Study Shows Successful Trucking Companies Use Different HR Practices

by Jana Ritter - Published: 8/29/2013

Highly successful companies use distinct practices in building their workforces and offer more benefits to recruit and retain drivers when compared to all other trucking companies, according to new research in the 2013 Texas Trucking Industry Study. To qualify as highly successful, referred to as a "HSS" company in the study, a Texas-based trucking company had to report revenue growth in 2012, a net profit margin of at least 10% in 2012, and a minimum of 11 drivers.

Trucking alliance

The research and report were sponsored by the Texas Trucking Alliance (TTA) which includes The Bassett Firm in Dallas, Business Financial Group in San Antonio, Regions Insurance in Texarkana, SelecTransportation Resources in Houston, TravisWolff in Dallas, and Texas Trucking Association (TXTA, formerly Texas Motor Transportation Association) and the TXTA Foundation both in Austin.

"We think this study will move the research closer toward the TTA mission of providing scientifically quantified best practices in the Texas trucking industry," said John D. Esparza, President and CEO of Texas Trucking Association (TXTA). "These practices, if adopted more broadly, should strengthen TXTA members and the overall industry."

According to the 2013 Texas Trucking Industry Study, 86% of HSS companies use contract drivers, compared to 42% of all other companies. Even so, 76% of HSS companies employ a mix of both contract drivers and employee drivers, compared to only 30% of all other companies.

Concerning recruitment venues, 91% of the HSS regards driver referrals as useful, compared to 66% of all other companies, according to the report. Significantly, the HSS companies are twice as likely as all others to pay referral bonuses to referring drivers. Moreover, the HSS companies that do pay bonuses appear to pay higher bonuses than all other companies: The average HSS bonus was $532 per driver referral compared to $321 for all others.

The HSS companies appear to be more likely to offer these benefits tracked in the report than all other companies in 2013:

• Driver recognition awards (67% v. 45%)
• Bonus pay for accident-free driving (62% v. 44%)
• Health care insurance (57% v. 34%)
• Longevity bonus (52% v. 37%)
• Commissions on sales (35% v. 22%)
• Fuel surcharge pay (33% v. 21%)
• Signing bonuses (24% v. 19%)
• 401(k) retirement plan (33% v. 14%).

More information is available at the TTA website, The website includes past research reports, white papers, news releases, and a listing of TTA activities and events. The new 2013 study is available for free to TXTA members and for purchase by non-members for $150 through