The Motor Carrier Management Perspective
The role of motor carrier management in both driver retention and overall safety can be described as one of facilitation. While highway
safety ultimately comes down to situations and actions on the road, trucking companies play essential roles in providing drivers with the
physical and psychological tools needed to deal with the many safety situations that arise while driving.
Motor carrier management personnel (i.e., executives, senior managers, and safety directors) were asked a series of questions about driver
retention and safety, including the processes used to calculate safety rates and turnover, and the design and effect of formal and informal
safety programs. The responses received were summarized to present a management perspective on the trucking company’s role in
promoting driver retention and safety, with the following broad categories of responses ultimately defined:
• Preemptive programs, which focus on safety training and education, with the objective being to provide preventative measures. In most
cases, these are designed as group-based programs. They also encompass remedial training for drivers involved in crashes. Vehicle
maintenance programs may also be classified in this category as they are often viewed by drivers as safety and satisfaction programs.
• Outcome-based programs, which are typically described as proactive incentive and/or reward programs. Anecdotal evidence indicates that
the larger the company, the more organized and sophisticated these programs become. Formal programs include safety recognition
dinners and exclusive “million mile” clubs. More informal programs include driver meetings that highlight new company safety data or
recognize an individual driver’s efforts.
• Personal support programs, where trucking companies recognize that employee satisfaction is closely tied to initiatives that focus on the
driver as an individual. Examples include trucking companies with targeted driver outreach programs that pair drivers with trainers,
managers, ombudsmen, and even counselors. The goal is to provide immediate support and response to driver issues and concerns.
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