The truckload driver turnover rate hit 119 percent during the 3rd Quarter of 2003, according to the American Trucking Assns., the highest since the group began tracking data.
The report noted that the 3rd Quarter 2002 had previously been the highest on record at 106 percent.
Industry officials are bracing for an ever increasing driver shortage which may occur as the result of the new hours of service rules which, mostly likely, will necessitate more trucks and drivers on the road to make up for more mandated off-duty time. In addition, with the economy improving, dissatisfied truck drivers have greater options in other lines of work and may be tempted to leave driving.
This is in contrast to the less-than-truckload segment which has seen a steady turnover rate of less than 20 percent, according to ATA figures.
Truckload carriers such as J.B. Hunt, Schneider and Heartland have been increasing drivers pay as an incentive to stay on as opposed to LTLs which usually already offer higher pay and more time at home during nights and weekends, which has always been a hot-button issue with drivers.