Workers loading bags of trash into a garbage truck.

How to Retain CDL Drivers in the Waste Industry

Trash truck drivers are essential members of the waste management team, ensuring the safe, timely, and efficient collection of municipal waste. As the population continues to grow and the amount of waste produced increases, it is essential for cities to retain their trash truck drivers to ensure the waste management system keeps up with the demand. In this blog post, we will discuss the importance of trash truck drivers, the challenges they face, and ways to retain them in 2023. 

At Inflection Poynt, we understand the importance of retaining CDL drivers and the impact driver retention has on a business. We help fleets achieve success in both recruiting and retaining CDL drivers by using our proprietary technology to simplify the driver experience.

The Role of Trash Truck Drivers

Trash truck drivers are responsible for collecting, transporting, and disposing of municipal solid waste. They drive heavy-duty trucks and are responsible for following safety regulations and maintaining the proper operation of their vehicles. They also need to be able to operate specialized equipment, such as hoists and compaction units, to move and dispose of waste safely. Trash truck drivers also need to be able to recognize potentially hazardous materials, so they can take the proper precautions to ensure the safety of the public and their fellow workers. 

In addition to waste collection and disposal, trash truck drivers also provide customer service. They are responsible for interacting with residents to ensure proper waste disposal and to answer any questions they may have.

Workers raking garbage on the floor into a pile.

Challenges Faced by Trash Truck Drivers

Trash truck drivers face a number of challenges in their day-to-day duties. Long hours, hazardous conditions, and heavy lifting are among the most common challenges. Drivers must also be able to handle the physical and mental strain of driving in traffic, maneuvering their trucks in tight spaces, and dealing with uncooperative customers. 

In addition to the physical challenges, trash truck drivers are also subject to the stress of tight deadlines. They are often expected to complete their routes in a designated amount of time, and any delays can lead to costly overtime pay. 

With these challenges, it can become difficult to retain CDL drivers. According to the American Trucking Association, there is an estimated shortfall of 80,000 drivers nationwide.

Two men emptying garbage cans into a truck.

Retaining Trash Truck Drivers in 2023 

Retaining CDL drivers requires an understanding of their needs and offering good incentives. At Inflection Poynt, we offer fleets of tailored strategies on how to recruit and retain drivers through our platform. Given the unique challenges faced by trash truck drivers, it is essential for cities to take the necessary steps to retain their drivers in 2023. The following are some ways to retain trash truck drivers:

1. Offer competitive wages: One of the most important ways to retain trash truck drivers is to offer competitive wages. This will allow drivers to feel valued and appreciated for their hard work and dedication. 

2. Provide ample training: It is essential for cities to provide adequate training for their drivers. This will help ensure that drivers are knowledgeable about safety regulations, proper waste disposal procedures, and other important information. 

3. Offer flexible work hours: Flexible work hours are important for trash truck drivers. This will allow them to balance their work and personal lives more easily. 

4. Improve safety protocols: It is essential for cities to improve their safety protocols to ensure the safety of their drivers. This can include providing safety gear, such as protective clothing and helmets, and regular safety training. 

5. Implement incentive programs: Incentive programs effectively motivate drivers and keep them engaged. This can include offering bonuses for completing routes on time or submitting rewards for exemplary performance. 

6. Gather feedback from drivers: According to TransForce, in order to effectively and swiftly increase employee engagement, regular surveys should be conducted to get feedback from drivers regarding possible changes to benefit the fleet. Drivers should be clear on why their input is being asked, how the surveys will be delivered, and that their feedback will be taken into account and implemented. 

These are just a few ways cities can retain trash truck drivers in 2023. By offering competitive wages, providing ample training, offering flexible work hours, improving safety protocols, and implementing incentive programs, cities can ensure that their trash truck drivers are happy, productive, and safe.

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