A Triadic View of Truck Driver Satisfaction

By LeMay, Stephen A.; Williams, Zachary et al. | Journal of Transportation Management, Fall 2009 | Go to article overview

A Triadic View of Truck Driver Satisfaction


LeMay, Stephen A., Williams, Zachary, Garver, Michael, Journal of Transportation Management


INTRODUCTION

Driver turnover has persistently plagued for-hire truckload (TL) motor carriers since deregulation in 1980. Many trucking firms have tried higher wages, bonus programs, family incentives, guaranteed time-home schedules, and a variety of other plans, but the problem persists--drivers switch firms or leave the industry, a process that costs trucking firms $6,000-$15,000 per driver lost (Min and Lambert 2002; ATA 2007). Although driver turnover fluctuates, on average it has risen to 121% average for large TL firms and 102% for small firms (annual revenue of $30 million or less) (ATA 2007). Some large firms have turnover rates above 200% annually. To put this in perspective, the annualized turnover rate for all jobs in the U.S. was 23.7% in 2006 (BLS 2007).

Driver turnover adds to the cost of consumer goods, cuts profits for trucking firms, and lowers logistics productivity. In 2005, Ozark Motor Lines reported a 66% annual turnover rate for 750 drivers. They hired 495 drivers that year, estimating the turnover cost to be $2.5 million (Paz-Frankel 2006) and those costs were likely passed down the supply chain.

As the U.S. economy faltered in 2008, an influx of workers from other industries alleviated the driver shortage and slowed turnover (CSCMP 2008). The trucking industry welcomed the new hires, but experienced managers know that bringing in new drivers puts additional pressure on training and education. New, less-experienced drivers are more likely to miss customer appointments and disrupt operations. Even experienced drivers can create these problems when they are new to a company and unfamiliar with local procedures.

An important gap in the literature revolves around understanding the differences between experienced drivers and new drivers. Managers often struggle to understand drivers' perspectives and attitudes concerning job satisfaction. But no research to date has compared different perspectives between new drivers, experienced drivers, and managers. What attitudes do they share? What attitudes are different? Does management understand one group better than the other? Understanding the difference between these groups and how management perceives this situation is important for retention strategies.

The purpose of this research is to compare job satisfaction for new drivers and experienced drivers, and then to compare to them to perceptions of management. In short, we will attempt to answer the following question: For different job satisfaction attributes, are there differences between new drivers and experienced drivers, and managers' interpretation of driver satisfaction?

To reach these objectives, we report our findings of a literature review. Then, we discuss our research method and analysis, followed by our results. Finally, we discuss both theoretical and managerial conclusions, and outline the next steps to further this research stream.

TRUCK DRIVER TURNOVER RESEARCH

Research on turnover has taken three primary approaches: 1) surveys of managers that focus on characteristics of the firm and how management decisions affect turnover; 2) surveys of drivers that focus on attitudes, job satisfaction, and how they impact retention; and 3) surveys of drivers that focus on career commitment and the likelihood of staying in the industry. This research will bridge the gap among these different research streams, bringing together research results of both managers and drivers, comparing and contrasting the results.

Surveys of Managers

Southern et al. (1989) analyzed 148 responses to a survey questionnaire sent to managers of truckload (60%), less-than-truckload (21%), truckload and less-than-truckload combined (10%), and other (9%). The questionnaire asked personnel directors what methods they used to recruit drivers, what benefits they stressed in recruiting, and what experience and other qualifications they demanded of drivers. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

A Triadic View of Truck Driver Satisfaction
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.