Fleet Management

In Search of Drivers

Digging into the causes of what could be the worst driver shortage ever. Part 1 in HDT's Driver Dilemma series on the driver shortage.

January 2015, TruckingInfo.com - Cover Story

by Deborah Lockridge, Editor-in-Chief - Also by this author

SHARING TOOLS        | Print Subscribe
In what could be the worst driver shortage ever, the industry is currently short about 35,000 truck drivers, and we’ll need nearly 240,000 additional drivers by 2020. 
In what could be the worst driver shortage ever, the industry is currently short about 35,000 truck drivers, and we’ll need nearly 240,000 additional drivers by 2020.

Nussbaum Transportation, a 300-unit fleet based in Illinois, has enjoyed relatively low turnover for a truckload carrier – between 30 and 40 percent, compared to an industry average that hovers around 100 percent for TL. With good word of mouth from satisfied drivers, hiring new drivers has typically not been a problem. But last summer, the usually steady pipeline of qualified drivers came to a halt.

After growing by about 50 drivers over the previous year, in July “it just kind of hit a wall,” explains Jeremy Stickling, director of human resources. From July through October, Nussbaum’s driver fleet numbers remained flat. “It’s not that we were hemorrhaging drivers. We just weren’t getting the number of quality candidates we were used to.”

Anectodal evidence suggests that Nussbaum isn’t the only company that has begun to struggle to get drivers after years of enjoying low turnover. Even some less-than-truckload carriers and private fleets, which traditionally have turnover around 10-15 percent, have had to get more creative and work harder to fill the seats behind the wheel.

It’s a similar situation with dedicated fleet operations.

“Traditionally it’s been easier to hire into dedicated fleets,” says Craig Brown of Arkansas-based flatbed carrier Maverick Transportation. “We used to be able to attract younger people to dedicated fleets, because of the more predictable schedule. But we’re even finding that’s much more difficult this year.”

As an industry, trucking faces a massive labor shortage in the coming years. The industry is currently short about 35,000 truck drivers, and we’ll need nearly 240,000 additional drivers by 2020, according to the American Trucking Associations’ estimates.

Competing with other businesses

Other business sectors face labor and skills shortages of a similar magnitude.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics offers a list of occupations with the most job growth between 2012 and projected out to 2022. Heavy truck drivers are on the list, but the projected shortfall of drivers ranks near the bottom quarter of the list at 11.3%. Sitting above truck drivers on the list are construction workers (24.3%), home health care aides and personal care workers (48%), nurses (24.8%) and software developers (22.8%), for example.

By employment group, projected growth for workers in transportation and material handling occupations is quite close to the bottom compared to other sectors, such as healthcare support occupations (28%), computer and mathematical occupations (18%) and construction and extraction jobs (21%).

The training or education required for entry into some of these fields is comparable to trucking. Wages, based on 2012 figures, are comparable in most cases. So trucking probably wouldn’t stand out in the eyes of a young person scanning such a list while planning his or her career.

“We’ve tried bonuses … we’ve set up driver training schools, we’ve tried to get people home more regularly, we’ve bought bigger nicer trucks, and still the problem gets worse and worse.”
– John Larkin, Stifel Nicolaus

You can bet, too, that these other occupations will be competing vigorously for the pool of available workers, with wages, benefits and other perks. Trucking will be competing against some decent-paying, easy-to-enter occupations with considerably more attractive lifestyle options.

There have been articles about the challenges of finding good drivers as long as there have been trucks and trucking magazines, but several factors are at play in today’s industry that are changing the dynamics of the industry’s driver problem, including demographics and increased regulations.

Demographics

“What we’re seeing with drivers as well as with technicians is that more and more folks are reaching retirement age, and the next generation are not coming out in the quantities that we need,” says Jane Clark, who as vice president of member services at Nationalease works with many of its 165 truck leasing company member companies on driver recruiting and retention. “There’s a gap, and the gap’s growing wider.”

The median driver age has risen significantly over the past two decades, according to a new paper released by the American Transportation Research Institute, the research arm of the American Trucking Associations.

The ATRI found that the trucking industry was disproportionately dependent on employees 45 years of age or older. At the same time, there has been a sharp decrease in drivers age 35 and younger.

