. . . Brian Helton, Mercer’s marketing and media relations manager, said the biggest issue among drivers he sees is that they need more time to spend with their families.
In an effort to meet the needs of its drivers, Mercer started a mentoring program to share knowledge and training practices. Corum explained the program began a year ago as a way to provide drivers with mentors and more resources.
“If the drivers feel like we’re trying, that we heard their voice, that means a lot,” Corum said. “So we keep our ears to the ground. Mentoring is about sharing knowledge and we know it’s making a difference.”
Corum added that the company is expanding more into dry vans – it’s got 600 operating now and looking at potentially establishing a trailer pool. Many of its drivers are more open to dry van work, and because flatbed work is so physically demanding, Corum explained going to dry van allows drivers to work three or five more years before retiring.
Another big challenge Corum mentioned is figuring out how to help owner operators keep up with new rules and regulations, getting them to use new technology like ELDs, and providing them with safety training. He said Mercer is receiving some pushback from drivers regarding ELDs, but the company is mandating their use by July 1 this year.