Is The Problem Really About A Driver Shortage?

Is The Problem Really About A Driver Shortage

You see headlines all over the news crying, “Tons of Trucking Jobs No One Wants” or “Raleigh Truck Driver Training School Tries To Help Alleviate Truck Driver Shortage,” but not many news articles actually question why there is a driver shortage or even touch on the real reasons there’s a shortage.

The most common answer most media outlets give to the question of why there’s a driver shortage is that the aging workforce is beginning to retire and less and less are choosing truck driving for a profession. Very few in the news recognize the real problem(s) for the shortage.

We see it every day, drivers who have recently lost their job are looking for a new job, but no one will hire them because of an accident that might not have been their fault or  a driver may have gotten a warning or citation too many or the driver can’t pass his or her health exam.

The problem isn’t just with the drivers, it’s with some of the carriers who want drivers with perfect records and can’t look beyond a driver’s CSA score, or a carrier who can’t deliver on promises they made,  or the pay is less than they expected or too many federal regulations have squeezed out qualified drivers.

There are many reasons for the shortage, but it’s not because drivers don’t want to work. This is an article we found on the Legal Examiner.

The Driver Shortage Myth

Truckie D
Contributor

Posted by Truckie D | July 31, 2012 2:40 PM

There have been quite a few articles lately decrying the shortage of qualified truck drivers.

Wrong.

There is no shortage. There are plenty of well qualified and experienced drivers in the labor pool who are currently unemployed, or working other types of jobs. So, where does the “shortage” come from?

If we rephrase the statement, the answer becomes immediately apparent:

There’s a shortage of drivers willing to drive trucks given current pay levels and working conditions.

Truckie D points to HOS and other regulations as a major factor in the “driver shortage.”  The July 1, 2013, passage of the new HOS requirements lessened the amount of time drivers can spend on the road, creating a need for more drivers to make up for the lost drive time.

“Trucking is one of the most heavily regulated industries in the country, and it’s getting worse. While such things as CSA seem to be working to get bad drivers and trucking companies off the road, they’re putting too much blame on drivers, and not enough on the trucking companies responsible. Yes, legally the driver is the “captain of the ship”, but usually has little or no control over equipment or operations. Frequently, all a driver can do is quit — and in these economic hard times, that may not be an option,” Truckie D states. 

The writer goes on to say that pay, home time and working conditions have made trucking a less desirable career Until these issues are addressed and carriers do more to attract new drivers, the “shortage” will persist.

“So what to do? The above are some of the worst driver irritants in the industry, but this list is by no means comprehensive. Addressing the above issues would be a good start, but until these (and more) issues are dealt with by an industry-wide overhaul, the myth of the “driver shortage” will persist,” Truckie D states.

For a little more info, you can read: So You Want To Be A Truck Driver  and So You Want To Be An Owner Operator. Comments welcome.