideas to Maximize Value from Existing Telematics Data” to see if you’re getting the most from your technology investments.