Concrete Products

NOV 2017

Concrete Products covers the issues that attract producers of ready mixed and manufactured concrete focusing on equipment and material technology, market development and management topics.

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18 • November 2017 The National Ready Mixed Concrete Association 2017 Mixer Driver Recruitment and Retention Survey results are markedly brighter than those of the previous two years. Some 36 percent of respondents turned down business due to lack of drivers in 2016, versus 51 percent the prior year, while the driver vacancy rate dropped about two points for a third consecutive year, to 4.6 percent as of December 2016. Just over 90 percent of 2017 survey respondents cite plans to hire additional mixer drivers this year, up from 72 percent last year. The survey examines the mixer driver pool between January 1 and December 31; 2017 respondents represent 30 percent of NRM- CA's estimated 2016 total of 75,000 drivers. The group also estimates the ready mixed concrete industry payroll at approximately 135,000, mixer drivers representing 56 per- cent of the total. The mixer driver pool was estimated to be approximately 75,000 in both 2015 and 2016, up 5,000 drivers from 2014. The turnover rate dropped to 28 percent last year from 32 per- cent in 2015. For 2015 and 2016, respectively, the turnover rate equates to about 23,075 and 18,600 drivers (quit and released). Of the driv- ers who were hired and then left in the same year, 4,800 did so in 2016, a decrease of more than 50 percent from the previous year. Of note, 85 percent of producers provided a mentor pro- gram to new hires in 2016, versus 49 percent the prior year. In the survey's three-year history, respon- dents overwhelmingly noted their biggest hiring challenge was finding drivers with ready mixed concrete delivery experience. Seventy-six percent of producers will only hire experienced drivers, typically rejecting new, commercially-licensed drivers or those under 25. Nevertheless, the industry managed to hire between 20,000-22,000 drivers each year between 2014 and 2016. Mixer drivers' average age in the survey was 47, the same as the U.S. Department of Trans- portation's and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' 2016 estimated age of heavy equipment com- mercial drivers. While a mixer driver's average time on the job dropped to 9.6 years in the 2017 survey from 10 years in 2015-2016, the BLS reports only 29 percent of American work- ers have more than a 10-year tenure with their respective companies. The annual survey reports on staffing levels, retention rates, average age, tenure rate and internal job mobility. It also looks at total turn- over, voluntary turnover, involuntary turnover and layoff turnover rates, plus reasons drivers quit or are terminated. Conducted under the auspices of the NRMCA Operations, Environ- mental and Safety Committee Human Resources Task Group, the survey also includes recruitment methods, hiring trends and challenges, and pro- jected next-year hiring levels. MIXER DRIVER SURVEY FINDS LOWER VACANCY RATES, FEWER CAPACITY CONSTRAINTS NEWS SCOPE READY MIXED The National Mixer Driver Championship visual vehicle inspection test follows the course challenge, awarding points on the ability to spot defects typical in a pre-trip inspection. Drivers are given five minutes and can walk around the vehicle twice.

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