Equipment and compensation issues still are truck drivers’ two greatest concerns, according to recently released Professional Driver Agency (PDA) data compiled from more than 30,000 phone calls with professional truckers during the third quarter of 2020.
The data was gathered as part of PDA’s efforts to help trucking companies curb turnover, while providing accurate and actionable data to address their drivers’ concerns. Equipment and compensation were the most mentioned concerns in data released last quarter, and both remained steady in the most recent information, PDA said, with equipment issues up slightly at 31% and compensation issues remaining at 28%.
“While equipment issues almost mirrored Q2 data as the driver’s top concern, compensation issues continue to show the most volatility,” said Scott Dismuke, PDA’s director of operations. “In Q2, the biggest concern for drivers regarding their compensation was miles. Although that was still the case in the third quarter, concerns over miles dropped 17%, but driver’s concerns about their pay rate rose to 30%, up from 11% in Q2.”
Dismuke noted that the big drop in driver concerns regarding miles was the result of high freight volumes from July through September as the economy reopened late in Q2 and continued into Q3.
PDA says it also saw a correlation between driver’s concerns about pay rates and the reopening of the economy.
“Many carriers significantly cut their recruiting and marketing efforts in Q2 as a result of COVID-19,” Dismuke said. “As the economy began to reopen in June, carriers increased their recruiting budgets and some carriers even raised pay. PDA believes the increased marketing efforts and pay increases resulted in the significant jump in drivers talking about pay rate issues in Q3.”
COVID-19 concerns in Q3 significantly decreased. This continued a trend that PDA began to see at the end of Q2, as driver comments on COVID-19 fell off sharply in June.
“Drivers’ concerns about COVID-19 caused personal issues to rise to one of the top three issues in Q2, however, those concerns fell off significantly in Q3. Personal issues dropped 5% quarter-over-quarter,” Dismuke said. “Once the economy opened back up, the concerns over COVID-19 seemed to dissipate.
“That continues the trend we saw in Q2, where our data suggested the drivers’ most common concerns about COVID-19 was more economic than health related.”
Operations issues were the third top issue in Q3 after falling to the fourth in Q2. Driver feedback about operations centered on communication issues with their driver managers. Dismuke noted the biggest communication issues were “no response” and “slow response” from a driver manager.
“Our data has shown a correlation between drivers having issues with communication and drivers having issues with compensation and miles,” Dismuke said. “Communication with drivers should always be a priority.
“The more the driver feels in the loop, the more comfortable they feel in a truck.”
Visit joinpdateam.com/quarterly-data-download for PDA’s full Q3 data download.