How Weigh Station Bypass Can Help You Recruit and Retain Drivers
August 30, 2016
Recruiting and retaining drivers can be an uphill battle. But if you’re the owner or manager of a fleet, or if you’re responsible for recruiting new drivers for your company, more than likely you’ve experienced just how difficult it is.
You likely know about the industry’s chronic shortage of drivers and high turnover rates. You’re probably aware that voluntary turnover at large truckload carriers climbed to 102% in the fourth quarter of 2015 and churn at small carriers, which the American Trucking Associations (ATA) defines as fleets with less than $30 million in annual revenue, was 89%.
According to the 2015 American Trucking Associations report, the industry has about 48,000 fewer drivers than available driver jobs. It’s true soft freight demand in the last six months has led many large trucking companies to shed capacity, leading to a net loss of 6,300 driver jobs in June. However, as Bob Costello, ATA’s chief economist points out, competition for workers from an improving economy going forward will make it increasingly more difficult for trucking companies to fill driver seats particularly as their older drivers retire.
(See the accompanying story about how Costello sees an improving economy bringing more freight business, but also additional driver recruiting and retention challenges for fleet owners and fleet recruiters.)
In response to the competition for drivers, offering improved health benefits and more pay and getting drivers home more often and on time are just a few of the things your company may have done to recruit and retain drivers. But did you know that weigh station bypass can also be part of your solution?
Late last year, Drivewyze conducted a driver survey to explore the needs of drivers, and what drivers value most when choosing jobs. The survey found that the following benefits were most important to drivers:
2. Time off (vacation/home time)
3. Core benefits (medical, retirement)
4. Rider Policy
5. Company-paid weigh station bypass
6. Fuel discounts
7. Sign on bonus
8. Internet access
10. Pet Policy
We were surprised to learn that drivers who responded to the survey ranked weigh station bypass service so highly. They considered it even more valuable than sign-on bonuses. We also found that 65% of respondents said they would be more likely to stay with a company if they provided company-paid weigh station bypass service as a benefit.
View the Full Results of the Drivewyze Driver Survey:
The growth of competing demands and regulatory challenges placed on drivers may account for why scale bypass ranks so high. Time and time again as we’ve spoken with drivers, we’ve found that when these routinely occurring delays are removed, it can have a profound impact on their stress level. And as a result, their opinions of their employers can improve a great deal – since weigh station delays happen every single day and in many cases several times during the day. Drivers see weigh station bypass as a clear sign a company cares about their working conditions.
Consider the stories of two Moore Transport drivers – Theodore “T.G.” Weeks and Jerry Moody – with very different schedules. They find that weigh station and inspection site bypass service impacts their schedules in profound ways.
But first, here is some background on the fleet. Moore Transport is a Dallas-based auto transport company, which operates a 218-truck fleet from several terminals along the Eastern Seaboard, and also hauls vehicles for Palo Alto, California-based Tesla Motors.
Drivewyze PreClear weigh station bypass service is an application the company had installed on specialized in-cab tablets. Drivewyze provides weigh station bypass at more than 600 sites in 36 states, and the service is delivered through smartphones, tablets, and leading telematics devices offered by Omnitracs, PeopleNet, Rand McNally, and Zonar.
Moore Transport saw a drop in its turnover rate from 25 percent in 2015 down to less than 10 percent as of August of 2016.
Treasure Phillippi, safety supervisor for Moore Transport, said her company has found that weigh station bypass helps eliminate a substantial amount of time drivers once spent exiting freeways and entering weigh stations; waiting for commercial vehicle inspectors to determine whether to pull in their vehicles for inspection or waive them through; and exiting weigh stations and merging back into traffic. (Take a look at the Moore Transport Case Study to learn more.)
Treasure says Moore has found that providing drivers consistency in their schedules can alleviate a great deal of stress and make for a much more pleasant working environment. Moore Transport saw a drop in its turnover rate from 25 percent in 2015 down to less than 10 percent as of August of 2016. While several factors including the company’s decision to purchase new equipment have impacted the company’s turnover rate, Phillippi attributes a good portion of that reduction to weigh station bypass.
“Drivewyze has helped make our company a much more compelling place to join and stay since our drivers can make more money,” she said. “And they get to enjoy more quality time at home.”
Bypassing Scales Makes Every Minute Count for Moore Transport Driver T.G. Weeks
Because Moore Transport driver Theodore “T.G.” Weeks spends an entire week on the road going from location to location without returning to the company’s yard, he and other drivers who follow a similar schedule are known in the company as network drivers. Weeks leaves home early Monday morning and spends his week on the road picking up cars from the port in Newport News, Virginia, and at railyards across Pennsylvania and Ohio and dropping them off in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and in Lordstown, Cleveland and Toledo, Ohio.
After five days on the road, the network driver returns home Friday night or on Saturday depending on traffic conditions and the number of cars that need to be moved.
For T.G., bypassing scales allows him to better plan his week since he’s not having to deal with the constant loss of time due to weigh station delays throughout the week.
“Every minute I get delayed on the road is a minute I can never get back, particularly now that we have to account for every hour and every minute using these ELDs,” Weeks said. “If I get done with a delivery and I know I have an hour and 35 minutes left before my hours run out, I have a pretty good sense of how far I can get before I am out of hours.”
Weeks said the ELD mandate and HOS mandate only make weigh station bypass an even more critical tool.
Before he loaded Drivewyze on to this tablet and started using it, Weeks said he had to take into consideration which weigh stations he would pass along the way and whether he would likely get delayed. Then there are those places where you can’t pick up or drop off cars after a certain hour. He may only have a half hour left on the clock to get there, but it’s more than an hour away. And he knows that if he doesn’t make it to that next stop, he may have to find a place to park and wait as long as 14 hours before he can pick up or deliver cars.
“That kind of delay can make it impossible for me to make a fifth delivery before my HOS run out at the end of the week,” Weeks said. “Being able to make that fifth run, means I can make an additional $400 to $500 that week.”
Moore Transport Driver Jerry Moody Avoids Beach Bottleneck with Drivewyze
Unlike his fellow Moore Transport driver Theodore “T.G.” Weeks’ week-long circuit, Jerry Moody has three or four regular daily routes in which he picks up cars at one location and delivers them up to several locations throughout the day. Some days he may have one or two stops, other days he may have multiple stops. But he’s usually home every night during the week.
By avoiding delays at Sandston, Moody said he can make it from the CSX railyard in Jessup, Maryland, past the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel to Virginia Beach by 8 a.m. He can then deliver his load of vehicles and be back on the road past the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel and out of the Virginia Beach area before 1 p.m., avoiding a major potential traffic bottleneck. This is especially important in the summer months, when U.S. Interstate 64 can get jammed in the mornings and afternoons with beachgoers and vacationers driving into or out of the area, he added.
“It also means that I have time to get to the port at Newport News and load up with vehicles for the next day and be done by 2:30 p.m.,” he said.
Want to find out how Drivewyze weigh station bypass can help your fleet save money, and improve recruitment/retention efforts? Get in touch with us.