It's not easy finding quality drivers — especially team drivers — but there's at least one fleet with an operation that not only needs teams but can deliver what teams need.
Con-way, which ranks itself as the nation's sixth-largest transportation company, has a truckload division, Con-way Truckload, which provides time-definite linehaul service to its own LTL freight operations.
Con-way Truckload depends on owner-operator and company driver teams to move much of its freight over the long haul to and from its hubs.
According to Clay Halla, president, Con-way Truckload is unique in that it can offer team drivers the mileage stability all drivers are after year-round.
“Even when freight is soft across the industry, Con-way Truckload is able to absorb the impact due to the steady freight levels we move on behalf of our company's LTL freight,” he explains.
“We keep our fleet of trucks on the road and guard our driver teams' miles and paychecks in the process. Freight levels and therefore miles driven and dollars earned stay steady.”
Leaving nothing to chance, along with ensuring high mileage and the resulting financial stability from week to week even during the soft first quarter, Con-way Truckload goes to great lengths not to miss any opportunity to attract team drivers.
Consider these perks for company drivers:
Compensation packages and growth opportunities that stack up with the largest truckload carriers in the business;
Sign-on bonuses to help overcome the short-term impact of changing jobs;
Driver referral bonuses;
Flexibility for drivers with family situations who need to stay closer to home, as well as drivers who want to remain on the road to maximize income;
Superior equipment known for its comfort and safety;
Dedicated driver support;
Traveling with up to two pets.
“We think drivers should have quality of life on the open road, to enjoy a sense of freedom and independence” while doing their jobs, says Halla.
“Con-way Truckload was founded in 2004 to provide linehaul service for Con-way LTL,” he continues. “To do this, we need team drivers — two drivers and a tractor. We look for experienced teams who like to run lots of miles. Advantages we offer include drop-and-hook and the length of haul it takes to maximize their income.”
According to Halla, the upshot of all this is the fleet is enjoying “significantly better” driver turnover than the abysmal industry average of 121% for those in large ruckload operations.
“We will be expanding our truckload operation substantially over the next few years,” he advises. “Independent contractors play a role here but for company drivers, we hire only experienced team drivers as they best fit what we are trying to do.
“We view team drivers as the cream of the crop,” asserts Halla. “They provide the long length of haul we need. And they are also very consistent, safe and dependable employees.”
He says about 80% of Con-way Truckload's teams consists of husbands and wives and the other roughly 20% mainly consists of other family pairings, sisters, brothers, and fathers and sons.
“Having teams work for us who are in it together certainly builds stability into our operation,” Halla remarks. “Of course, any time you put two people in a truck cab you may have an occasional difference of opinion,” he adds jokingly.