Many factors must be considered when thinking of companies that qualify as a Best Fleet to Drive For. It is not enough to say that they excel in one particular area. Rather, they need to have a comprehensive program that focuses in on their driver’s needs and works to provide a high level of growth and support. When we think about what it takes to be a Best Fleet to Drive For, there are 4 key foundations that really stand out.
1. Top pay and benefits.
A foundation for any great career is always a solid pay and benefits package. For many of us, our first priority in any work decision is to ensure that it will allow us to take care of and provide for the ones we love. Drivers are no exception. Developing a pay and benefits package that will support your drivers in reaching their personal goals is the base on which they can build a great career.
For us, the desire to provide our drivers with a solid foundation is critical. That is what led us to develop a pay and benefits package that earned us a certification as a Top Pay Carrier.
2. Work/Life Balance
Drivers like getting lots of miles because it allows them to get the most out of that top pay. But at the same time, being out on the road and away from loved ones for weeks at a time is hard. That is why it is critical to work on finding the right balance for your drivers.
Many companies use software to help make the best decisions for routing and assigning the right loads to the right drivers. But what if that software could also help monitor how long a driver has been out and notify managers when a driver ought to get a longer break?
Making sure our drivers get the home time they need and deserve is the next major building block. It is so important to us that our IT department built that intelligence into the software our managers use every day. This way, our dispatch software is focused on home time, not just covering the next load.
How are drivers supposed to know what is going on if nobody tells them? And how can the company know its driver’s needs to serve them if nobody is asking? Making consistent communication a priority is key.
Consider having key decision makers intentionally reach out to one driver each week for some one on one time. The impact is incredible. Drivers have the opportunity to ask questions and get a feel for what is going on in the company as well as communicate any needs or challenges they may be experiencing.
For us, this technique is great for getting a pulse on our team. We can understand what their needs truly are and make informed decisions to ensure our drivers are fully equipped to get the job done.
Keeping drivers safe out on the road is the most important piece. Protecting your drivers is more than just about protecting your bottom line. It is about protecting the livelihood of your people. An accident could lead to more than just equipment repairs and some lost work time. For drivers, it could also mean missing out on valuable family time due to doctor visits and limited activity.
We make a goal of returning drivers home in the same condition they left every time they hit the road. To support that goal, we take advantage of available safety technologies such as ONGuard, OnLane, and Roll Stability to help prevent accidents before they happen.
Consistent communication plays into this key as well. Allowing managers to know how their drivers are getting along in terms of fatigue or any other issues they may face that could be a safety concern. When’s the last time your operations told a driver to park it for safety reasons? That is how important safety is to us.
Serving Your People.
When we look at these key foundations together, it’s easy to see one common theme: serving your people.
Every company wants to serve their customers well. It’s foundational to the company’s success. But it can be easy to overlook your first and most important customers, your drivers. Drivers are the real face of the company, and at the end of the day, it’s left in their hands to deliver the quality service we all desire.
It is that desire and willingness to serve your drivers that we believe ultimately makes a company a Best Fleet to Drive For.