Fleets Pursue Qualified Drivers as Freight Grows, Rules Tighten

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From Transport Topics:

Seeking to capitalize on an ever-tighter market, many fleets are racing to sign up qualified drivers as freight demand rises and stiffer federal driver standards loom, experts said.

"We can still find drivers, but we have to search harder," Steve Brantley, manager of driver resources for USA Truck, Van Buren, Ark., told Transport Topics. "There are more loads to be moved."

"The market has become more competitive for both owner-operators and experienced drivers," said Brooke Willey, vice president for human resources at CRST International. The company seeks drivers for 700 new trucks it will add by the end of 2011.

"The ability to expand our driver recruiting efforts and identify ways to attract drivers will be the key to that ultimate growth," Willey said.

Bert Johnson, human resources director at Con-way Truckload, Joplin, Mo., agreed that it's more difficult to find drivers.

"Our emphasis has been on hiring to meet normal driver turnover," Johnson said.

So did Ron Massman, president of The Dependable Companies.

"Our biggest challenge these days is to find good, qualified drivers," Massman said, citing a "very, very positive upturn in business."

The recruiting drive embraces websites, video and newspaper advertising and also includes some other less-than-truckload fleets.