Though it is only mid-October, Christmas decorations are already appearing on the shelves in retail stores across the country. The fall season will soon accelerate into December at speeds that will not allow for a stumble. It is for this reason that fleet management is doing its best to focus and keep up with the hectic holiday months ahead.
Much of that focus continues to be directed at attracting and retaining drivers, a need that transcends seasons. In fact it seems like a never-ending challenge. According to the American Trucking Associations (ATA), last year the industry forecast saw a need for about 900,000 new drivers over the next decade to address an expected wave of retirements—as 49% of those 900,000 will be needed to cover driver retirements alone, with 28% needed to handle ongoing freight growth.
. . . the average age of a U.S. truck driver now hovers around 50, compared to 42 for the average U.S. worker. The industry was also short about 51,000 drivers last year, based on freight demand—a shortage that is expected to jump to 174,000 by 2026 if the trend lines don’t change.
— Bob Costello, ATA’s chief economist
Focus on Recruiting Strategies
Fleet management solutions for successful recruitment are focused on what these potential drivers are asking for, starting with the paycheck. A compensation study done by the ATA concluded that last year’s median pay for private fleet drivers jumped to $86,000 from $73,000 – a gain of nearly 18% over the compensation levels reported in ATA’s last study. An additional survey done by employment consulting agency HireRight suggested a clear focus on strategies beyond salary in the recruiting process.
Companies surveyed with 2,500+ employees
- 61% plan to invest in retention programs
- 58% plan to invest in training and development
- 43% plan to “improve the candidate experience” from application through onboarding
- 38% plan to introduce new hires to company executives
- 32% are implementing longer orientation and training periods
- 28% are appointing driver liaisons or mentors
- 54% plan to increase follow-up communication
- 53% plan to employ non-monetary tactics such as driver appreciation events
- 42% plan to Increase pay
- 40% plan to implement performance-based bonuses
The same survey suggested that companies are offering generous signing bonuses. However, while money is one clear way to attract drivers, companies have many options when it comes to retaining them. Payment leader EFS/WEX has deployed resources to keep fleet managers focused on the efficiencies in business and drivers happy through tools and systems that make life on the road easier. EFS/WEX provides powerful fleet card solutions like the SmartFunds card that can help to streamline the payment process by providing employees and contractors immediate access to funds. Just like a trusting relationship with dispatch and confidence on the road, access to more efficient tools can make the job better. Fleet cards should not be taken for granted in this context. Fleet cards, along with mobile apps, can help drivers find the cheapest nearby fuel, pay at the pump, and more. That means time saved when time is precious.
Fleet Cards Provide Focus in Financials
Managing payment is one of a fleet manager’s biggest responsibilities, especially when the season is busy and speed is a factor. A payment partner like EFS/WEX makes that job easier and its performers much more accurate. Choosing the right fleet card for your business can seem daunting but will pay off in more ways than one.
Fleet cards are smarter than a credit card and safer than cash.
- Looking for greater insights and controls on spending? Try the WEX Fleet Card.
- Need to carry a balance? Check out the WEX Flex Card.
- Want the best rebate, or already have a favorite place to fill up? Select a fuel card from the most popular retail fuel brands in the country.
Universal fleet cards are accepted at any major U.S. gas station as well as at 45,000 service locations. No need to plan routes around where to fuel, or drive miles out of the way to find the right station. Fleet cards even help drivers find the cheapest nearby fuel.
Driver IDs are entered for every card transaction for security and transparency, so fleet management always knows who spends what, where, and when. Additionally, you can set the purchase limits that work best for your business, putting guardrails on employee spending based on dollar amount, product type, location, and more.
Details like driver ID, odometer reading, sales tax, and more are captured for every purchase so you can stop chasing down fuel receipts. View card activity anytime—even download reports to your bookkeeping software.
So, while the industry heads into the busiest time of the year, EFS/WEX delivers focus by way of fleet cards, so fleet managers can focus on operations and drivers can focus on the road.