Today, ATRI released its annual list of top ten “critical issues” within the trucking industry.
More than 40,000 trucking executives completed the survey.
“ATRI’s annual survey of top industry issues makes it easier for us to keep track of all the complex forces affecting motor carriers and drivers so that we can focus on running a safe and profitable industry,” said ATA Chairman Mike Card, President, Combined Transport, Inc., Central Point, Oregon.
Topping this year’s list is the recent change to hours of service.
Coming in a close second was concern over the FMCSA’s CSA program. Fear of a driver shortage ranked #3 on the list. “Worry over the implications of a driver shortage resulted in that issue ranking third in this year’s survey while concern over the economy lessened, causing that issue to slip one position to fourth place. Continued economic growth, coupled with CSA and HOS changes may be contributing factors to the driver shortage according to some in the industry,” ATRI stated.
3. Driver Shortage
5. ELD Mandate
6. Truck Parking
7. Driver Retention
8. Fuel Supply/Fuel Prices
9. Infrastructure/ Congestion
10. Driver Health/Wellness
Under each listed concern, ARTI inserted a list of possible solutions to the issues.
In response to HOS concerns, ARTI recommended more research into flexible strategies for fatigue management as opposed to a “one-size-fits-all HOS approach” stating, “the core purpose of the HOS rules is to minimize the impact of driver fatigue in crashes and other workplace injuries.” The recommendation went on to state that the current HOS regulation is not flexible enough to meet the needs of such a large and diverse industry.
In addition, ATRI recommended advocating for increased flexibility in the sleeper bert provision. “Over the past several years, there have been complaints by some drivers who believe that the sleeper berth rules are too restrictive and do not allow drivers the flexibility to rest when they are tired,” ARTI states.
In response to driver shortage concerns, 42% of the survey respondents recommend examining the “competitiveness of truck driver pay and benefits compared to other industries.” ATA President Bill Graves and other industry experts say that examining driver pay is paramount in reducing the driver shortage.
In regards to truck parking, 77% of survey respondents recommend investing in new truck parking facilities and working to reopen closed public rest areas.
“As we all know, the trucking industry constantly faces changes and challenges to how we operate safely and efficiently,” ATA President and CEO Bill Graves said. “However, our industry has always responded to these issues with determination and ATRI’s work gives us the information to decide where to focus our energies first and foremost.”