Ready-mix producers are dealing with more pressure to maintain a driver pool following a 3% drop in the mixer driver population, according to a survey.
The National Ready Mixed Concrete Association (NRMCA) reveals 28% of ready-mix producers which took part in a survey reported lost business because they did not have drivers to deliver orders.
The 2018 Mixer Driver Recruitment and Retention Survey shows the mixer driver pool of 75,000 remains roughly the same as 2016 and 2015, but the turnover rate has increased to 29.1% from 25.8% in 2016.
According to the report, the biggest challenge for producers is finding drivers with with ready-mix concrete experience. More than three-quarters of producers reportedly will only hire experienced drivers and will not hire commercially-licensed drivers under 25.
NRMCA says: “The industry managed to hire between 20,000 – 23,000 drivers each year from 2014 to 2017. Better pay, inconsistent daily schedules and lack of a steady 12- month income/work remain the top three reasons drivers quit by the third year.”
The average age of mixer drivers is 46 years old, which is close to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2017 estimated age of heavy equipment commercial drivers of 46 years. BLS reports only 29% of American workers have a 10+ year tenure with their companies and the ready-mix concrete industry’s 2017 10+ tenure was 45%.
Other findings reveal an increase in drivers who were hired and left during the same year from 4,800 in 2016 to 6,600 last year. Mentoring new mixer drivers dropped to 74% 2017 from 85% in 2016.
NRMCA’s study examined the state of mixer driver employment pool between 1 January and 31 December, with a response rate which reflects 28% of the association’s 75,000 drivers. Also, the research estimates the total mixer drivers represent 56% of the industry’s estimated 135,000 employees.
This survey received a 34% increase in respondents, which according to NRMCA, could illustrate a broader desire to understand the challenge better.
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