September 30

5 Driver Personas & What Drives Them

Truck driving is a career path that consists of a variety of backgrounds, interests, and personalities. Knowing these differences is valuable and allows for a better understanding of who your drivers and customers are. The most common personas include the striver, the boaster, the hard worker, the penny pincher, and the grouch. Below are a few helpful insights to describe each of those personas. 

The Striver: 

  • These drivers want to be on top and will fight tooth and nail to be the best.  
  • “Strivers” will get excited for small, non-monetary achievements if they’re able to highlight those achievements.  
  • Their motivation stems from their personal need for success and internal acknowledgment of achievement. 
  • You won’t have to worry about these drivers or customers often. However, you’ll want to make sure that all milestones are always within reach to keep them motivated and pushing them to be at their best. 

The Boaster: 

  • Similarly, to the “Strivers”, the “Boasters” of the trucking industry also want to be the best, but their motivation comes from external incentives. 
  • These drivers care most about their own personal image above most other things. 
  • “Boasters” often have the cleanest record and best-kept truck, but they usually expect recognition for it from management and other coworkers. 
  • On the other hand, this type of driver struggles with criticism. If they aren’t doing something up to par, they don’t want to be told about it and may not respond well with the corrective action assigned to them. 
  • The best way to deal with these drivers is in private; do not confront or humiliate them in front of their peers. 

The Hard Worker: 

  • Some types of drivers don’t need extra attention, but they work hard based strictly on principle. The “Hard Worker” shows up on time, does their job well, and keeps management and customers happy. 
  • They rarely reach out to management with complaints or blame the company for a preventable incident. 
  • Generally, they prefer to get their work done and avoid stirring up trouble. 
  • You will find that these drivers have good driving records and a good payment history. 
  • This persona is likely your favorite type of driver. They are easy to manage and do their jobs well. Thankfully, the “Hard Workers” can account for more than half of most fleets. 

The Penny Pincher: 

  • Money talks loudest for some drivers. “Penny Pinchers” don’t often care for non-monetary incentives or recognition for the work they have done; they just want to get paid. 
  • These drivers may not have any personal ties to the fleet they drive for, and consequently, do not make good representatives of the fleet if they promote it. 
  • In many cases, these drivers do get their individual responsibilities done. It does not take creativity to motivate these drivers; a cash bonus or monetary reward will push them to have a good driving record and payment history. 

The Grouch: 

  • Some drivers are just never satisfied. Regardless of the initiatives you put in place, it isn’t enough to get them excited. Even when things are at their best, this persona can still find something negative to focus on and complain about. 
  • If you take care of a “Grouch” they may not think it’s good enough. If they get all their needs or complaints satisfied, they may think they deserve something more. 
  • “The Grouch” might not think that a mistake they make or accident they cause is their fault, and often shift blame to others. 
  • These drivers are the most toxic persona because they will bring others down with them and sell their false ideas to other drivers by spreading misinformation. 

If you’re a company driver or owner-operator, what persona of driver are you? If you own a fleet of drivers, what’s the most common persona that run for you? Once you learn to understand and identify the various drive personas, you’ll be able to become a better driver or put measures in place to help incentivize and motivate your drivers in the most effective way possible. A satisfied, happy, and appreciated driver equals more money in the long run.