Posted August 5, 2020

Benefits that Drivers are Looking For

By Sarah Mehlert and Hannah Dunbar

The benefits that a company offers are often time the deciding factor for truck drivers looking for employment. With the long hours and many sacrifices that truck drivers have to make in their personal lives, drivers are looking for benefits to make their career one worth having. According to a study done by PrePass Safety Alliance, the top benefits that drivers prefer and look for in a company (in order of importance) are the pay/compensation, home time/flexible hours, weigh station bypass service provided, medical insurance and internet access. These benefits ensure that truckers can do their jobs more efficiently, earn a salary that is line with the nature of their work, allow them to spend more time at home and have the necessary health insurance that they need.

Drivers rated pay/compensation as the most important benefit. Truck driving is not a typical 9-5 job. Truckers often spend days away from home and their families, sleeping in small spaces and maneuvering large trucks through difficult areas like big cities. In order to make all of these sacrifices worth it, companies must compensate drivers commensurate with their route, experience, and safety record. There is some disconnect between what drivers are rightfully expecting and looking for, and what is being offered to them. Companies can leverage this divide by offering top-pay and bonuses for their drivers.

Another important benefit for truckers is the amount of home time and flexible hours that are offered. Spending days or weeks away from your family and your home can be difficult. While some drivers may prefer OTR routes for various reasons, others value their time at home. Companies that offer more dedicated, regional and local routes look more attractive to truckers who want to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Surprisingly, drivers rated "weigh station bypass service provided" as the third most important benefit to them. By offering a bypass service, companies can help to reduce stress, save time, and increase safety for their drivers. Weigh station delays can be frustrating and time consuming, oftentimes causing truckers to fall behind schedule. Without these delays, drivers find that they are able to be more productive, sometimes even getting an extra run in, and in turn, increase their profit. Aside from all of these time and money saving benefits, offering a weigh station bypass service also saves drivers from risky, unsafe situations and consequently, reduces stress. Bypassing weigh stations means that drivers can avoid hazardous backed up traffic at the weigh stations, and save them from having to re-merge on to a busy highway afterwards. According to a study done by Drivewyse, 79% of responding drivers who did not receive a company-paid bypass service say they would view their job and employer more positively if they did offer it.

Medical Insurance is another benefit that drivers look for, and understandably so. The cost of health insurance can be daunting, so drivers that see companies offering this benefit will be more inclined to apply. Whether it is a young and healthy driver who doesn't want to pay out of pocket for medical insurance that won't be used often, or an older driver that needs medical insurance to support his family but wouldn't be able to afford it otherwise, this benefit is attractive to all prospective drivers. Drivers need to be healthy to do their jobs, and if they get sick or injured, they need to have reliable coverage to get them well and back on the road as soon as possible.

Internet Access is another top benefit that drivers prefer to have. As drivers travel all over the country, as expected, there will be many areas with no cell reception, thus no internet access. Some driver stops may offer internet access, but usually for a cost and there will no doubt be times where drivers need internet access while out on the road. Drivers need internet for a variety of job-related tasks, such as looking at maps, contacting roadside service, communicating with dispatchers via trucking-specific apps, transmitting documents and researching weather and road conditions, among many others. Aside from those reasons, drivers also need to be able to connect with their families, especially if they are spending a lot of time away. Internet access is crucial for driver safety, wellbeing and efficiency. It's no wonder that drivers rated this benefit in the top 5 of the most important to them.

Truck driving is a demanding career, and drivers will look to these benefits to differentiate which companies they want to apply for as well as which companies they want to stay with. Not only do these benefits ensure drivers' productivity and safety, they create an atmosphere that is conductive to career satisfaction and longevity. Truckers that look for companies that offer these preferred benefits are much likelier to be happier!