The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) released the results of its analysis examining the differing truck driver motivations for why they choose to be a Company Driver or an Owner-Operator/Independent Contractor (OO/IC). This analysis was prioritized by ATRI’s Research Advisory Committee to better understand the role of OO/IC in the trucking industry, and how legislative attempts to reclassify OO/IC as Company Drivers would impact those individuals and supply chains in general.
ATRI’s research includes respondent data from over 2,000 professional truck drivers, of whom more than 2/3rds are OO/IC. When presented with identical factors that motivated their decision to be a Company Driver or OO/IC, Company Drivers indicated their top three motivators were Job Security/Stability, Income, and Healthcare/Retirement Savings. Among OO/IC, the top three motivating factors were Independence/Ability to Set Hours, Schedule/Flexibility, and Choice of Routes/Length of Haul.
The analysis also examined the various compensation models used with Company Drivers and OO/IC and driver satisfaction levels with each. Both Company Drivers and OO/IC ranked Income as an important motivator and in terms of satisfaction, 69 percent of Company Drivers and 80 percent of OO/IC indicated being Very Satisfied/Satisfied with their income. Over 50 percent of OO/IC in ATRI’s dataset reported net incomes of over $75,000 in the previous year while nearly 70 percent of Company Drivers indicated their annual wages fell in the $50,000 to $100,000 range. A large percentage of OO/IC expected they would experience significant decreases in their job satisfaction (73 percent) and annual income (68 percent) if they were reclassified as a Company Driver.
The issue of driver retention as well as how drivers are paid has taken on new light during the supply chain crises. The below chart on driver compensation models is illuminating.
In addition to examining the differences between Company Drivers and OO/IC, ATRI’s analysis also offers insight into the different motivating factors for female truck drivers versus their male counterparts.
To download the full report, click here.