Survey Shows Private Carriers Attract and Keep Industry’s Top Drivers

Recently, we noted how the removal of CSA scores from public view has been a double-edged sword because it leaves carriers with one less way to measure how they stack up against their peers.

Well, if you’re a private fleet, the National Private Truck Council offers a benchmarking survey report that may provide you a look into differentiating performance qualities that private fleets bring to a broad cross-section of industries and customers. And allows you a look in how you stack up against the NPTC national standards.

In August, the NPTC published its 2015 Benchmarking Survey Report. The report’s author and general editor, Tom Moore, CTP, and NPTC’s senior vice president noted that interest among members in the survey was at an all-time high. Several fleets contributed for the first time and more than 90 fleets participated.

Gary Petty, president and CEO of the NPTC, reported on the survey results and the conclusions of his NPTC colleague in his column in the September 2016 issue of Fleet Owner. “ ‘Fleet managers have a wide range of data available at their fingertips through new technology,’ says Moore. The survey report provides a working dashboard to help fleets make continuous improvement more systematic and targeted,” Petty wrote. “ ‘Fleets like to gauge how well they stack up against NPTC national standards.’ ”

Something we found particularly interesting from Petty’s report – the survey found that 98 percent of fleets surveyed use onboard technology to help score driver performance, safety and productivity. That’s not particularly surprising since the survey also shows that private fleets pay the highest compensation averages in the industry – $65,000 annually. After all, when you pay drivers well, it’s understandable you would want clear and objective performance measurements. Clearly private fleets must be doing something right in order to have such low turnover – 18 percent annually, due in large measure to retirement. And to have drivers with the longest tenure – 11 years, on average.

Some additional things to note, as Petty points out – more fleets are using active safety technologies such as:
• Automated transmissions – 65 percent
• Disc brakes – 55 percent
• In-cab cameras and videos – 22 percent
• Electronic stability controls – 33 percent
• Collision avoidance – 24 percent
• Lane departure – 24 percent

Equally unsurprising is that the safety performance of private fleet drivers is about twice as better as industry averages, based on federal crash rate figures. When you pay drivers well, provide them safer equipment and hold them accountable using clear and objective measurements – should it really be any surprise private fleet drivers are not only going to be more safety-minded, but also will stay around longer? Not really.

Now we just wonder if those private fleets are taking advantage of their drivers’ better safety performance by rewarding them with a way to get more weigh station bypasses? Just a thought.

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