BRENTWOOD, Tenn. — The two most mentioned concerns among professional truck drivers continue to be equipment and compensation.
This is according to the latest data from data aggregator PDA.
On Oct. 20, PDA officials compiled their most recent data from thousands of phone calls with professional truck drivers during the third quarter of 2022. The data was gathered as part of PDA’s efforts to help trucking companies curb turnover while providing accurate and actionable data for addressing their drivers’ concerns, according to a news release.
In addition to concerns about equipment and overall compensation, miles-related compensation issues continued to rise due to the softening freight market.
“While equipment concerns remain the top issue for drivers in Q3, PDA continues to see a shift in data connected to miles-related compensation issues,” Scott Dismuke, PDA’s vice president of operations, said. “Drivers’ concerns about miles continue to increase, up 12% since Q1, a clear indication of a slowing freight market. In September alone, over half the drivers complaining about pay cited miles as the main reason.”
Dismuke noted that the slowing freight market is not only increasing driver frustration with miles, but also causing a climb in turnover rates.
“PDA has seen an uptick in turnover that began at the end of Q2 and continued in Q3,” Dismuke said. “For those drivers who have entered the market in the last two years, the slowing freight market is proving to be a frustrating wake up call. For veteran drivers who have enjoyed consistent freight over the last couple of years, the slowing freight market is a disappointing return to waiting longer for freight.”
From a percentage standpoint, overall equipment issues dropped for the third quarter in a row, and mechanical/breakdown issues were also down from Q2 to Q3.
Dismuke said that while the percentage of complaints has dropped, the number of drivers complaining about equipment has remained the same.
“Equipment issues remained the top driver concern in Q3.” Dismuke said. “While the percentage has dropped nearly 5% from Q1, relative to other categories, the total number of complaints remained the same. So while we are hearing the equipment and parts shortage is letting up, the numbers aren’t yet reflecting that.”
Dismuke remarked that the softening freight market will continue to be a challenge in combating turnover in Q4.
“People are spending more on services right now, less on goods,” Dismuke said. “Diesel/gas prices are on the rise again, taking disposable income out of people’s pockets, interest rates continue to rise and some economists are expecting unemployment rates to go up; meaning the last quarter of 2022 could continue to be a challenge in reducing driver turnover.”
Driver retention continues to be more important now than it has ever been. Reducing turnover and keeping drivers in trucks will continue to be a challenge.
“Drivers who have entered the market in the last two years have not experienced a slowdown in freight,” Dismuke said. “Open and proactive communication with drivers will be essential in Q4, especially with new drivers who are struggling with miles in this market.”
To see PDA’s full Q3 Data Download, click here.
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.