The median truck driver age in 2013 was 46.5 years old, versus 42.4 for the overall U.S. workforce. Private carriers skewed older still, with a median driver age of 52 years old.
“The average age of our current driver workforce is 52, and we’re noticing fewer and fewer younger individuals applying for jobs in recent years,” says Keith Tuttle, founder of Motor Carrier Service, an Ohio-based truckload and logistics provider, and member of the ATRI research advisory committee.

Despite the driver shortage, younger prospects are not joining the industry, making the looming retirement of a large portion of the workforce more alarming to carriers.
A federal requirement that an interstate commercial driver’s license holder be at least 21 years old is often cited as one of the biggest obstacles to attracting younger drivers. The age requirement leaves a three-year post-high school gap that may prevent young people from considering a career in trucking.

Kevin Burch, president of truckload carrier Jet Express in Dayton, Ohio, expresses frustration over rules that mean a 19- or 20-year-old working for his company can “drive between Dayton and Toledo, 165 miles up I-75, one of the busiest Interstates, yet he can’t go down to Cincinnati, which is 58 miles, or Richmond, Indiana, which is 28 miles.”

Another problem with attracting younger workers is that in an age where many more young people are pushed toward a college education rather than vocational schools or other blue-collar work, few families are urging their children to consider truck driving as a career.

In addition to looking for ways to appeal to younger drivers, many fleets are trying to expand the pool of drivers beyond the traditional demographics. Policies, equipment specifications and advertising are being designed to attract more women and minorities.
Some fleets are actively working to help recently returned veterans convert experience driving in military convoys in the Middle East to the skills needed for domestic truck driving.

There’s also hope that President Obama’s move to let some undocumented immigrants stay in the country could clear the way for them to become professional truck drivers, but that path is neither simple nor quick.

An analysis of 20 years of annual data shows that the 25-34 group, as a percentage of industry employees, has decreased significantly. Those currently in the 45-54 group are now the largest group employed in trucking.
An analysis of 20 years of annual data shows that the 25-34 group, as a percentage of industry employees, has decreased significantly. Those currently in the 45-54 group are now the largest group employed in trucking.

Regulation overload

Regulatory changes have made the driver problem worse in two ways. Some regulations, such as changes in hours of service rules regulating how long drivers can work each day and week, have cut fleet productivity, requiring more drivers to move the same amount of freight. Others have made it harder for drivers to get into or stay in the industry, and have eaten away at the independence of the job that was traditionally one of long-haul trucking’s appeals.

John Larkin, transportation analyst with investment firm Stifel Nicolaus, says the “real driver-driven capacity crunch” may come in the 2016-2017 time frame when the electronic log mandate is expected to go into effect, along with an expected regulation requiring speed limiters in the U.S.

For instance, Noel Perry, truck and transportation expert with the transportation research and analysis firm FTR, says the number of additional driver hires resulting from health regulations and treatment could top 200,000 between 2011-2018, while the Compliance, Safety, Accountability enforcement program could mean nearly 262,000 more drivers.

“For being a deregulated industry, we’ve got a lot of regulations,” Burch says. “And we are safer than what we were 10 years ago. But we’ve got so many [new] rules and regulations applied to drivers who have been hauling freight safely for years that they’re getting to the point where they say they’re going to get out of the business.”

The rapid pace of new rules, and rules that are being reviewed and challenged and “tweaked,” creates a lot of uncertainty and confusion among drivers, he says.

“I guess I call it the hassle factor,” Burch says. “When you look at all the things you’ve got to overcome to get into the industry, it’s tough.”

Pay

There has been much discussion over the years about whether drivers are paid enough. After all, private fleets and less-than-truckload fleets, which have lower driver turnover, typically pay more.

Last year saw a rash of driver pay raise announcements. Big truckload fleets such as USA Truck, Swift, Werner and U.S. Xpress all announced significant pay increases, notes Donald Broughton of Avondale Partners, an investment advisory firm. Many midsize companies, such as Nussbaum and Alabama-based Boyd Brothers, did the same.

“Everyone out there is either dealing with unseated trucks or paying drivers significantly more,” Broughton says.

But some are questioning how important pay really is.

New data released last month by the American Trucking Associations showed that median pay for drivers was on par with the national media for all U.S. households, and that the industry offers drivers “competitive” benefits.

