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PDA: Equipment remains drivers’ top concern, but another one is growing

Oct. 27, 2022
Complaints about miles-related compensation issues are up 12% from Q1 as the freight market continues to slow, according to Q3 survey data from the driver retention agency.

Equipment and compensations issues remained top of mind for professional truck drivers during the third quarter of 2022, according to new data from PDA.

The driver retention agency gathered the data through “thousands” of phone calls with drivers.

“While equipment concerns remain the top issue for drivers in Q3, PDA continues to see a shift in data connected to miles-related compensation issues,” said Scott Dismuke, PDA’s vice president of operations. “Drivers’ concerns about miles continue to increase, up 12% since Q1, a clear indication of a slowing freight market. In September alone, over half the drivers complaining about pay cited miles as the main reason.”

Dismuke noted that the slowing freight market not only is increasing driver frustration with miles, but also causing a climb in turnover rates. 

“PDA has seen an uptick in turnover that began at the end of Q2 and continued in Q3,” Dismuke said.  “For those drivers who have entered the market in the last two years, the slowing freight market is proving to be a frustrating wake-up call. For veteran drivers who have enjoyed consistent freight over the last couple of years, the slowing freight market is a disappointing return to waiting longer for freight.” 

From a percentage standpoint, overall equipment issues dropped for the third quarter in a row, and mechanical/breakdown issues were also down from Q2 to Q3. Dismuke noted that while the percentage of complaints has dropped, the number of drivers complaining about equipment has remained the same. 

“Equipment issues remained the top driver concern in Q3,” Dismuke said. “While the percentage has dropped nearly 5% from Q1, relative to other categories, the total number of complaints remained the same. So while we are hearing the equipment and parts shortage is letting up, the numbers aren’t yet reflecting that.” 

Dismuke remarked that the softening freight market will continue to be a challenge in combating turnover in Q4.  

“People are spending more on services right now, less on goods,” Dismuke said. “Diesel and gas prices are on the rise again—taking disposable income out of people’s pockets—interest rates continue to rise, and some economists are expecting unemployment rates to go up, meaning the last quarter of 2022 could continue to be a challenge in reducing driver turnover.”

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