You and Your Driver: Why Relationships Matter

The average employee turnover rate in the U.S., depending on industry, is between 6.5 and 35%. Well, truckers can be competitive, and we did “win” this one. Our industry turnover rate is nearly 100 percent. That’s right! It’s a dubious honor, and one we’re trying hard to lose. Rist TL turnover is currently at 34%, way below the industry average for Truckload carriers.

We want to keep our drivers because, frankly, it’s better for us. And it is better for our customers. Developing a one-on-one relationship with your driver can be a big advantage.

How Will It Benefit You – The Customer?

Rist TL is striving this year to further lower its turnover – less is fine with us, though. When the same person delivers your load consistently, he/she is able to build a relationship with you and knows how best to meet your needs.

We had a driver, for instance, who went to pick up a load from a customer at 4 p.m. Once he got there, he was told the load wouldn’t be ready for several hours.

Some non caring drivers, upon hearing this, would sit and wait. He’d burn up his allowable work time, and then have to call dispatch and tell them he couldn’t make the seven-hour drive because it would put him over his allowable service hours. The shipment would be sitting there until another driver – who did have enough hours left in his working day – could pick it up.

Our driver gave the customer his phone number and went home. The shipper called at 11 p.m. and told him the load was ready. By that time, our driver was rested, had his service hours in order, and was ready to go. He thought strategically, used his time wisely, thus staying in compliant with the Drivers Hours of service regulations and serving the customer and accommodated the customer and limitations.

Creating Real Relationships

Would he have done that for someone he’d never see again? We hope so! But he’d definitely be more flexible and accommodating for a valued customer he sees regularly and with whom he has a good professional relationship.

This is the type of driver we don’t want to lose. Stocking our team with excellent drivers, dispatchers, supervisors and office staff is critical in ensuring your freight gets to its destination on time, every time, and that your experience is always positive.

Charlie Eaton

Charlie Eaton

There is little in the trucking industry that Charlie Eaton has not experienced first-hand. Starting as a driver in his late teens, Charlie worked his way up to operations manager, dispatcher, terminal manager, and Vice President of Operations for a trucking company he helped build. Today, Charlie is the Director of RIST’s Truckload Operations division, overseeing drivers, dispatchers, and customer representatives. Committed to excellent service and professionalism in all aspects of the process, Charlie strives to develop forward-thinking solutions for customer needs, and provide outstanding quality at every turn.