I was reading an article this morning about rates for truck drivers and the fact that rates are going up for truck drivers due to the driver shortage. The article done by a national news magazine mentioned the fact that rates should continue to rise due to the shortage and continue until the shortage is solved. As I read this I was thinking to myself, “I am not sure pay is our largest problem.”
The article did go on to mention that other problems are contributing to the shortage such as the age of drivers, image of the industry, and length of time away from home. Again these are also important issues for the industry and need attention, but are they the reason people are not coming into the industry?
The article made it sound like money was our top problem. I don’t believe money is our top problem. We all know companies where the drivers are doing very well and paid the same as others in the industry. We call them money-making carriers and good drivers should be looking to work with those carriers. Focusing on money doesn’t help a driver where they are paid by the mile. Just sit that driver for any length of time and their income goes down. That is where we need to focus, the amount of time drivers lose income on a daily basis.
We should be working to make sure drivers are paid for everything they do. The driver should be paid for every delivery by the hour and every hour they are kept waiting equal to what they would make driving down the road. If a driver is held up by dispatch they are paid by the hour when asked to call back. Either remove the waiting time or pay for the waiting time.
Reducing the regulations for the industry will help attract new drivers and shortening travel schedules may also help. Shorter runs, flexible work schedules, and improved image of the industry as a whole will all help to attract new people. I tell students in my classes that money is the last question that you should ask because it such a variable. Raising rates is good but if you think that is attracting new people to the industry you are sadly mistaken. many surveys suggest that most people choose jobs based on other criteria than salary or wage. There is no one fix for our industry. It is going to take a combination of team work, drastic changes, and a giant campaign to the public. Look for big changes over the next couple of years in transportation. .
About the Author
Bruce Outridge has been in the transportation industry for over 30 years and is the author of the books Driven to Drive, Running By The Mile and is also the host of the Lead Pedal Podcast for professional drivers. TTSAO also known as the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario has certified member schools in the truck training industry ensuring quality entry level drivers enter the transportation industry. To learn more about the TTSAO or to find a certified school in your area visit www.ttsao.com