Unless you’ve been under a rock or are tuned out from the daily news the supply chain is in a critical state. Goods are sitting on ships out in the ocean waiting to be unloaded, trucking companies are sitting with empty trucks trying to find drivers to fill their seats, and the pandemic has caused many people to switch occupations and move elsewhere. Add to the mix a driver shortage that was well under way before the pandemic and wildlife disasters around the Country the World has a first class seat to the need for truck drivers and the importance of the supply chain. So why is this good for new truck drivers?
Our job as truck drivers were always important and we knew that long before the public. The general public doesn’t understand how the supply chain works, how many people are involved, or how goods get from manufacturing to the store shelves. They just think the products automatically appear as though it were magic. It’s when they start to see those shelves bare that their eyes start to open and then panic starts to set in. The reason for the supply chain shortage is a mixture of issues that have now come to the mix like a good pot of stew. This article from Apple News put a good take on why trucking has become important in California.
I have been to a couple of conferences recently where truck driver recruiting and the supply chain were top issues. Everyone is trying to get drivers and even the good companies that normally wouldn’t have a problem finding drivers are feeling the pinch. What are they doing about it? The best part are that these companies are beginning to get creative as they are all looking for the same drivers to fill empty trucks.
We started seeing it in 2020 companies started raising wages for drivers in pretty substantial ways with some jumping 10 cents per mile at some companies. At my recent events driver pay has been a hot topic with some companies offering six figures for drivers and promoting different pay styles such as salary and other flexible options. Pay is always the first thing drivers say is lacking but what we’ve seen in the industry is that pay isn’t the most important thing to drivers as many are still not coming into the workforce.
Carriers are getting even more creative as they realize pay scale is not the only issue. Drivers may state pay as a problem but we often see work-life balance as the real issue. People don’t want to be gone a long time such as in the past and more regulations are changing the landscape of the industry. With drivers at the age of retirement many are opting to find more time at home and possibly even retiring. This leaves a lot of empty seats. Carriers are trying to find ways to improve flexibility allowing for more part time drivers or those needing a flexible schedule for families. Some have become very creative in their fleets. Add to the mix that there are many funding issues from Government Programs to help pay for courses that this is a perfect time for students. Some companies are even looking overseas for candidates.
If you are someone looking for a good paying career that will always have work for individuals then trucking may be for you. There are plenty of positions available behind the wheel or other parts of the industry. Many companies are training employees from within which is allowing for many other positions to become available. A great place to start is to talk with a trucking school in your area or a carrier to learn what opportunities are available to you.
About the Author
Bruce Outridge is a veteran in the transportation industry with over 40 years in the industry in a variety of roles from driver to fleet supervisor and more. Today he is a media entrepreneur in the industry producing a number of programs within the trucking industry. You can learn more about Bruce and his work and his trucking podcast at www.theleadpedalpodcast.com
Disclaimer: This article is written and based on the opinion of the author and is for general information only