Trucking industry on road to recruit long-haul drivers

sportsou

Well-Known Member
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Current estimates are that the United States is shy 20,000 long-haul drivers.

A recent industry study said the shortage could rise to 111,000 drivers by 2014.

Despite demand, wages have stagnated, and turnover in the industry is running more than 100 percent -- meaning the average worker lasts less than a year. Potential drivers have migrated to construction jobs, where the pay has been better and they don't have to be away from home as much.

Even as the industry struggles with the shortage, talking about higher pay and attracting immigrant drivers, trucking officials say it is everyone's problem. Trucking moves more than 70 percent of the freight in this country, making it an essential link between consumers and the things they want and need. At some point, the shortage will mean delivery delays and higher prices for consumers.

``Without truck drivers, nobody's got food on their shelves, clothes on their racks and electronics in your big-box stores,'' said John Wagner Jr., president of Wagner Industries Inc. of Kansas City. ``The average age of drivers now is about 50 years old. We've got to find a way to attract more drivers to the industry.''

Bill Graves, chief executive of the American Trucking Association, said the difficulty finding drivers has become the chief concern of trucking companies, even ahead of the cost of fuel.

``Issues like fuel prices come and go, but the driver shortage has sort of become a constant drumbeat,'' Graves said. ``Fleet operators listed the driver shortage as their number one concern.''

Driver turnover rates exceeded 100 percent for both large and small truckload carriers in the third quarter of 2006, according to an industry survey. Small truckload firms, whose annual revenue is less than $30 million, reported 100 percent turnover rates for the past four quarters. That was the first such figure since the ATA began tracking the data in 1995.

``They create incentives for new drivers through sign-on bonuses, but those drivers quickly move on to another company that's offering the same thing,'' said Wagner, whose company provides warehousing and distribution services in several cities. ``The industry is not creating a stable, permanent work force.''

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sweetromance

sweetromance
Recruiting New Drivers

Current estimates are that the United States is shy 20,000 long-haul drivers.

A recent industry study said the shortage could rise to 111,000 drivers by 2014.

Despite demand, wages have stagnated, and turnover in the industry is running more than 100 percent -- meaning the average worker lasts less than a year. Potential drivers have migrated to construction jobs, where the pay has been better and they don't have to be away from home as much.

Even as the industry struggles with the shortage, talking about higher pay and attracting immigrant drivers, trucking officials say it is everyone's problem. Trucking moves more than 70 percent of the freight in this country, making it an essential link between consumers and the things they want and need. At some point, the shortage will mean delivery delays and higher prices for consumers.

``Without truck drivers, nobody's got food on their shelves, clothes on their racks and electronics in your big-box stores,'' said John Wagner Jr., president of Wagner Industries Inc. of Kansas City. ``The average age of drivers now is about 50 years old. We've got to find a way to attract more drivers to the industry.''

Bill Graves, chief executive of the American Trucking Association, said the difficulty finding drivers has become the chief concern of trucking companies, even ahead of the cost of fuel.

``Issues like fuel prices come and go, but the driver shortage has sort of become a constant drumbeat,'' Graves said. ``Fleet operators listed the driver shortage as their number one concern.''

Driver turnover rates exceeded 100 percent for both large and small truckload carriers in the third quarter of 2006, according to an industry survey. Small truckload firms, whose annual revenue is less than $30 million, reported 100 percent turnover rates for the past four quarters. That was the first such figure since the ATA began tracking the data in 1995.

``They create incentives for new drivers through sign-on bonuses, but those drivers quickly move on to another company that's offering the same thing,'' said Wagner, whose company provides warehousing and distribution services in several cities. ``The industry is not creating a stable, permanent work force.''

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If they want to make a more stable enviornment, they should be more family friendly. A couple of weeks ago, my husband was leaving on a Texas run. We live in Ohio so it was a long, lonely, run. I rode with him. That meant being out on the road for a week. That kind of thing can make it a lot easier for drivers who are away from their families all of the time.

However, coming home the following Saturday we were pulled over by
D. O. T. and sited for an unautorized occupant in a commercial vehicle, or some such. We contacted the company that he drives for, and they had never heard of such a thing. We asked them to check into this paper we had to have for autorization. That was the last we heard, effectively making it a criminal act for my husband and I to share any life at all!

Is this really an issue? Pick up any trucker magazine. Read the ads to set up truckers with some other mate, and you'll know it's an issue.
 
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