Mixer Driver Recruitment & Retention Survey

The Workforce Development Committee thanks each and every producer who took the time to participate in this year’s survey during the month of July.  A whopping third of the respondents submitted data last week alone, thereby assuring a statistically valid number of samples. Calculations are underway and the report remains on schedule for release in early October.

For more information contact: Eileen Dickson, edickson@nrmca.org.

2019 Mixer Driver Recruitment & Retention Synopsis

This is the fifth year for NRMCA’s Mixer Driver Recruitment & Retention Survey. Data was collected between May 1, 2018 and April 30, 2019. The Executive Summary is a synopsis of the national results most critical questions; the full report is more detailed and further delineates findings by region and size of company.

Pressure increased on producers to maintain a healthy mixer driver pool. Not only did 60% report they turned away orders because they did not have drivers to deliver product but also 95% reported driver vacancies, up 27%. Both factors dramatically increased over last year’s survey. Since 2014, it is estimated the industry hired approximately 115,500 mixer drivers; approximately 102,400 left in the same period in a five-year average mixer driver pool of 74,400.

There is good news. Last year, the mixer driver pool increased for the first time in two years, up 2,000 drivers, to an estimated 77,000. Nevertheless, on the last day of the survey, producers reported 9,900 unfulfilled jobs. Respondents overwhelmingly noted their biggest hiring challenge was finding drivers with industry experience. Facing such a shortage, 43% will hire 18-21 year old drivers and 51% will hire newly licensed commercial drivers. Approximately 8% of new hires were new CDL drivers. 56% of respondents rehired former employees, equating to 9% of the new-hire mixer driver pool.

Of the approximate 28,000 mixer drivers hired last year, about 25,000 left. Of that, 9,800 were hired and left in the 12-month survey range, meaning over 60% of total separation (15,000 drivers) had more than one-year experience. The turnover rate increased to 33%, up from 29% in 2017. This year, as for three of the survey’s five years, producers report more drivers left for a short-haul driving job, not in the industry. Second was to a competitor producer. “Retirement” was sixth. Higher pay elsewhere and inconsistent daily schedules remain the top two reasons drivers quit for the fourth year. The quit/released ratio was 66%-33%, whereas the national separation trend for US workers, as reported by US Bureau of Labor Statistics (US BLS), was 55%-45%. Finally, mentoring new mixer drivers dropped to 54% last year, from a 2016 high of 85%.

Mixer drivers’ median age is 46 years old, older than the US BLS 2019 estimated median age of “material moving workers” at 43 years and 44 years for “durable goods manufacturing: ‘cement, concrete, lime, and gypsum products’”. Tenure dropped to 8.2 years from 9.6 years the previous two years. The US BLS reports 29% of American workers have a 10+ year tenure with their company; this industry’s was 28%.

This annual survey reports staffing levels, retention rates, internal job mobility, age, and tenure data. It also looks at recruitment methods, hiring rates, trends, and challenges. Finally, it examines separation, including total turnover, voluntary turnover, involuntary turnover, layoff turnover, reasons for termination, and reasons mixer drivers quit. Respondents represent their company and report on their driver-employees. This apparatus does not survey mixer drivers.
Comments, questions, and concerns are always welcome.

For further information about the annual survey, please contact Eileen Dickson.


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