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Truckers Recruiting 101: How to design a Compelling Offer to Grow Your Fleet

The success of any trucking business hinges largely on its drivers. Whether it's company drivers or owner-operators, recruiting and retaining the best, remains an ever-present challenge. It's no longer enough to simply put out a hiring notice and wait. To truly differentiate and grow your fleet, you must craft offers that resonate with what drivers value most. In this blog post, we will delve into creating targeted offers for both company drivers and owner-operators. With the right strategies, you can build a stronger, more committed fleet ready to drive your business forward.

Company Drivers

For company drivers, a pay-per-mile compensation structure often resonates best. When shaping such an offer, bear in mind:

  • Compensation: Equitably compensate for all miles, loaded or not. Some companies pay only for loaded miles, earning them a negative reputation. In your offer, emphasize the fairness in your mileage compensation.

  • Transparency: Hidden charges introduced post-hiring can tarnish trust. Assure complete transparency, highlighting that no unexpected costs will emerge later. This directly addresses a significant pain point for many drivers.

  • Dispatch: To truly distinguish your company, a top-tier dispatch service is essential. This means allowing non-forced loads, giving drivers the autonomy to negotiate or even decline a load if they're fatigued. If a driver wishes to return home for a day or two, arrange for them to do so with a load. This way, they earn while also getting their much-needed rest.

  • Equipment: Since drivers are paid by the mile, time lost due to breakdowns directly impacts their earnings. Even though they aren't footing repair bills, unexpected delays mean lost income. Ensure your trucks are in top condition and highlight this commitment in your offer.

  • Amenities: Equipping each truck with a fridge, microwave, and power inverter can make a significant difference. State this clearly in your offer. The absence of these conveniences can be a deal-breaker for many, even if other terms are favorable.

Owner Operators

Engaging with owner operators requires a deep understanding of their motivations and business choices. They typically opt to own a truck to:

  • Maximize Earnings: Many aim to significantly increase their take-home pay.

  • Greater Freedom: They appreciate the autonomy of managing their work schedules and routes.

  • Increase Home Time: Owning their truck often translates to more flexibility in spending time with loved ones.

Understanding their motivations can help you create an irresistible offer to attract them:

  • Percentage: Design your revenue split with your business model in mind. Aim to present a more enticing split than competitors, all the while upholding company profitability. Offer two distinct options for owner operators to consider:

  • 90/10 Split: Under this arrangement, the owner operators receive 90% of the gross income. However, they would be responsible for additional costs such as insurance, trailer rent, PD, logbook, and related expenses.

  • 80/20 All-Inclusive Split: For those who prefer a more comprehensive approach, propose an 80/20 split. Make it clear that the 20% encompasses all costs, ensuring no additional charges.

  • Fuel Discounts: Most companies do not offer fuel discounts, and this can be your opportunity. Depending on the discount your carrier company has, consider transferring part of that discount to the owner operator.

  • Freedom: Highlight your company's commitment to autonomy. Allow owner operators the liberty to select their desired loads, preferred driving regions, and even their rest days. Reinforce the idea that, with your company, they genuinely operate as "their own boss." This empowerment can be a crucial selling point for many.

  • Insurance: Review your insurance offerings. If you can surpass the cargo and liability insurance rates of competitors, spotlight this advantage. If undercutting isn't feasible, ensure transparency and never charge more than your coverage costs.

Truckers are the heart and soul of trucking business. When you're looking to grow your fleet, remember that a solid offer speaks louder than words. Take the time to understand what drivers truly want, and shape offers that feel right to them. When they win, your business wins too.

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