Team driving, also known as co-driving, consists of two drivers working together to operate a single truck. This partnership allows one driver to remain at the wheel while the other rests so the truck can keep moving 24/7. Because of this alternating schedule, team drivers can deliver loads faster than solo drivers.
Team driving also means, however, that these drivers are sharing the truck space during their time on the road. While some teams enter the industry together, such as husband-and-wife or parent-and-child teams, most drivers don’t know their partner very well when they hit the road.
With this in mind, it’s essential to make that the ideal drivers can find each other when establishing a new team for their own success, the success of the company they drive for and the client(s) relying on them for the successful shipping and delivery of goods.
One factor never changes when matching teams – the distance between drivers. Though it may vary by employer (at Werner our range is 150 mi or less), most look for drivers who are within a specific distance range from one another. This is for strategic and efficiency purposes – it’s not helpful if two team members live across the country from one another.
From there, all other criteria are based on personal preference. For instance, some drivers may want to find someone comfortable with a smoker and others might want to know if their teammate would agree to having a pet on board. The only other demographic characteristic we consider with Werner is gender – and that also depends on the driver. We provide options for people who might only feel secure driving with someone of a specific gender and options for people who have no preference. This is to encourage feelings of safety when driving with a teammate.
In some cases, we have drivers who come in with a team member already in mind, such as a spouse or relative. When that happens, there’s an option for them to let us know so we can get them connected within the system and skip the matching process.
All of this information is quickly captured via electronic submission on behalf of the driver. From there, our associate team jumps in to help guide the rest of the process.
Using Technology to Simplify the Process
Although it’s been the industry standard for years, the practice of an associate employee matching up potential driver teams through hands-on matching is a timely process. That’s why our Associates at Werner developed a tooling system to help with some of the accessible data input and pairing, known as Werner’s Team Driver Match program.
This program helps associates efficiently compile the preferences and data submitted by drivers looking for a team member and provides recommendations on potential matches. For example, if a driver in Florida is looking to pair up with another driver but is allergic to dogs, it will compile a list of the drivers, within close enough distance, who are not looking to bring along a dog on the road. From there, Werner associates share the list of potential matches with the driver so they can connect offline and gauge whether personalities match. It’s important to put the final decision in the hands of the drivers, given the lengthy amount of time spent on the road together.
Once two drivers determine they are comfortable teaming up, they let Werner associates know so they can be paired within the system. This is also known as going from matching to building. Since implementing its new tooling system, Werner’s more than doubled its building rate.
What’s Next for Team Matching at Werner?
Werner’s Team Driver Match program is helping improve the number of successful teams we build, getting more pairs on the road. Though still in its early stages, this software has significant potential, including integration within our Drive Werner Pro app.
Are you interested in learning more about team driving with Werner? Click here