3 Ways to Address the Present Trucking Driver Shortage
The present truck driver shortage is a problem that should be addressed as soon as possible. In a time in which companies are having bidding wars over qualified drivers, it should be fairly evident that trucking is not what it used to be. Given that the world is shifting into an age in which people value their freedom over attaining money or even job stability, many industries will need to drastically revamp their recruitment strategies in order to attract newer and younger candidates. For instance, although the trucking industry offers an array of perks, the long hours and extended time away from home still deter many people from selecting it as a career path. With that said, the following is an overview of three ways to address the present trucking driver shortage in order to once again make truck driving a thriving industry.
Currently, 30 percent of truck drivers are nearing retirement. This is largely due to the fact that many of the drivers are aging out of the industry. With an array of new regulations and technologies, there is a sizable amount of the truck driving populace that will soon park their big rigs for good. Because of this, recruiting agencies are going to great lengths to bring in young, new drivers. Fortunately, by doing things such as forming partnerships with high schools and certificate programs, recruiting at college job fairs, offering more financial incentives and paid time off, trucking companies can potentially entice quite a bit of younger recruits.
Moreover, another reason for the present truck driver shortage lies in the fact that recently implemented regulations (i.e., the Compliance, Safety, Accountability program) are making it difficult for drivers without CDL training to remain in the industry. While this does nothing to help current drivers in the industry, one of the best ways to address this issue is by hiring new drivers who will be required to complete the training from the very beginning. Although it is unfortunate that so many drivers are being pushed out of work, the overall goal of the new regulations is to make the roads safer for all. Therefore, rather than making exceptions for older drivers, companies should either partially or entirely cover their training.
Downtime and Incentives
Finally, one of the main reasons the field of truck driving doesn't appeal to millennials is due to the long hours and lack of downtime. Nicknamed the "job-hopping" generation, studies have shown that millennials are the most likely generation to switch jobs, with up to 60 percent open to new job opportunities on the consistent basis. Given the dismal state of our job market and economy, many millennials opt to chase their dreams rather than pursuing money or stability. Therefore, by offering downtime and other incentives (e.g., bonuses, trips and frequent time off) trucking companies will effectively entice younger drivers who may actually enjoy the work and opt to stick around.
Despite the many obstacles the industry is presently facing, becoming a truck driver certainly has its advantages. In addition to financial security, truck driving offers you the ability to see the country and constantly meet new people, and can even offer a great deal of job security. Rather than trying to find ways to make the industry less prominent, great effort should be exerted in order to revive this industry and make it better than ever.