According to recent studies, the trucking industry is still short 60,000 drivers. Carrier companies struggle with hiring in general. Specialized commercial drivers, including hazardous material (HAZMAT) drivers, are even harder to find.
While there is stiff competition for top talent in the trucking industry, there are steps you can take today to find more drivers, including those with specialized endorsements. Here are five ways you can attract more HAZMAT drivers to your company, despite the driver shortage.
1. Update your trucks to keep HAZMAT drivers safe
Your specialty drivers understand the inherent risks of the job. However, modern technology makes hazardous transport safer for your driver, your cargo, and everyone else on the roadway. Installing collision detection and mitigation technology, updated lane assist systems, brake assist, and automatic transmissions help create safer conditions for your drivers.
Today’s drivers are safety conscious, and these modern collision avoidance systems are proven to reduce the risk and severity of accidents. Yet these systems, which are common on passenger vehicles, are not yet standard on commercial vehicles. Drivers appreciate motor carrier companies that offer updated trucks and modern technology. Your investment in driver safety can attract more drivers, especially for jobs that come with elevated risk factors.
2. Protect your HAZMAT drivers in the event of incidents or accidents
Unfortunately, when commercial drivers get into accidents, they are often blamed, even when they are not at fault. The driver must self-advocate, or face the loss of their license, reputation, and even their career.
Carrier companies that install front- and driver-facing cameras can protect not only their drivers, but also their corporate reputation. Camera footage is easily reviewable and court-admissible. It provides critical data that can help drivers prove their innocence in the event of an accident or incident.
3. Provide ongoing HAZMAT driver training
Your specialized drivers learn a lot during their certification training. Ongoing training helps them remember and retain vital information that they might not use on a regular basis.
By providing training to your HAZMAT drivers, you demonstrate your commitment to their safety and to their careers. When you offer training on a regular cadence and any time regulations change, you demonstrate your commitment to driver safety.
4. Offer competitive compensation for HAZMAT drivers
HAZMAT and tanker positions are considered high-paying truck driving jobs across the industry. According to Glassdoor, the national average Class A CDL HAZMAT/Tanker salary is nearly $11,000 more per year on average than a standard CDL driver salary.
Workers will always look closely at companies that offer competitive compensation, including benefits and a positive work/life balance. By offering specialty drivers incentive packages that reward their career dedication, you can attract a larger pool of highly qualified candidates. Then you can choose your drivers based on your company’s needs and culture.
5. Focus on quality, not quantity
One of the identified causes of commercial driver accident-related deaths is drivers who feel they need to “race the clock.” All drivers feel the crunch of the hours-of-service rule from time to time. However, HAZMAT drivers have additional concerns and steps they take to ensure the safety of themselves and their loads, which lengthens the time required for each job.
Allow your HAZMAT, tanker, and other specialty drivers the time they need to get the job done right. Your focus on job quality over delivery quantity will resonate with drivers and attract more of them to your business. They will come to your company with the understanding that their safety is your priority, and they just might reward you with their longevity of service and high customer satisfaction rates.
Find qualified HAZMAT drivers in minutes with F|Staff
F|staff isn’t a job board, and it’s not a simple candidate list. With the F|Staff app, you can find pre-qualified, DOT verified, and drug and alcohol screened drivers — including HAZMAT, tanker, and other specialty drivers — with a few clicks. And, your F|Staff drivers are ready to work right when you need them. You post your job, choose from a pool of drivers who fit your exact need, and they show up and drive your truck. It’s that easy! You can even add your drivers to your preferred pool, or convert them to become permanent members of your staff.
Get started with F|Staff today, solve your driver shortage issues, and fill those high-demand positions that require specialized licenses.