Due to the endless shortage of drivers, which is exacerbated by the pandemic impact on labor and demand for supply chains, truckers are more than ever looking for all possible ways to recruit new drivers and retain existing ones.
The work fleet now consists of two types of drivers: young drivers aged 25 to 30 who are just joining, and seniors aged 50 and over who may be road veterans or have just received a CDL to start a new career.
In any case, experienced fleet managers now use a wide range of technologies to make their drivers ’work easier, safer and more efficient. In turn, the impact of these positive efforts can force existing drivers to stay and attract new drivers.
Technologies used to improve driver safety and their lifestyle on the road cover a range from advanced driver assistance systems, workflow tablets and e-DVIRS to paperless paperwork, in-cab fuel efficiency and video safety instruction.
But none of this high-tech equipment will score points without its introduction and preservation in mind with proper communication, training and learning. On the other hand, even the best technology can turn off some drivers, especially older ones, who may not be ready for much change.
To inform fleet managers on how best to integrate technology in a way that benefits drivers, HDT editors present a free webinar on Thursday, March 3, 2022, at 2 p.m. Eastern | 11 a.m. Pacific.
The webinar entitled “How Technology Can Help Draw and Save Drivers” is the third in the HDT Driver Retention series.
Speakers at the webinar include Rick Schmidt, Human Resources and Security Director at Nussbaum Transportation, and Josh Mecca, Human Resources Director for American Central Transport. The session will be moderated by HDT Business / Washington Editor David Cullen.
In his statement, Mecca will focus especially on the role played by effective connectivity, communication and learning to make technology work for drivers.
“Multiple communication channels are required to use multiple technologies,” he notes. “Often this is the driver’s first interaction with a technical solution. We are all learning this together, so we need a constant two-way communication channel. Regardless of the specific technique. ”
Mecca notes that: “We are all constantly in touch, but we, as companies, also need to step up our communication game. As a carrier, you need to make sure your candidates get your message out loud and clear. ” He adds that although “we know we are hiring qualified candidates, we can always improve. Some drivers respond better to face-to-face meetings, some do well on a phone session, and some take the self-coach route well. ”
Schmidt delves into several topics, such as how to engage young drivers, including through social media, training and development of the current driver, and providing continuing education, including through podcasting. He notes that for a successful technology deployment, drivers need to “recognize the changes they have gone through, be prepared to help them understand this and know where you can and cannot push back any resistance”.
He also advises that the integration of new technologies needs to be done thoughtfully. “You have to find time to explain, and don’t forget to also train office staff; they need to know a lot about how these solutions work. When deploying the registrars, we called each driver and talked to them. If they were really repulsed, then the CEO and CFO talked to them. No driver was left out. “