Load One: Drive for Gold

John Elliott, president of Load One, with driverJohn Elliott, president of Load One, with driver

Some fleets are engaging drivers in a variety of ways by using online rewards programs. The programs work similar to familiar customer loyalty and rewards programs like Delta SkyMiles, Amazon Prime or Starbucks Rewards.

Stay Metrics offers an online driver rewards program called Drive for Gold. As part of the service, Stay Metrics provides carriers with research, analytics and insights into driver retention within their fleet and collectively across its customer base.

Fleets that use the Drive for Gold program typically reward drivers for things that are normally part of their job description, like not having hours-of-service infractions, turning in vehicle inspection and maintenance reports, and completing online training by a certain day each month.

Load One, a full-service expedited, truckload and specialized hauler based in Taylor, Mich., rewards points for a number of different activities. Drivers login to the site regularly to earn points by answering safety quizzes and by taking online training courses, for example.

For Load One, the primary benefit of the program is driver retention. Whereas incentive programs are typically created to drive operational improvements in fuel or asset utilization, the company designed its Gold Rewards to focus on retention.

The online program engages drivers and builds momentum, says John Elliott, president of the 350-truck fleet. Load One has seen its retention improve by 26.7 percent since the program’s inception in July, 2012.

Besides benefitting drivers, the program is a data collection tool. Drivers earn points by taking anonymous surveys to identify areas where the fleet can improve. For instance, drivers rank the dispatch staff by proficiency, knowledge and understanding of the owner-operator business.

Face-to-face training meetings are still effective, but with drivers such opportunities are limited. Engaging drivers online and through devices they carry in their pockets might be the best strategy to sustain their interest. It can also be a powerful retention tool, as research from Stay Metrics confirms that engaged drivers are twice as likely to stay.

Click to see how these carriers are using driver performance systems:

Covenant Transport (Chattanooga, Tenn.): FuelOpps

Transport Distribution Company (Joplin, Mo.): PedalCoach

Terpening Trucking (Syracuse, N.Y.): Vnomics In-Cab Advisor

SmartDrive Systems: Fuel Economy mobile app