Study: Home time improves driver performance

Updated Feb 1, 2016

Giving truck drivers the time off they request can improve their performance and productivity, according to a recently released study.

Dr. Amir Erez, a professor of management and Trevor Foulk a graduate student at the University of Florida, conducted the study for Stay Metrics. Their findings were based on data from 682 drivers for a flatbed company with 260 power units.

“We know at Stay Metrics that home time, or the lack thereof, is a predictor of driver turnover,” said Tim Hindes, chief executive officer of Stay Metrics. “What this new study shows is that now an argument can be made by fleet operators that home time has productivity and financial benefits as well.”

The study modeled time off requests that were met by the carrier each month to find the effects on three variables for desirable driver performance in the subsequent months. The study found:

Bonus rate. The mean bonus rate for drivers in the study was 3.5 cents per mile. Drivers earned a monthly bonus that was calculated from their scores in four categories — compliance, vehicle care, fuel, and production. The study found that for each time off request met, drivers’  bonus rates increased by nearly 3 percent the following month.

Miles driven. On average, drivers covered 8,577 miles per month. For each time off request that was met, the model showed they traveled 218 more miles the following month than drivers who did not take time off. Using a rate of $2 per mile for revenue, each time off request met generated $536 more in revenue the following month than drivers who did not.

Total bonus pay. This is the product of bonus rate and miles driven. The mean is $344.66 per month and the study found that drivers who took time off earned $17.85 more in bonus pay, per month, than drivers who did not take time off, an increase in bonus pay of more than 5 percent.

Stay Metrics works with motor carrier clients to solve driver retention challenges.