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PDA releases 2021 Top Ten Driver Issues

Jan. 13, 2022
Equipment leads list as supply-chain issues persist; compensation takes second spot amid aggressive industry-wide driver recruitment

PDA (Professional Driver Agency), a driver data and retention organization, recently released its Top Ten Driver Issues List of 2021, identifying the top driver frustrations from last year based on thousands of phone calls with drivers.

“PDA has spent the last several years collecting data from tens of thousands of drivers on issues and frustrations they experience out on the road,” said Scott Dismuke, vice president of operations for PDA.  “This year’s list offers key insights into the challenges drivers are facing in a very critical freight and tight driver market.”

Topping the list in 2021 were mechanical/breakdown issues with the tractor.

“Equipment supply chain issues are clearly leading to driver frustration,” Dismuke said. “With orders for new tractors still constrained by part delays and labor shortages, equipment issues are not going away any time soon.

“We see this trend continuing this year and possibly beyond.”

The second biggest issue for drivers in 2021 was regarding compensation and pay rates not being competitive.

“Compensation is almost always at the top of any driver issues list and last year was no different,” Dismuke said. “In 2021, we saw very aggressive driver recruitment as well as many industry-wide pay increases. Drivers see the advertisements; they know what companies are offering. If drivers aren’t making what carriers are promising, in this market, they have multiple options to go elsewhere.”

Drivers complaining about equipment assignment and mechanical/breakdown tractor issues was the third top issue of 2021.

“Once again, equipment supply chain problems come into play with this issue. However, providing clean and properly inspected equipment to new drivers during this equipment shortage will be key going into 2022,” Dismuke said.

“We have said consistently that the cleanliness and the operability of a driver’s truck at assignment is the first impression a carrier makes on a new driver.”

Dismuke said PDA will be providing additional details when it releases its 2021 Recruiting and Retention Annual report in February.

The complete Top Ten Driver Issues List of 2021:

  1. Tractor—Mechanical breakdown issues
  2. Compensation—Pay rate not competitive
  3. Equipment assignment—Tractor broken down
  4. Home time—Wants daily home time
  5. Miles—Inconsistent miles
  6. Trailers—Mechanical issues/tires
  7. Compensation—Paycheck inaccurate
  8. Miles—Poor scheduling/planning
  9. Communication—Slow response by driver manager
  10. Equipment—On-board comm device not working
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