The study of 130 fleets and more than 130,000 drivers found that median pay for drivers ranged from just over $46,000 for national, irregular route dry van truckload drivers to more than $73,000 for private fleet van drivers.

“As the economy grows, we are seeing an ever-more-competitive driver market,” says Bob Costello, chief economist for ATA.

But many say pay can only go so far in solving the problem.

“For years, a lot of surveys showed pay was the number one issue [among drivers]. I’ve never believed that,” Burch says. “Everybody wants to be paid more. But it’s not all about money; it’s about lifestyle, it’s about dignity, respect, and honesty.”

Stifel’s John Larkin notes, “We’ve tried bonuses … we’ve set up driver training schools, we’ve tried to get people home more regularly, we’ve bought bigger nicer trucks, and still the problem gets worse and worse. I’m in the camp that says taking pay up is not the answer. There are many carriers who pay 75, 80 thousand dollars who have just as hard a time finding drivers as those paying 35 or 40.”

Clark says while better pay may help get people in the door, it’s not the top factor when it comes to retention.
“When you read literature on employee engagement, pay is never the number one reason people leave a company,” she says.

By the end of 2018, a large number of new and upcoming regulations will mean even more drivers will be needed.
By the end of 2018, a large number of new and upcoming regulations will mean even more drivers will be needed.

Engagement

What is employee engagement? Aside from the mortgage payment, it’s what makes you want to get up for work in the morning. Or, in this context, it’s what keeps drivers from jumping ship over some minor irritation.

Engagement, or how emotionally committed employees are to an organization and its goals, can have a direct correlation to profitability. As engagement scores go up, typically so does productivity, while turnover goes down.

Pay can be a component of engagement programs, but higher wages don’t tend to affect engagement on their own. A 2013 Gallup report, involving interviews with 1.4 million employees from 192 organizations across 49 industries and 34 countries, indicated no significant difference in employee engagement by pay level.

Engagement can be a challenge when you’re dealing with truck drivers. You’re dealing with a solitary work environment and communications that are largely limited to electronic messages and occasional phone calls.

In fact, the long-haul lifestyle, with drivers out two or three weeks at a time with little to no guarantee of when they may be home, has been considered a major factor in the driver shortage.

In response, larger fleets especially have moved into more regional and dedicated-fleet areas where they can offer drivers more home time and more predictable schedules.
Successful fleets are taking extra steps to improve the engagement of their drivers.
For instance, in addition to its recent pay increase, Nussbaum implemented a program where each manager gets assigned a driver name once a week to call and simply ask about concerns and suggestions.

The larger picture

One of the toughest challenges to overcome is the fact that most people don’t view truck driving as a desirable job.

“Most Millennials are college graduates and would rather be a Starbucks barista or a teacher, but under no circumstances do they want to be a truck driver,” says Stifel’s Larkin.

Kevin Burch likes to start discussions on the driver shortage by asking members of an audience to raise their hands if they would like their children to grow up and work as drivers. Few typically raise their hands – and this is in an audience that is already in the trucking industry.

“Back in the ’50s and ’60s when we were the knights of the road, you were proud to know a truck driver. You were proud to know your family member was a truck driver,” he says. “People just don’t relate to any of that anymore.”

In addition, many of the conditions that make trucking less than desirable are out of control of the trucking companies.

“To really get to the level we need to is going to take the help of the shippers,” says Nussbaum’s Stickling, “and they don’t have the incentive we do. It’s going to be hard to get them to the table until there just aren’t any trucks.”

Some shippers are already working more closely with fleets to cut down on the irritations that make for unhappy drivers and lower productivity, such as long wait times to load and unload, in exchange for guaranteed capacity and smaller rate hikes.

“I think what we see from [fleets] that are most successful in recruiting drivers is that there’s not just a single solution,” says Nationalease’s Clark. “There’s no silver bullet.”

Equipment Editor and former driver Jim Park contributed to this story.

Comments

  1. 1. Tom Tompkins [ January 16, 2015 @ 03:28AM ]

    I was a very good truck driver for 7 years until that STUPID cdl test came to be.The questions are SO stupid and it doesn't qualify a good driver. Would love to get my class 1 ( CDL ) liscence if I could get thru that idiotic test.

