April 5, 2018

Mobile TV helps fleet hold onto drivers

Oklahoma carrier credits in-cab satellite TV with boosting recruitment and retention.

By DC Velocity Staff

With driver turnover rates at record levels, fleet operators have tried everything from pay raises to health and wellness programs to keep drivers from defecting. Now, a flatbed trucking company based in Tulsa, Okla., has found another way to keep its drivers on board—provide them with premium satellite TV.

Paul Transportation Inc. installed in-cab satellite TV systems throughout its fleet of 175 tractors in 2017 and has since reported a 60-percent drop in its driver turnover rate, according to EpicVue, the Salt Lake City-based trucking industry satellite TV company that supplied the gear. Each truck is outfitted with an exterior dome antenna that supplies a live TV feed while the driver waits for his hours of service to renew or for a shipper to load or unload goods, according to an EpicVue video.

The satellite TV package has helped the carrier slash its annual driver turnover rate to 85 percent from 144 percent and cut down on the number of empty seats it needs to fill at any one time to three from 25, Nick Williams, Paul Transportation's recruiting manager, said in a release. The carrier has seen recruitment-related benefits as well. "In the first two months after we began installing the systems, we had an increase of 300 driver applications," Williams said. "That is double the usual number in that time period."

The in-cab satellite TV improves drivers' quality of life by helping pass the time and making it less frustrating when they have to wait, Williams said. Drivers have also reported that they like being able to keep up with their favorite shows while on the road and that the TV feed makes their truck more home-like, he said.

EpicVue says it offers the in-cab satellite TV systems to fleets with 20 or more vehicles for a monthly subscription fee and with no upfront hardware costs.

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