Equipment and compensation issues were drivers’ top concerns in 2022, according to the annual Top 10 Driver Issues list from the Professional Driver Agency (PDA).
The same two issues topped the list in 2021, but with a softening freight market in the second half of 2022, miles and other compensation-related issues dominated the entire Top 10 list last year, PDA said.
“While the top two issues of 2022 match the top two issues of 2021, clearly the softening freight market currently facing the trucking industry is reflected in this year’s list,” said Scott Dismuke, PDA’s vice president of operations. “Three of the Top 10 issues for 2022 were centered around miles, however seven of the Top 10 issues directly affect miles.”
Breakdown and mechanical issues maintained two of the top three spots, but Dismuke noted that mechanical and breakdown issues at the time of assignment concern drivers and could negatively be affecting driver turnover.
“Equipment assignment issues matter to drivers and we’ve seen in our data that it often results in drivers leaving early in their tenure,” Dismuke said. “The first impression a carrier makes on a driver is what a truck looks like at the time of assignment. Making a good first impression with a driver coming out of orientation is key to keeping a driver in the truck. The best way to do that is with properly inspected and clean trucks.”
Dismuke noted that two communication issues on the list are troubling, given the slowing economy and freight market.
“Communication can cure a lot of ills,” Dismuke said. “While you cannot control the economy, you can control how you communicate with a driver. You can also control how quickly you respond to a driver and make them feel more respected. Ultimately, the ability to communicate effectively is going to determine if a carrier’s turnover rate goes up or goes down in 2023.”
The complete Top 10 Driver Issues list for 2022:
- Tractor—Mechanical/breakdown Issues
- Compensation—Pay rate not competitive
- Equipment assignment—Tractor broken down
- Miles—Loads not available
- Miles—Inconsistent miles
- Home time—Wants daily home time
- Miles—Poor scheduling/planning
- Trailers—Mechanical/tire issues
- Communication—No response by driver manager
- Communication—Slow response by driver manager