  2. 2. Roger [ January 16, 2015 @ 03:58AM ]

    It really is simply about the economic law of supply and demand. There are many reasons why over the road truck driving sucks as an occupation including but not limited to enforcement officers writing tickets for violations that do not exist. However if the pay increased it would increase the supply of drivers. Like the old joke miss would you have sex with me for a million dollars?. Yes. Would you have sex with me for $2? NO what do you think I am? We've already determined that now we are haggling over the price. Would you drive a semi over the road for a million dollars a year? YES. Would you drive OTR for 32 cents per mile? No how stupid do you think I am? We've already determined that now we're just haggling over the price.

  3. 3. mike [ January 16, 2015 @ 05:06AM ]

    I'm 49 tired of govt B S, DOT REG, ELD, SPEED LIMITERS whats next? I don't need someone telling me I need to sleep at 9 pm because my hrs are up. I don't need a speed limiter to tell me I'm going to fast why don't the govt just make robots to drive these trucks, program them to shut down at 11 hrs driving, drive just the right speed the Dot can inspect and ticket the robotic truck driver of the future look a perfect world now. By the way I am looking to add to the driver shortage problem (wonder why??)

  4. 4. Darius Cooper [ January 16, 2015 @ 06:01AM ]

    When shippers and consignees stop treating drivers like second class citizens this would help. As a previous driver of over two million miles and having been VP of Operations for one of the companies mentioned in this article I have seen both sides of this problem. When your "best shipper" as stated by the sales department, tells your driver he must wait outside in 110 degree temperature in a non-idling truck for several hours while waiting to load, oh and by the way your bathroom facility is that port-a-john in the middle of the truck waiting area; something is wrong. There is an old cliche that goes like this "you get what you pay for".

  5. 5. BarbRRB [ January 16, 2015 @ 06:05AM ]

    It has been coming and with all these government "we say so" iddiots making laws and regulations that make us criminals because a part malfunctioned while driving down the interstate that beats a driver and their equimpment to the breaking point, write huge fines and put us out of work. The American peole are sick of the government.
    Trucking is the only industry that allows you to work and NOT get paid. Unless you get paid by the hour and I do. The industry has been broken and wanna be truck drivers that can take a test and pass, get behind the wheel and fail are more than you can imagine. Heck I have had to teach drivers how to shift that came out of school with a CDL. One driver made it and the other two, well moved on to a different line of work. How many more like that? I am just happy my driving days are almost over. I will miss being behind the wheel, but not dealing with 4 wheelers that think they own the road and I am the dirt they drive on.

  6. 6. JB [ January 16, 2015 @ 08:41AM ]

    Great article, one of the best I've read on the topic. Covers the issue from all the right angles. The cores of the issue are finally STARTING to be realized, but still not quite there yet. The politics and business issues will continue to play out until the invisible hand is satisfied.

  7. 7. Scott [ January 16, 2015 @ 11:06AM ]

