R & R Trucking, Inc. Cracks the Code to Truck Driver Retention
Four Key Reasons Team Truck Drivers Stay at R & R
JOPLIN, Mo. NOVEMBER 16, 2016
While many large truckload carriers are experiencing 100 percent driver turnover, R & R Trucking, Inc. believes they have cracked the code to truck driver retention. In reviewing driver longevity statistics, R & R discovered their driver retention was far better than the industry norm.
“When accounting for all drivers – for all the fleets – we found that six years was the average length of stay for our drivers. At the point they reached seven years, we found that over a third of our fleet had been here 11-plus years,” said Vonda Cooper, Vice President of Operations, R & R Trucking, Inc.
After interviewing several driver teams, the company attributed R & R driver longevity to four key reasons: a family atmosphere in the workplace, superior driver pay, more home time and employees' sense of pride.
According to R & R Vice President of Administration, Kevin McKelvy, a major company philosophy is maintaining a workplace with a family atmosphere. “Our management, non-driving staff and drivers know each other,” said McKelvy. “It is not uncommon to see our CEO and other management eating lunch in the drivers' lounge with our drivers.”
Driver teams at R & R likewise stressed the importance of working for a company where there is a family atmosphere.
“It’s wonderful – whenever I call in to talk to my dispatcher, or the shop, or almost anybody here, they know me by my first name,” said team driver Susan Hall. “They even know my dog’s name and keep treats for him.”
Veteran driver Lee Summers said, “We are a family here. I promise you we could not have stayed here 19 years if it wasn’t family oriented.”
Superior Pay for Drivers
According to driver James Cayton, pay is always a major consideration in deciding whether a driver leaves or stays. “This is a specialized type of transport, and with that comes an impressive level of benefits and pay. They appreciate what you’re bringing to the table and it shows in the packages they extend out to their drivers’,” said Cayton.
More Home Time
Poor home time in the trucking industry has always been a key factor for drivers leaving. Two years ago, R & R changed their home time policy and began offering their drivers two days off for each week out. The company immediately noticed a positive impact on all their drivers.
“Getting two days off for every week you work makes all the difference. You’re able to go home, take a breath, relax and enjoy yourself,” said driver Mitchell Browning.
“It is a whole lot easier to be out four weeks," said team driver Lynn Culver, “knowing that when you come home you’re going to be home for eight days – it’s a mental relaxer.”
Employee Sense of Pride
R & R transports a large amount of cargo for the Department of Defense (DOD). As a result, the non-driving employees and drivers alike feel a sense of pride and patriotism knowing the commodities they transport support the U.S. military.
“Knowing what you have in your truck is going to go on a ship or an airplane and it could help bring that young man or woman back home – that makes me feel good,” said team driver George Culver.
This sense of pride also carries over to R & R’s commitment to military veterans. In expanding commitment, the company implemented a veteran hiring program in mid-2016.
“Veteran friendly means providing opportunities – positive opportunities for employment and earnings. It's more than just lip service. It's taking veterans out of their current situation, helping them transition and helping them and their families make a good living,” said R & R CEO Phil Nelson.
R & R believes their ongoing efforts to improve driver retention are paying off. “I can assure you this, our success as a company – and our fight to solve driver retention – always comes down to being attentive to the needs of our drivers,” said Nelson.
R & R Trucking, Inc. – with its group of carriers, AATCO and NEI – is North America’s largest trucking company that specializes in the transport of sensitive cargo. Their logistic and equipment capabilities encompass tanker, dry van, flatbed, dromedary and specialized transportation equipment. Its mission is to provide transportation services to customers safely and efficiently by utilizing quality personnel and resources.