Does the UK truck driving industry have an employee turnover issue?

Does the UK truck driving industry have an employee turnover issue?

March 1, 2023

Truck drivers are the lifeblood of almost every industry in the world. Without them, there would be mass shortages in every area, from food and water to clothing, furniture, building materials and oil (and a whole lot more).

So, with trucks playing such an important role in our lives, does the industry have an employee turnover issue?

And if so, why?

What the stats say about driver turnover

Firstly, the answer is yes, the UK truck driving industry has an employee turnover issue (as do most countries). And the latest statistics by bear that out. In their 2021 study, it was revealed:

  • The number of under-30s dropped from 30,500 to 12,500, a loss of 18,000 drivers
  • 20,500 of 30,500 drivers under the age of 30 have left HGV since the start of the pandemic
  • 55,000 drivers have recently left the industry, with under-30s making up 40% of the turnover

This is extremely worrying as the under-30s is the age group the industry needs to attract and retain to protect against future driver shortages.


Why are drivers leaving?

There are several factors as to why drivers are leaving truck driving, including:

  • Expectation of what they thought the job was compared to what it is
  • Long hours
  • Not prepared to spend long periods away from family and loved ones
  • Too much responsibility
  • Stress and exhaustion

And many of these drivers leave the industry within their first three months, which has a major financial impact on companies that have taken time to train their first-time truck drivers.


7 ways to improve driver retention

With employee turnover a major issue, let’s take a look at seven ways the industry can help to retain drivers:

1. Difference between fleet manager and driver expectations

This is the number one reason most drivers leave the profession. To combat this disconnect, the job, lifestyle and expectations must be fully explained during the interviewing stage - and again when the applicant accents the role.

The culture shock can cause even experienced drivers to quit at the first sign of difficulty.

2. Improve working relationships with drivers

Especially new recruits.

Issues between drivers and fleet managers are the second biggest reason new drivers leave the industry. Make drivers feel welcome and cared for and you’ll retain more drivers.


3. Be selective about who you interview

Taking time to sift out applicants who only see the job as a stop-gap or last resort will reduce the possibility of high driver turnover.

4. Increase driver pay

The cost of living crisis is squeezing everyone, but increasing driver pay improves lifestyle and job satisfaction.

Plus, it stops them leaving for a better-paid competitor.


5. Give your drivers incentives

Monetary incentives, like performance bonuses, are always going to be popular. Another thing you can implement is a ‘Driver of the Month’ award that rewards employees for productivity.


6. Ask for driver feedback

Implement an open-door policy or set up regular meetings with drivers where they can express any concerns. If this isn’t possible, an anonymous feedback form is a good way to get drivers to talk about what would improve their job without having to say it face-to-face.


7. Encourage drivers to personalise their wagons.

If drivers don't share wagons, encourage them to customise their trucks' interiors. Having a feeling of home will make them feel close to their loved ones, even when they're away.



Improve morale with the latest truck equipment.

Keeping your truck fleet updated with the latest safety equipment, wheel trims, cab furnishings, air horns, etc., shows your drivers how much you care about their safety and comfort.

We’re the driving force behind Britain’s truckers, so check out our truck accessories store today.

Or, if you’d like to speak to one of our team members, call us now on 01284 81068.


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