    I agree with so many comments here. Now forced into retirement at age 58yrs old, a 33yr driving career. I have worked for major truckload carriers, owned my own trucks and was a Teamster at YRC. I get in 1 major accident in 33yrs and then no major company would hire me. The truck had an automated transmission and it died when it went to shift. It took a fraction of a second just to realize what was going on. I was on a dirt road going to an oil field location about 25mph with a loaded smooth bore tanker. No power steering and got off the edge of road and laid over on passenger side. ( Hey, spare me all the shoulda, woulda, coulda, you weren't there.)
    Anyhow with all that experience, could not get a job! All the major carriers want a squeaky clean record. Insurance companies dictate that. So now me and most young candidates are already disapproved. Not quite, but that is like asking a lifelong chef if he has ever cut his finger with a knife or burned himself.
    But after the recruiting dept paints the "grand illusion" the new graduated student decides to train at a major carrier. Now pair him up with a trainer who never bathes, snores, stinks, farts, picks his nose and has stinky feet and the stress begins. With all the crap they cram down your throat in a 1 week orientation the new guy is overwhelmed. He thought he was getting a driving job? Now, he's driving and starts dealing with scale houses, DOT checks and having to find a CAT scale to make sure he is legal. (Even though it is out of route, most companies pay trip miles, not hub miles, you do that for free) To top it off, he has to choose his time wisely to manage his 11hr and 14hr rules. But wait, he still has to schedule his breakfast, lunch and dinner. Almost forgot about showering and doing laundry and calling his family then a little wind down period before bed. Sounds easy to a veteran of the sport, but this guy has now about 2weeks of his career under his belt. Now the truckdriving job morphes into a lifestyle. You are with that truck 24 hrs a day for the 2weeks the company requires you to be out.
    Now the real situation is does the company hire this new driver with no real driving experience or do they hire a driver with one major mishap in 33yrs? Now, due to liability, litigation and exposure to future lawsuits, the insurance company says to hire the new guy with no proven track record. This is because the other party sueing them will have no info to turn the table on them.
    To look at numbers, check out the number of new drivers that have quit before their 1st year was up. Usually drivers who have made it 3-5yrs in the industry, usually stay in trucking. Until possibly having a major mishap and the company fires them and they can't get a job. Now that driver is destitute and finally goes to a State sponsored trade school never to return to trucking. This is why the average age of experienced drivers is over 50yrs old. In my opinion the whole industry needs to be revamped on how trucking companies and insurance carriers look at drivers.
    If there is such a shortage of drivers, why is it not supply and demand? To be away from home for 2wks holed up in a truck, in some piss jug infested truckstop parking lot, public restrooms that have urine and feces on the toilet seat and who knows what in your public private shower. Then overpriced everything that a driver has to buy at that Truckstop, (food, snacks and hygiene items he forgot), plus possibly sending money home for their kids field trip or Senoir Prom items, how can a new driver with all the other stresses survive. If you are paid by the mile, with a trucking industry standard of about 2500mi a week. Even at $.50 a mile, that is only $1250 a week, $65,000yr.. Drivers should be making minimum $75,000 a year. The average Joe that says, "anybody can drive a truck!" That guy is clueless. If anybody can do it, why is there a shortage? Who would not want a job where you make $75,000yr with no college? Believe it or not, truckdriving is a very skilled profession. Remember, when your industry has low wages, and time and miles you don't get paid for, or the time you spend hunting down a lumper, and going between dispatch and that lumper, while you are trying to rest, you don't attract the cream of the crop!
    This is just the tip of the "Iceberg" of what I have to say!

  8. 8. J P [ January 24, 2015 @ 09:14AM ]

    I agree with all. The good truck drivers are mostly all dead now and would roll over in their graves seeing the current industry. I'm 67 and they were the ones who I drove with and taught me many things. Even the truck stops were better and the driver etiquette at the pumps was much different than today. The old drivers were of rural backgrounds and I feel that makes a difference. I live in the country and I have seen possibly attractive jobs in near by metro areas, I won't do it. I've never drove over 25 miles to work. Was allowed to take the truck home. Companies talk about home time, out 2 wks home 2 days. Depending what time that started and your rest status and what days they are, it is difficult to do personal business, banking, shopping, dentist,dr, and so forth. The pay is nothing great and has Not increased proportionally with the times. I made more over 30 yrs ago than many today. An experienced driver starts as a new student driver with pay advancement and incentives as time goes on. Most of that is false promises. I recently visited with a recruiter in our local town Holiday Inn. The company is one of the nations largest and with visiting with him, found out he never drove, was retired military. That's one of the problems today, management know little about the common sense aspect of trucking. Better pay would attract better drivers. Start with a decent hourly rate and time and one half after 8 hrs and see what happens.

  9. 9. Alamo [ January 30, 2015 @ 03:17AM ]

    So the median pay for the average household ( 40 hours per week , home everyday, home weekends, home holidays) is the same as the trucking industry ( 70 hours per week, plus 30 unpaid hours per week , home 2 days per month living in truck for 28 days) is the same? Then what is the problem?

  10. 10. John Mullen [ January 30, 2015 @ 08:50AM ]

    Deborah Lockridge
    Well written, looking forward to continuing segments.
    I am in the process of my own commentary , based on my 50 years in a variety of roles, causes and effects - solutions.
    Prime copy to HDT, copies to media, regulators and elected reps.

  11. 11. Cliff Downing [ January 30, 2015 @ 09:58AM ]

    One aspect to the average pay thing they fail to factor in, is that the average of $46,000 in pay is poverty wage in many areas of the country. Most of the population of the country resides in higher cost of living areas. While $46K is interesting to a guy or gal from Iowa, it is not even going to get a second look by a someone from Boston. The average incomes of drivers is going to have to more closely mirror this reality. And has been stated, more drivers in the past came from small towns and rural areas, where a work ethic was instilled. That part of the population has shrunk considerably from the levels of previous generations. I am rather enjoying watching all of this. The American people wanted this mess, based on their voting records of the last 30 years, so deal with it.

