There is no shortage of analysis about driver recruitment and retention.
But I had the privilege of witnessing first-hand how some forward-thinking companies keep their drivers by honoring and respecting the skills and talents they bring to the company success.
Some of the biggest and sharpest names in trucking brought their best drivers of all levels of experience to the 2017 Colorado State Truck Driving Championships. Smaller, local operations like RMT Trucking and American Furniture Warehouse competed valiantly against the big national heavyweights like FedEx, Wal-Mart and Old Dominion. First-year rookies opposed grizzled road warriors with Wal-Mart rookie Timothy Hallstead stealing the second place trophy in the most challenging Sleeper Class from Fed-Ex driver Jason Lyons.
Women competed at the same level as the men with FedEx Freight’s Mary Motter taking home the first place trophy in the Four Axle Class and Old Dominion’s Amanda Rivera winning Rookie of the Year award.
The scored competition began with a written exam followed by a pre-trip inspection segment and a driving course in each vehicle class. Officers of the Colorado State Patrol Motor Carrier Safety Section, who pulled out all stops to support the effort, handled all scoring.
As a member of the CMCA, and an event volunteer, I was proud to be “Den Mother” to the Three-Axle Class of drivers, making sure that they were all in the right place at the right time; supporting them and answering their questions along the way.
Each of my fourteen charges displayed exemplary pride in their profession as well as stellar skills. Shamrock Foods, a regional carrier, drove home the first and third place trophies thanks to the outstanding skills of Danny Duke and Scott Rockwell.
And, of course, the Rookie Driver of the Year went to Amanda Rivera, not only representing her employer, Old Dominion Freight Lines, but she is represents all of the great women in trucking. What a way to start a career!
Events like these create bonds; bonds of camaraderie, bonds of honor and bonds of respect. These carriers showed respect for their drivers by asking them to represent the company. And the drivers responded by doing their best with pride and enthusiasm.
Drivers like Danny, Amanda and Scott, just like the rest of us, are human and thrive on respect and tend to stay where they are treated so. They are not likely to leave their current carriers any time soon.
So I recommend participating in events like this as a strong method for team building, cultivating respect and camaraderie and especially, keeping your good drivers behind the wheel.
For more tips on supporting your drivers when they need it most, explore AccidentPlan.com and make sure that your company is Road Ready.