Overcoming Labor Shortage Challenges


Photos courtesy of Fleetio

With surges in consumer demand for home deliveries and onsite services in recent years, the fleet industry has found itself grappling with a critical challenge: workforce shortages. To fortify your fleet’s workforce and bolster its competetiveness, understanding the reasons behind CDL and labor stortages is essential.

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While the shortage of commercial drivers is undeniable, it’s essential to comprehend the underlying factors and position your fleet as an attractive employment opportunity. The current labor shortage empowers potential employees across various industries to choose their employers more carefully. Many companies in fleet-related industries have responded by becoming more competitive in terms of pay and incentives.

To retain and attract drivers, fleets have escalated pay rates significantly and begun to offer substantial sign-on bonuses and comprehensive benefits packages. To fully grasp the driver and labor shortage issue, it’s important to also consider the age demographics of the industry. Currently, demand is higher than supply and even the recruitment of young talent presents a challenge due to federal regulations that bars those under 21 from obtaining an interstate CDL. Consequently, many high school graduates opt for alternative career paths.


Fleets can use “attention capture” when recruiting to help attract fresh talent. This involves making the industry—and, more specifically, the job—appealing to a wider audience, especially to recent high school graduates who are increasingly interested in trades rather than traditional higher education.

Demonstrating a commitment to employee growth and development can set your organization apart from the rest. Offering alternative positions and mentorship programs can be a winning strategy to engage young talent and provide them with a foothold in the industry.


Recognizing and rewarding outstanding work can significantly boost employee retention and word-of-mouth recruiting. Implementing an internal incentive program that acknowledges exceptional performance across your organization can increase overall morale. This recognition isn’t limited to managerial feedback—it becomes a company-wide celebration of achievement.

Whether it’s through monetary incentives, additional paid time off, or awards, acknowledging top performers and publicly highlighting their contributions fosters a sense of pride among employees. This positive attitude not only improves employee retention, but also turns your workforce into brand advocates, helping attract like-minded talent.


Fleets can further enhance their appeal to potential new talent and increase retention rates by offering driver certification programs and onsite CDL driver training. This investment showcases a commitment to employee success, which can be a powerful draw for potential hires.

Additionally, providing drivers with more autonomy and transparency into operations that affect their jobs, like preventive maintenance (PM) and inspection item failures, can improve retention by reducing frustration and wasted time. Fleet solutions like fleet management software (FMS) can play a pivotal role in keeping drivers informed about PM schedules. It also enhances communication, which reduces stress around maintenance and repair services.

Many fleets across industries are embracing automation by incorporating technologies such as autonomous vehicle systems and warehouse distribution systems. FMS automates various aspects of fleet management to improve daily operations and driver satisfaction, including:

  • Failed inspection workflows. Drivers can fill out and submit digital, customizable vehicle and equipment inspections, which automatically alert the fleet manager (or whomever else might be designated) when an inspection item fails, meaning the issue can be addressed quickly.
  • Service alerts and reminders. Fleet managers can set service alerts and PM reminders to be sent to specific drivers and technicians to ensure ease of workflow with minimal disruption of productivity.

Onsite training combined with the convenience and reduced frustration associated with a properly implemented fleet solution can be a big draw for incoming employees and veterans alike. It should be noted that when it comes to fleet solutions, proper implementation is key to its consistent use and benefits.


It’s no secret that labor shortages have been a persistent concern in the fleet industry. As demand for qualified drivers continues to surge, businesses relying on fleets must tackle this issue effectively. Before embarking on a hiring spree, it’s prudent to evaluate how efficiently your current resources are utilized.

While in-house maintenance and repairs might be a part of your operation, if the struggle to hire skilled personnel begins to impede your fleet’s uptime, it’s time to consider outsourcing maintenance—even if only temporarily. Outsourcing doesn’t mean relinquishing control. Identify service tasks that can be delegated to third-party providers and compare their costs against your fleet’s service history. This financial evaluation can help make outsourcing decisions more strategic.

Additionally, assess your fleet’s flexibility regarding training and hiring. Do you have the capacity to train new hires or cross-train existing staff? Offering incentives such as sign-on bonuses or tool allowances can make your job offers more enticing. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box when it comes to recruiting. Look beyond your traditional candidate pool and consider those with aptitude and potential, as skills can often be honed on the job.

By offering competitive compensation, investing in training, and leveraging technology, fleets can attract and retain top talent in a fiercely competitive landscape. Attention capture and recognition of excellence further cement the fleet’s reputation as a desirable workplace. By deploying these strategies, fleets can navigate driver shortages and take the road to success. 


Rachael Plant is a content marketing specialist for Fleetio, a fleet management software company that helps organizations track, analyze, and improve their fleet operations. For more information, visit 

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