Three Simple Reasons Drivers Quit

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Why Drivers Quit

From trucking to bussing and everywhere in between, transportation companies are desperate to hire more drivers. It’s beginning to show in driver wages. On the trucking side of things, 2018 was the start of what some call the “war for drivers.” According to a report from the National Transportation Institute, there have been massive increases in driver wages in an attempt to attract, hire, and retain the best of the best. Wages have continued to rise since. It’s unclear how much this has helped though as driver turnover spiked in 2019. So, if it’s not more money, how can you convince your best drivers to stay? It starts with understanding reasons drivers quit.

3 Reasons Drivers Quit

As we’ve learned from countless interviews with drivers, here are three common reasons drivers quit:

  • Attention & respect
  • Pay
  • A voice at the table

Instead of throwing more and more money at the problem, start with these three reasons. Get to the source of your drivers’ concerns.

Attention & Respect

You can’t change the job or change how your drivers feel about the job. You can, however, change how you treat your drivers. It’s an uncomfortable truth, but most people don’t quit a job; they quit their boss. You can make a big impact on your retention problems by always treating your drivers with respect and common courtesy. Learn your drivers’ names. Greet them every time you see them. If a driver comes to you with a concern, take it seriously. These are easy steps to take that are sure to have positive outcomes.


Who doesn’t want a raise or a nice yearly bonus? These can have a positive impact on retention, but as we learned from the data, it’s not guaranteed to help. Sometimes, all that drivers want is to understand how they get paid. When drivers don’t understand how they’re getting paid or what’s included in a paycheck, they assume you’re cheating them. When drivers feel like they’re being cheated, they’re of course more likely to quit.

You need to have a simple and easy-to-understand payment system. Then, once the system is as simple as it can be, you need to train your drivers on how it works. Make sure every new hire can properly fill out the necessary paperwork. Transparency is key. This effort up-front can save you a lot of money and problems later.

A Voice at The Table

Drivers are more likely to quit when they feel their voices aren’t heard. You can improve this in the little things. Listen to your drivers when they have a complaint. Even if there’s nothing you can do, simply listening to your drivers when they do have a complaint can go a long way. There are larger organizational changes you can make for bigger impacts. For example, you can form a driver committee of your veteran drivers. Allow them to have a say in company decisions that affect them. This will show your drivers that they work a company that cares about them. They’ll be less likely to leave because they know it’s hard to get that anywhere else.

Get Serious About Retention

The wage war is on for drivers, and while giving raises and bonuses can help, it won’t work on its own. If you want to solve your turnover issues, it’s time you get serious about retention strategies. Changing what someone is paid is simple. Changing how they’re treated is difficult. Of course, with great efforts come great reward.

Over the next several weeks, we’ll be sharing more blogs on driver retention. We’ll give you tips and tricks to reduce your turnover. We’ll give you insight that will help you look at driver retention differently. Most importantly, we’ll give you guidance to help you grow your company through your fleet of all-star drivers.

Want to get started on improving how your drivers are treated today? Check out our Leadership Development Course. It’s designed to provide transportation frontline leaders the necessary knowledge and skills to improve driver retention. The information comes straight from experts in the transportation industry.