Directly impact your bottom line by earning a new level of respect from candidates, shippers and staff.

We have come to realize that low turnover translates into better service. We will not use a carrier with high turnover.

National Distribution CompanyUses 240 different carriers and moves 6,000 loads/wk

Drivers Are First Trucking Recruiting and Retention Program


for Best in Class Motor Carriers


The first of its kind, a company certification that demonstrates a motor carrier’s commitment to innovative “next practices” strategies and tactics to maintain acceptable driver turnover levels.  Many shippers equate low driver turnover as part of overall evaluation of carrier performance which translates into better service levels and lower costs in handling their freight transportation needs.

Carriers certified by the Drivers Are FirstTM Institute are able to prove to driver applicants, customers and prospects that their business practices have a ‘stamp of approval’, an indication of excellence compared to other motor carriers. This designation gives transportation executives as well as load “bookers”, 3PLs and shippers guidance they need to make better decisions about selecting their core carriers.

This elite group of D1 Certified companies only make up about 1% of the motor carrier company population, which provide a great advantage in an environment where setting your self apart is paramount. These companies are able to demonstrate core values, practices and strategies on an ongoing basis.

  • The company maintains a driver (employee or independent contractor) retention threshold of 90% or higher.
  • The company actively participates in continuous improvement in both competence and knowledge within the trucking industry.

Shippers want carriers with low driver turnover.

Your customer understands that your ability to retain drivers translates into better service and lower costs of operation. By the promotion and marketing of the Drivers are First™ program throughout the supply chain by D1 sponsors,  shippers and 3PLs seek out  D1 Certified carriers as  a preferred carrier when sourcing.

This means more freight and dedicated contracts at competitive rates with better customers for D1 Certified carriers — the entire supply chain benefits.


Drivers want to work for companies that care.

Motor carriers that are D1 Certified are a sought after by drivers and independent contractors who are serious about long-term employment. The D1 seal sends a message to the shipping community, particularly drivers, that the company is operationally sound, the value they place on their drivers yields high retention, and their culture is one they want to become a part of.

Your company will benefit by building a pipeline of qualified, best in class drivers because you will be able to select the best — not just fill seats or add trucks.

Carriers want a competitive advantage.

Today’s transportation environment doesn’t afford a large margin of differentiation from company to company. Due to the sheer number of providers, when employees, drivers, independent contractors and customers survey the landscape to determine who they want to work with, it is easy to look like you have the same to offer, or even less than, everyone else.

The D1 Certification for carrier requires a commitment to excellence from the top down and only a small percentage of companies will make the cut. However, the journey, growth and return will pay back on your investment ten fold.

Becoming a D1 Certified Carrier

Only the top 1% of companies can become certified and must be invited or sponsored into the program.

If D1 Certification and the qualities required to become certified is in line with your company’s current goals, consider the Drivers are First™ D1 Recruiting and Retention Program. This approach will provide you with the knowledge and horsepower to help your people learn how to build and sustain a D1 company.

If you believe your organization is already top tier — abides by the D1 Code of Ethics, maintains a driver retention rate of 90% or higher and is committed to ongoing industry education and thought leadership — and you believe you should have received an invitation to this program, we welcome you to contact us to learn more about the invitation qualification process.