Fleets that do not offer drivers opportunities for career development, tuition reimbursement, or a future path to non-driving jobs, are more likely to lose their driver to another fleet. And those drivers that stick around are unlikely to remain committed to reaching fuel economy goals.
That message came from Ray Haight, a truck driver-turned-company-owner-turned consultant, who outlined factors that impact how drivers view their jobs, and the correlation that has with overall performance, during the Truckload Carriers Association’s annual conference earlier this spring.
U.S. Xpress Enterprises is one truckload carrier offering more opportunities for its drivers than ever before. Earlier this year, the company debuted a driver development program and cut the ribbon on a redesigned development center in Tunnel Hill, GA.
The program uses a technology-driven approach and a modern simulator rather than lecture-style classes. This complements the “full ride” program that offers a college scholarship for drivers and their families to Ashford University.
“We believe our professional driver development program will ensure long-term success for our drivers,” said Amanda Thompson, senior vice president of human resources.
“In addition to helping our company recruit and retain more drivers, this program offers our drivers and their families the life-changing opportunity to attend college at a time when it is becoming increasingly expensive and unattainable to many,” said Eric Fuller, CEO of U.S. Xpress.
The “Full Ride” program pays all costs directly to the university, including tuition, books and course materials. Each driver may have a total of two family members enrolled in school at one time.