Trucking’s driver shortage has been at or near the top of the American Transportation Research Institute’s (ATRI) list of critical industry issues for many consecutive years. There is a shortage of more than 80,000 drivers today, per ATRI, and that could grow to more than 160,000 drivers by 2030. 

 ATRI outlines several fixes to address the driver shortage; these include: 

  • Supporting initiatives to target high school students and young adults to add new blood to the aging driver workforce. 
  • Working with insurance providers to identify ways to expand coverage for younger drivers as part of the Safe Driver Apprenticeship Program.  
  • Advocate for regulatory changes to allow states to administer a driving skills test to out-of-state Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) applicants. 


Initiatives like these will be important for correcting the structural problems contributing to the driver shortage in the long term. However, for many carriers, recruiting and retaining drivers is an immediate concern that needs to be addressed today.  

Here are some ways that the fleet technology you use can help you attract and retain drivers. 


Choose Technology that Helps Drivers 

 Technology can be a burden or a blessing for drivers. When selecting technology tools for your fleet, make sure it’s the latter. Easy-to-use tools that protect your drivers and make their day run more smoothly can go a long way to boosting their satisfaction, ultimately improving recruiting and retention. 


Workflow and Navigation 

Mobile applications and truck-friendly navigation provide more flexibility and cut down on paperwork, helping drivers get their deliveries done safely and professionally. 



Professional drivers are among the safest on the road. Often, though, they are wrongly assumed to be at fault for car-truck accidents, which can result in legal and employment ramifications. Dashcams provide video evidence of what really happened in an accident, often exonerating drivers. Once drivers understand that dashcams protect them, they often welcome them into the cab and are thankful to management. 


Trailer Tracking  

Too often, drivers are dispatched to a trailer that has a maintenance or cargo issue or isn’t even where it is supposed to be in the first place. This leads to wasted shift time and lost earnings for drivers – not to mention a lot of frustration. Trailer tracking solutions provide a trailer’s location, so drivers won’t have to search the yard for a misplaced unit. Also, connected sensors give data on trailer health and readiness, ensuring that a trailer is ready to go before the driver is dispatched. 



Use Data for Positive Reinforcement and Recognition 

According to a 2020 Commercial Carrier Journal survey, many drivers think that driving is a “thankless job – nobody respects drivers or appreciates what we do.” Most respondents also said that fleets are having trouble finding drivers because, “They don’t respect drivers and the job they do enough or treat them as part of the team.” 

Clearly there is a disconnect between the importance of what commercial drivers do (which is basically keeping the American economy moving) and the positive recognition that they receive for their efforts. 

Fleet technology tools can help bridge this gap.  

Data from telematics and dashcams is helpful for identifying potentially dangerous driving behaviors and supporting coaching efforts. This same data can and should be used to recognize good driving. Data-driven incentive programs, company safe driver awards and even verbal recognition at safety meetings can go a long way towards showing drivers that they are appreciated and valued members of the team. 

The efforts of the trucking industry to address the driver shortage in the long term notwithstanding, motor carriers operating today are competing to attract (and, ultimately, retain) drivers from a limited talent pool. Technology that improves working conditions for drivers, along with data-driven recognition programs, can give carriers an advantage when it comes to recruiting and retaining drivers. 

How Fleet Technology Can Help with Driver Recruiting and Retention

by | Jun 8, 2023 | ,

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