What Do Professional Drivers Value Most?  - Girteka - Responsible Logistics

What Do Professional Drivers Value Most? 


The road transport services market has been facing a driver shortage for many years. According to the IRU (International Road Transport Union) data, there is a shortage of as many as 2.6 million professional drivers worldwide. At the end of 2021, there were 420,000 vacancies in Europe and 80,000 in Poland.

The situation has not improved and it is still a challenge for transport companies to not only recruit drivers, but also keep them in the company for the long term. Today, in addition to good pay, it is important to develop skills and, above all, work in a modern workplace.

Girteka, Europe’s leading road transportation company and one of the largest road transport employers in the EU, also faces this challenge. The company makes more than 776,000 full truck load (FTL) deliveries across Europe each year, which obliges it to provide the highest standards of service.

The key to the company’s success is its team of over 19,500 professional drivers. Girteka’s priority is to ensure drivers are satisfied with their driving experience and feel comfortable and safe.

In surveying job satisfaction levels, the company looked at what factors drivers value the most. These include modern vehicles, assistance in daily work and training, as well as digitalisation, so that the company can support the drivers at every stage of their work.

Modern Fleet and Transport Bases

Crucial for drivers are the conditions in the cab of the vehicle, and the most comfortable ones can be provided in a modern fleet. Girteka’s fleet currently comprises more than 9,200 EURO 6 trucks with an average age of two years, and will soon be reinforced by 600 SCANIA electric tractors.

With a focus on comfort and safety, the company pays particular attention to equipping its vehicles with state-of-the-art solutions and technologies. These include cameras, automatic systems, additional cab insulation (thermal and acoustic), or electronic braking systems.

The trucks are also equipped with tablets and specially designed software, which not only make it easier for drivers to navigate the roads (delivery location, parking, overnight stay, stops, refueling), but also provide online communication with transport managers.

Girteka’s job satisfaction survey shows that it is these elements that drivers value the most. When asked “Are you satisfied with your working conditions?” over 40% of Girteka’s drivers said “I am very satisfied” and 35% said “yes, because the working conditions are normal”. 2 out of 10 drivers believe that there is still room for improvement in these conditions.

Just as important as working conditions behind the wheel is the provision of adequate conditions when resting or changing crews. In order to meet these expectations and, at the same time, develop road transport services in a continuous and dynamic manner, the Girteka Group utilizes its modern transport bases.

Such facilities operate in Poland, Lithuania and, as part of the Group’s Thermo-Transit brand (specialising in the supply of fresh fish), in Denmark. The largest and most modern of these is the transport base in Sady near Poznań, Poland, opened last year.  Here, drivers have well-stocked facilities at their disposal, including a medical point, accommodation in cooperation with partners, a laundry room and showers.

Support Right From the Start

Any new employee finds it important how they are welcomed into the company during their first days on the job. Drivers feel the same way. The onboardingprocess for a newly recruited employee is key to his further success within the company.

Girteka helps with the paperwork and provides support to drivers at every stage of the onboarding process. 63% of drivers appreciate the company’s support, starting withjob application, during training and preparation for driving, right through to daily duties. Only 1 in 10 drivers (12.9%) feel that there is still room for improvement in this area.

The company has an internal driver verification and training system in place. Novice employees are trained by professional instructors – experienced drivers. The first stage is a skills test performed on the manoeuvring area. To support drivers who do not manage to pass the test, the company provides additional practical training on simulators.

The next stage of recruitment is theoretical training. During this training, new drivers learn how to, among other things, secure and take care of the quality of the load and the vehicle, operate telematics systems, understand the regulations and requirements of cabotage laws, familiarize themselves with the rights and obligations of drivers, learn about the different types of tolls, and learn how to prepare documentation correctly.

The first courses  are carried out on the road and under the supervision of an experienced colleague, a trainer. Girteka’s drivers also have the opportunity to attend specialised training courses, such as “driving in Scandinavia” or “driving 3-axle tractors”.

More Than 178,000 Training Courses per Year

Girteka places great importance on providing training in useful skills for drivers. Girteka’s Drivers’ Academy, based at its transport depots in Sady (Poland) and Šiauliai (Lithuania), offers a variety of training programmes, including ECO driving, safe driving, forklift operation, transport and customs documentation, TAPA and load securing.

In addition, all drivers, depending on their individual needs, are referred to refresher courses so that they can polish their skills. In 2022, the Drivers’ Academy delivered more than 73,000 classroom training courses and more than 105,000 online courses.

For the past five years, Girteka has been inviting drivers to participate in its Eco League programme to motivate safe and environmentally friendly driving. It is a competition where drivers, in the course of their daily work, can compete to be the best driver in terms of safe and eco-friendly driving. This is evaluated using telematics tools for driving analysis.

“Drivers are paying increasing attention to working conditions. They check whether the employer has modern and safe cars, whether the company uses digital solutions that make drivers’ work easier, whether they can count on the employer’s support or have the opportunity to improve their qualifications. This is the direction Girteka is heading in. With the investments already made and planned, we are building our position as a first-choice employer in the transport industry,” concludes Mindaugas Paulauskas, CEO of Girteka Transport.