Picture this: you’ve just spoken to one of your drivers who informed you that they’re leaving your fleet. They feel that a lack of adequate pay has convinced them to throw in the towel. You respect their decision, but you’re also dreading the time and cost-consuming process of finding and replacing another driver.

If driver turnover and lack of driver engagement is a concern for your fleet, you’re not alone. High turnover is a problem across the entire trucking industry. There’s never going to be one easy answer to this, but there are some new and relatively easy to adopt strategies that can help put you in a much stronger position.

The best engagement and retention strategies all start with investing back in the drivers who keep your fleet running strong. By rewarding them for success on the road with performance-based incentives, you can improve engagement and retention, and actually save costs in the process.

The Question of Investment

It may seem like spending more on your drivers is just another drain on the bottom line, but with the right approach, it can actually make your fleet more profitable. With a creative incentive program built on fuel efficiency, you can engage and retain your drivers by giving them the two things they want most — more pay and more respect for their demonstrated skills.

By providing drivers with both, the cost of rewarding them for increased performance is offset by the money saved on turnover. Instead of spending thousands of dollars finding new drivers, you are spending a much smaller percentage to engage and retain your current ones. The best part is — with a program built on fuel efficiency — you can save money on fuel too.

Why Aren’t More Fleets Offering Fuel Incentives To Drivers?

Although fuel incentives certainly aren’t a new concept, they haven’t always worked. In the past, fuel-based incentives were typically based on reported MPG, which drivers ultimately objected to. This is because MPG alone doesn’t tell the story; it’s not an accurate or fair measure of their professional performance in terms of fuel efficiency — particularly when drivers don’t control the truck they drive, the load they are assigned, the route they must drive or the conditions they encounter en route. For many fleets, MPG was all they had to go on — until True Fuel®.

How True Fuel® Solves This Problem

In the absence of a better alternative, fleets have resorted to simply raising base pay to deal with driver retention issues. Offering drivers one-off rewards or a flat salary increase can have some short-term impact, but they may only get you so far. Sometimes, when drivers demand more pay, they’re not only saying “more money,” they’re also saying, “more respect, please!” So what are some ways that fleet leadership can best cater to those interests, while also making both fuel efficiency and driver engagement a reality?

Offering the right incentives that focus on your goal of improved fuel economy can be a powerful way to make this happen. Why? Because rewarding your drivers on their ability to improve fuel efficiency, with the behaviors only they can control, will give them a reason to push themselves to the next level. Fleets want to reduce turnover and retain the best drivers. Engaging them by offering rewards for demonstrated improvement only in the areas they control can help them take control of their role as valued and talented drivers.

With True Fuel®, driving performance is measured fairly, normalized and controlled against on-the-road factors that drivers can’t control like weather, truck, load weight and route. Drivers can focus on improving the behaviors they have complete control over like idling, braking, and speeding.

True Fuel®’s real-time, in-cab coaching and scorecards tell drivers exactly where and how they can do better when it matters most, and when it can have the greatest impact on fuel economy. Most importantly, what sets True Fuel® apart from any other fuel efficiency solution is its accuracy and precision. There’s no bias involved, so drivers know that fairness and integrity are major values of the fleet that they belong to.

Fuel incentives can inspire better driving behaviors that will positively impact your bottom line. Your drivers may have never had coaching or guidance like this before. This investment back in your drivers — and this clear demonstration that you support them 100 percent — will help you reach the level of driver retention, improved fuel economy, and increased bottom line that every fleet is striving for.