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New research shows trucker time off pays off

Jan. 26, 2016
Productivity, performance improve for drivers who get home time

That drivers want and increasingly expect home time is not news, but new data indicates there’s a bottom-line payoff both for the carriers that provide a little extra time off and for the truckers who take advantage of it.

Simply, the study by Stay Metrics suggests trucking companies can improve the productivity and performance of drivers by meeting their requests to take time off.

“We know at Stay Metrics that home time, or the lack thereof, is a predictor of driver turnover,” said CEO Tim Hindes. “What this new study shows is that now an argument can be made by fleet operators that home time has productivity and financial benefits as well.”

Stay Metrics collected data on 682 drivers and 6,487 driver-months provided by a flatbed trucking customer of the retention specialist with more than 260 power units.

“To our knowledge, no one has yet looked at the trucking industry to see if generous time-off policies and procedures are able to realize higher employee productivity and job performance,” said Dr. Erez, professor of management at the Warrington College of Business Administration, University of Florida, who serves as a member of Stay Metrics Scientific Advisory Board.

The research modeled time-off requests that were met by the carrier each month to find the effects on three variables for desirable driver performance in the subsequent months.

The results from the Stay Metrics analysis are summarized here:

  • Bonus rate. The mean bonus rate for drivers in the study is 3.5 cents per mile. Drivers earned a monthly bonus that was calculated from their scores in four categories — compliance, vehicle care, fuel, and production. The model suggests that for each time off request met, their bonus rate increased nearly three percent the following month.
  • Miles driven. On average, drivers had approximately 8,577 miles per month. For each time off request that was met, the model showed they traveled 218 more miles the following month than drivers who did not take time off. Using a rate of $2.00 per mile for revenue, each time off request met generated $536 more in revenue the following month than drivers who did not.
  • Total bonus pay. This is the product of bonus rate and miles driven. The mean is $344.66 per month and the analysis indicates drivers who took time off earned $17.85 more in bonus pay, per month, than drivers who did not take time off. This is an increase in bonus pay of more than five percent.

Stay Metrics administers a privately branded online rewards and recognition platform that doubles as a data collection tool for annual driver satisfaction surveys. The company also conducts new driver interviews at the 7 and 45-day periods and exit interviews as a neutral third party.

About the Author

Kevin Jones 1 | Editor

Kevin Jones has an odd fascination with the supply chain. As editor of American Trucker, he focuses on the critical role owner-ops and small fleets play in the economy, locally and globally. And he likes big trucks.

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