The ATA Foundation supplemented the industry contacts identified above with input from the
National Association of Small Trucking Companies (NASTC), an organization representing the
interests of small firms (i.e., those generally operating fewer than 100 vehicles).
The NASTC membership strongly believes that smaller trucking companies offer operational
benefits to drivers that encourage driver retention and result in safer operations even if the
actual level of pay is somewhat lower than what drivers could earn at a larger firm. According
to NASTC, there are a number of reasons why small companies have lower driver turnover rates,
relative to larger companies. These include:
• Drivers have a more personal relationship with owners, managers, and dispatchers.
• Drivers appreciate the sense of ownership or “say” in the company and feel that their
opinions count in operational decisions such as dispatches, equipment purchases, and general
• The terminals, customers, and types of runs characteristic of smaller companies allow them to
give their drivers plenty of miles while still getting them home on weekends.
• Smaller companies demonstrate driver appreciation through safe driving awards. Awards
banquets and events involving the drivers’ families, cash or merchandise awards, and bonuses
tied to safe performance are among the incentives used most often. The latter
team-based, which creates a greater support network among the drivers.
It may be concluded from the results of this research that a significant relationship exists
between job change rate and crash involvement. There is evidence that drivers, whose (verified)
employment history indicates that they have averaged more than two jobs with different carriers
each year for a period of two years or more deserve special scrutiny during the hiring process to
determine whether there are mitigating circumstances that have placed the individual in an
Another conclusion that can be drawn from this study is that additional phases of analysis, based
on the present methodology, have the potential to yield even greater benefits by identifying
specific factors that can explain the broad statistical relationship between job change rate and
safety. It is logical to assert that certain types of job changes, for certain categories of driver and
vehicle variables, will better predict the likelihood of crash involvement than others.
Because of the more specific information about risk factors that could be provided, the most
useful guidance for industry in selection, hiring, and training would be expected to result from
follow-on analyses including, though not necessarily limited to, temporal sequencing of critical
events, cargo type, and vehicle type and/or gross vehicle weight rating.
Staplin, L., Gish, K., Decina, L., and Brewster, R.,
Commercial Motor Vehicle Driver Retention and
FMCSA, FMCSA-RT-03-004, Washington, DC, March 2003.