  12. 12. Chris Bordeaux [ February 02, 2015 @ 07:45AM ]

    All of these comments are spot on!!! We need to get someone in Congress or the Senate to take a good hard look at this. Quit stereotyping the 18-21 year olds. Allow the companies to hire these new individuals and hone their skills in a documented supervised situation until they are 21 years old. Losing them to other industries isn't the answer. Who will fill the seats when we retire?, who will deliver the goods? I've never seen a train make a delivery at a local Grocery, Department or Convenience Store.

  13. 13. Dude Love [ February 05, 2015 @ 08:57AM ]

    Hmmm they've opened schools, offered weak bonuses and bought fancy trucks. Sorry but that doesn't bring home the bacon. How about paying more darn money! Again another article skirting around the real issue MONEY!!

  14. 14. juan robledo [ February 13, 2015 @ 03:47AM ]

    It's no surprise that the trucking industry is in constant need of driver, good drivers the biggest problem are with carriers not paying better wages and home time, carriers are only looking for a body to operate the truck and move freight from point A to point B and at leave the driver out on the road for weeks at a time and if drivers request home time it's a sin to even ask, their thinking is you'll get home when they decide to get you home, point blank, and usually it's for 2 days and right back, it's time for carriers to put out better wages and keep drivers happy after all if the carriers want their customers freight to move thru out this country they need to make changes to the way carriers think and put it where it counts, happy drivers, happy customers, good for carriers

  15. 15. David [ February 13, 2015 @ 08:02AM ]

    Training is a big area of cocern. We are a 600 hour training school. We cover life on the road and the students only wnat "local' and they do not want weekends,loading and unloading,the want to work in their neighborhood and they want a new truck and $100,000. We deal with this constantly. We try. However it gets frustrating. We can give you drivers, just not a whole lot of quaility. So that is the carrier's job. Mold them into quaility, long term drivers.

  16. 16. Easy X [ February 18, 2015 @ 02:04PM ]

    I have been driving almost ten years, but I am second generation truck driver. I do see pay as one aspect but to me, more importantly is the over-regulation coming that will make me quit trucking.

    Mandatory, one-size fit all e-logs and speed limiters will be the last straw for me. I didn't enter trucking to have a factory job behind the wheel

  17. 17. John O [ March 01, 2015 @ 04:13PM ]

    I found the article very interesting, informative and I think accurate. I am in LTL myself as a driver. Our pay opportunities are fine. Our company treats us very well, I feel. My customers say "I couldn't do your job - I couldn't deal with the traffic". I reply "Oh I don't mind the traffic or my job as city driver (until it's 0 windchill or colder), what is about to drive me from the drivers seat is excessive corporate policy and excessive federal regulation". I've been in trucking since 1986, 11 years a mechanic and a professional driver since. I am constantly considering what other employment might work for me - "trucking's no fun anymore"!

  18. 18. Tom Welch [ April 10, 2015 @ 12:31PM ]

    I worked as a drive recruiter for several years and it often felt like my employer was my worst enemy. Compensation way under market because that is what it took to get the contract. Drivers disqualified for failing one element of the road test instead of being offered training and conditional employment and my favorite a veteran driver with a spotless record who got caught letting out the clutch and then grabbing for his seat belt.

  19. 19. Robert Barnes [ May 05, 2015 @ 06:10AM ]

