Logistics-related issues, such as scheduling and delays, were a major pain point for drivers in...

Logistics-related issues, such as scheduling and delays, were a major pain point for drivers in 2020.

Photo: Jim Park

Last year, more than 12,000 commercial truck drivers from 64 companies in the U.S. provided feedback on all aspects of their job through WorkHound’s anonymous feedback platform. The most frequently mentioned topics in 2020 related to logistics, equipment, and fleet employees, according to WorkHound’s annual report.

The company’s annual report summarizes driver feedback gathered through a continuous, open-ended survey. The survey was texted to company and contracted drivers who haul a mix of dry van, reefer, tanker, intermodal, flatbed and expedited freight.

The top three areas where WorkHound gathered the most feedback were as follows:

1. Logistics (fleet operations, load planning, delays and route challenges)

The most dominant theme of driver feedback in 2020 was logistics, which included feedback related to operations, load planning, delays and challenges with routes.

Nearly half of all comments that related to logistics involved planning or scheduling. The other half of comments related to lack of work, loss of time and time at home.

Despite logistics dominating the feedback for the year, there was a slight decline in those comments in the later half of the year. In January 2020, logistics made up about 28% of all comments, and by December 2020, logistics represented 16% of comments.

Based on the feedback, WorkHound officials recommended in the report that trucking companies develop transparent communications with drivers to keep them in the loop regarding changes to planning, scheduling, load specifics and expected length of the workday.

2. Truck Equipment

The second most common theme of driver feedback related to equipment. Oftentimes, those comments tended to be urgent.

About 20% of equipment feedback related to truck maintenance, and often involved either the maintenance bay not fixing the equipment or requiring drivers to make multiple trips to the shop for the same issues. Timeliness of repairs was also a concern.

To address these concerns, WorkHound recommended trucking companies set realistic expectations around anticipated shop wait times, invest in high-quality technician training, and set a communication policy between maintenance and drivers.

3. People (dispatchers, techs, planners and fleet managers)

Feedback in the people category covered interactions with other drivers, support staff — like dispatchers, technicians, planners and office staff — and fleet management. Managers appeared in comments about 33.5% of the time.

When it came to feedback about new drivers, managers and support staff, only 22% of those comments were positive and frequent. Poor training and poor communication are likely causes of frustration when it comes to new hires, WorkHound found. 

“Adequate training and comprehensive communication at all levels of the company can alleviate some of the perceived pressure drivers feel when it comes to onboarding or picking up the slack for new staff or drivers,” WorkHound officials said in a webinar.

WorkHound suggests fleets create initiatives that build the familiarity between drivers and support staff, as well as being transparent about changes to policy snd workflow, as well as provide adequate training for new drivers and other staff.

Nearly 11% of all comments gathered were classified as critical comments, meaning they included feedback that indicates a blend of urgency and low satisfaction rates. Of those critical comments, the feedback related mostly to logistics and people.

Originally posted on Trucking Info