BRENTWOOD, Tenn. — The latest poll taken by the Professional Driver Agency (PDA) shows that the top two most mentioned concerns among truck drivers are equipment and pay.
PDA released the data, compiled from thousands of phone calls with professional truck drivers during the first quarter of 2022, on Friday. It was gathered “as part of PDA’s efforts to help trucking companies curb turnover while providing accurate and actionable data to address their drivers’ concerns,” according to a news release.
The first quarter of 2022 started off as 2021 ended with the two most mentioned concerns being equipment and compensation issues, according to PDA.
“As we saw at the end of 2021, the equipment supply chain issues continue to cause headaches for both carriers and drivers,” said Scott Dismuke, PDA’s vice president of operations.
“The new tractor output, supply chain delays for parts and the diesel technician shortage are putting pressure on maintenance departments. Fleets will be aging; drivers will be keeping trucks longer which will likely mean an increase in breakdowns and mechanical issues.”
Dismuke noted that PDA data continues to show a correlation between equipment breakdowns and drivers complaining about pay.
“PDA data has shown that equipment issues often lead to compensation frustrations for drivers,” Dismuke said.
“Drivers that are logging miles while their truck is in the shop is the best way to keep today’s equipment problem from turning into next week’s compensation problem. Loaners are better than breakdown pay, so if carriers have available trucks, offer them to drivers who are stuck in the shop so they can continue to log miles.”
Overall compensation issues remained steady in Q1 at 21%, nearly matching 2021 Q4 totals; however, drivers complaining about their pay rate was up 6% quarter over quarter. Dismuke noted again that the rise in driver feedback regarding pay rate has coincided with the increase in equipment issues.
“Industry-wide pay raises continue, but as we’ve noted drivers are spending more time in the shop and they aren’t making what they’ve been promised,” Dismuke said. “If a driver isn’t making what was promised, they have multiple options to go elsewhere in this driver market.”
Operations issues were the third top issue for the seventh straight quarter, remaining steady at 13%, equal to where it was in Q4 of 2021.
Driver feedback about operations continues to center on driver manager communication issues which rose 4% from 2021 Q4 to 53% in Q1.
“Communication issues accounted for more than half of the driver feedback regarding operations in Q1,” Dismuke said.
“We’ve continued to see the communication issue on the rise the last several quarters.” Dismuke said. “Drivers view communication and respect as the same thing, and respect is about company culture. Proactive and timely communication and keeping drivers in the loop not only reduces communication issues, but it makes the drivers feel respected while relieving driver frustration.”
Finally, in Q1 COVID-19 issues continued to be a concern for drivers, up 9% from totals in Q4 of 2021. Dismuke noted though that most of the COVID concerns came relatively early in Q1 and dropped off significantly near the end of the quarter.
“COVID-19 concerns dropped by 26% from January to March as the cases of the Omicron variant also began to drop nationwide,” Dismuke said.
To see PDA’s full Q1 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.