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Fleet Owners

Ideas for Fleet Owners on Recruiting and Retaining Good Drivers

By Sean M. Lyden - Staff Writer
Posted Aug 18th 2017 11:08AM

Fleet owners are taking on a more prominent role in the expedited trucking sector, and that was reflected in the attendance at Expedite Expo held July 14 and 15 at the Lexington Center in Lexington, Ky., according to Lawrence McCord, chief executive officer of On Time Media, the producers of the industry trade show.

“For the past five years, fleet owners are the fastest growing group at our Expo. And this year, we had the most fleet owners register in all our history,” said McCord.

That’s why, for the first time in the Expo’s 17-year history, there were educational workshops geared specifically for fleet owners, most of whom operate anywhere from two to about 40 trucks in their fleets.

And one of those sessions was on “Payroll & How It Affects Driver Retention,” led by Tony Freeland, the owner and general manager at JAS Expedited Trucking LLC, based in Imlay City, Mich., with over 20 trucks.

When you own multiple trucks, you need to find and keep good drivers to operate them. Otherwise, when your trucks sit, that can get really expensive, really fast. But recruiting and retaining drivers in a highly competitive market is often easier said than done.

So, what can fleet owners do to put themselves in the best position to get--and keep--good, dependable drivers onboard?

In addition to talking about the importance of making sure drivers get paid on time, Freeland offered these ideas.

Sponsorships
Freeland said that one highly effective driver recruiting and retention strategy has been taking drivers out to NASCAR races as a major sponsor of the #83 Toyota Camry with driver Corey Lajoie.

“It’s a highly expensive way to recruit but it’s working out real [well],” said Freeland.

Internet Job Postings
Freeland said that he uses ExpeditersOnline.com and Zip Recruiters to recruit drivers online. He had used Craigslist for years, but when the website starting charging for job postings, Freeland has seen fewer inquiries coming from it.

“People weren’t finding us as easily [on Craigslist] as when it was for free,” said Freeland. “When it was free, you could bump your ad to the top. Now, every time you bump it, you have to pay another $10 or $20.”

Radio Advertising
In terms of recruiting with mass media, Freeland has found radio advertising to be a bargain.

“We had an open house in June and had the radio station [on site] broadcasting live [for four hours],” said Freeland. “We were on 160 commercials for two weeks prior to that--it cost me about $1500. And we probably got four drivers out of that. So not too bad.”

He then offered this frame of reference for evaluating the effectiveness of a driver acquisition campaign: “I figure, in recruiting, if I can get a driver that costs me less than $1,000, I’m doing good.”

Save the Date for Expedite Expo 2018!
So, with Expedite Expo 2017 already in the books, mark your calendar for July 20 and 21, 2018, at the Lexington Center in Lexington, Ky. As always, registration and truck parking will be free; your only investment will be your time.

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