    I decided to get into trucking because I am tired off being laid off in construction. Companies are getting skilled workers through labor companies. That clears them if the workers are illegal and they don't have to pay benefits or workman's compensation. It is going to happen in trucking also if it hasn't already started. I am new to trucking and so far have learned this, recruiters lie, students are treated very bad and cheated out of hours at orientations and you work 14 hours a day but only get paid for when your driving. You can't drive 14 hour a day so where is the pay for the other 3 hours per day. If companies want to keep drivers and lessen their turn over rate they are going to have to start paying drivers for the work they do other than driving. I'm not saying be paid for sleeper berth or off duty but any other time yes. If you are responsible for a company truck and you go to pick up a load and have to wait or wait to be unloaded you should be paid every minute , not after the first hour or two. Time is everything in trucking and if companies want to attract younger drivers or keep the ones they have then pay them for there work and stop ripping them off. You know what your doing so stop acting like drivers are idiots and take care of them. Provide decent terminals also. Some have good but all need improvement. I don't know what trucking was like in the old days so I am talking from a new drivers point of view. Electronic logs , QualCom, regulations on hour of service , and DOT physicals are not new for me. To recap stop with the lies, treat new students with respect (Shnyder) , pay for hours worked, just because your not driving doesn't mean your not working. How many people do you know who work for free. Hell even the illegals won't work for free. Think of it this way, treat people the way you want to be treated. So far as a new driver I can't see spending a career driving with the unpaid hours and as soon as the economy recovers I'll get out.

  20. 20. Steve Rolefson [ June 18, 2015 @ 05:33PM ]

    I was over the road for six years and local for eighteen years now. Car drivers are a nightmare and the customers treat me like dog poop.

  21. 21. Scott coyner [ July 03, 2015 @ 04:30AM ]

    To bad you can't fill seats. Get about 75 percent of foolish government removed, stop all survalence, and maybe the problem would ease.
    I have 59 years without a chargeable accident, not because of government regulations, but on spite of them.

  22. 22. Robert Nutter [ July 03, 2015 @ 05:03AM ]

    4 Years OTR being treated like s#/÷. I got out and have never been happier. We have tightened our belts with a bit less income but it is worth it. My health is better, I go home every evening and best of all my family knows who I am again.

  23. 23. Kurt [ July 03, 2015 @ 06:44AM ]

    In the late '70s prior to complete regulation, Carretta trucking was paying drivers $48,000 a year to start. 4 decades the average pay is LESS, without correcting for inflation, which would make it closer to $120,000. Money is the issue.

  24. 24. Kurt [ July 03, 2015 @ 06:45AM ]

    In the late '70s prior to complete deregulation, Carretta trucking was paying drivers $48,000 a year to start. 4 decades the average pay is LESS, without correcting for inflation, which would make it closer to $120,000. Money is the issue.

  25. 25. Paul [ July 03, 2015 @ 09:13AM ]

    Simple...take big brother out of both the cab and the industry...concentrate on REALdriver training instead of these 3 week courses and put good drivers back behind the wheel instead of the steering wheel holders we have today. I started trucking for the freedom of the road but that is pretty much gone. The way I look at it now is, if you need to watch me drive, come drive the damn thing yourself...period.

  26. 26. Bert [ October 19, 2015 @ 10:55AM ]

    Seems like nothing has changed since I went to CDL school but didn't get a job driving over a decade ago. "driver shortage" has been the complaint for 30 years. The 2 years of hell driving for a puppy mill before being qualified enough to get a halfway decent job is a huge barrier. Maybe it gets better but maybe it doesn't. But 2 years is a long damn time to fear blacklisting and not have any recourse. Now the idea of trying to get 18 year olds into the business looks to me more like a new pool of indentured servitude than real opportunity for youngsters.
    Glad I didn't get the job. I don't handle being treated that way very well.

  27. 27. Len [ December 24, 2015 @ 09:24AM ]

    HR people: Read the comments from drivers themselves and it quickly become clear why no wants to be a truck driver any more. Both the trucking companies and the government want to control all 24 hrs of a drivers day. Over regulation alone will stop most people from being a driver . Now throw in what companies are doing such as driver facing cameras, gps tracking that shows everything a driver does makes you feel like a criminal with an ankle monitor on. I was a driver for 31 years both road and local. I sure would not be a driver now. I also had 31 years without a chargeable accident without the governments or the companies watching my every move.

 

Comment On This Story

Name:  
Email:  
Comment: (Maximum 2000 characters)  
Leave this field empty:
* Please note that every comment is moderated.

Newsletter

We offer e-newsletters that deliver targeted news and information for the entire fleet industry.

GotQuestions?
sponsored by
sponsor logo

ELDs and Telematics

Scott Sutarik from Geotab will answer your questions and challenges

View All
GotQuestions?

Sleeper Cab Power

Steve Carlson from Xantrex will answer your questions and challenges

View All