U.S. Truck Fleets See an Uptick in Driver Turnover

July 05, 2017 by Clarissa Hawes

The driver turnover pace for U.S. truck fleets rose in the first quarter of 2017. Despite the increase, rates remain at historically low levels.

“The slight uptick in turnover, despite weak freight volumes in the first quarter, may be indicative of a tightening in the driver market,” said Bob Costello, the ATA’s chief economist.

In March, the amount of freight hauled by the trucking industry dipped 1 percent following a decline of .1 percent in February, according to ATA’s seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index.

“The situation bears watching because if the freight economy picks up significantly, turnover will surely accelerate – as will concerns about driver shortage,” Costello said.

For large carriers with revenues of more than $300 million, driver turnover rose 3 points to 74 percent. Though rates increased over the previous quarter, levels are down 15 points compared with 2016.

Small carriers also experienced a small increase of 2 points over the previous quarter, raising levels slightly to 66 percent. Compared with first quarter of last year, however, rates are down 22 points.

The turnover rate at less-than-truckload carriers, which typically skew lower, ticked up 2 points to 10 percent.

3 Responses

  1. Nick

    Was a Driver for many years wrecked my body and would not recommend this life for anyone!

  2. Matthew

    3rd gen driver. 16 years over the road. turn over rates will continue going up. drivers are now faced with different forms of personal and professional abuse on all sides. with wages falling to below 1980’s wages. with the induction of camera’s and e-logs that are viewed by dispatchers. and is used as a micro management tool to keep drivers in low income. and 90% of the industry treats the trucks like housing. trying to strand drivers in them. and with deceitful dispatcher not being honest about days with no loads for the truck. leaving drivers in a guessing game. worried the driver is going to get angry and quit over the truth. not likely! more like the driver will feel more valued as a professional and respected enough by that. so the driver can use the time to do laundry/go shopping/go to the movies/ get a hotel room for the night/ clean the truck. file/organize paperwork. this is why drivers are quitting. this is what people asking about the job are being told.

    trucking companies own fault for the job hopper phenomenon, the driver shortage, the driver turn over rate. no one else is to blame.

    what is happening. management retaliation against drivers for mistakes, wrongful driver punishment, poor driver treatment all across the board. poor pay package, distpatchers that won’t help. drivers getting blamed for operations mistakes. knowing now that trucking companies are selling right for customers to view the driver. that just wrong! unable to view/access camera footage from the truck. dispatcher in a wrongful fit of rage normally over marital/home financial problems. use the e-log/cameras against drivers when the driver reports a normal everyday industry problem. like load is going to be late over traffic/flat tire/dot inspection/wait line at current delivery/stop. stuff like that. to release anger over the problems the dispatcher Brought to work with from home. drivers are always deal with unhappy customers employees. viewed bring the same anger to work as dispatchers do. drivers also get treated like 5 year old kids by nearly everyone. poorest treatment I ever seen. and this is a normal day for drivers. and there is no one 4 drivers to talk to about this. so many drivers do have mild mental issues.do to prolonged forms of abuse from nearly everyone they deal with. and no one will help. it gets ignored by everyone seen as not my problem.

  3. Matthew

    was driver for many years. wrecked my health finances and life. I don’t recommend truck driving for anyone who wants more outta life.


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