According to HireRight’s ninth annual Employee Background Screening Benchmark Survey, the main reason drivers are leaving the industry is for better pay, followed by more home time and better benefits.
A recent article on TIME calculated that the average trucker earned over $110,000 annually when adjusting for inflation. Today, that number has come down to somewhere around $40,000, while requiring longer hours and providing less job security.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone with any knowledge industry, as many believe the driver shortage stems from this very issue.
However, 21 percent of drivers say they are leaving the industry due to health issues, which presents a completely different set of problems that the industry will have to address.
“Driving is a physically demanding profession and getting proper rest, eating right and maintaining an exercise routine is a challenge due to the nature of the job,” said Steven Spencer, manager director of transportation, HireRight. “The workforce is aging and attracting younger drivers remains a challenge due to the trucking lifestyle.”
Former long-haul trucker, Jann Hendrick, is a trucker who walked away due to his health issues. “I was taking home just under $5,000 a month, good money for those days,” says Hedrick. “But, I called them up and said, I’m done. It wasn’t worth dying over.”
Numbers from a 2014 survey showed that 69 percent of long-haul truckers were obese, and twice as likely to be diagnosed with diabetes compared to the rest of the U.S. workforce.
Many companies will have to refocus their retention strategies; 45 percent of respondents said their company does not offer a wellness program, and only 12% said their companies offer free access to nurse or health counselors.