How does it feel to know that 80,000 truck drivers are unemployed in the US? That’s a huge number, and it pushes people to discover why such a high level of truck driver shortage occurs. However, before digging into why trucker shortage happens, we should figure out whether this unemployment is a shortage or an issue of recruitment and retention practices in the transportation industry. Let’s go over a few key points and see if we can get to the root of the problem.
Truck Driver Shortage or Recruit and Retention Issue?
Even though not every transportation company may voice this, being a truck driver is not everyone’s cup of tea. Of course, every job has its challenges, but truck driving is not an ordinary profession to pursue.
This very outlook is clearly expressed by Michael Belzer, a transportation industry expert at Wayne State University. He states, “There are in fact millions of truckers – people who have commercial driver’s licenses – who are not driving trucks and are not using those commercial driving licenses, more than we would even need…. That’s because people have gotten recruited into this job, maybe paid to get trained in this job, and realize, This is not for me. This is not adequate for what I’m doing.”
To be a part of the transportation industry, barriers to entry are many, including schooling, commercial driver’s license classes, and of course, transportation industry regulations. Furthermore, there are the occasional misperceptions, such as the mentality that women cannot become truck drivers. Although the obstacles seem endless, people overcome them in most cases.
It turns out, that factors such as truck driver schooling, getting a special class driver’s license, transportation industry regulations, etc., can possibly hinder the potential to be in the transportation industry. However, all of this doesn’t change the fact that the US, alongside other countries, struggles with the truck driver shortage. So, call it whatever you’d like; no matter what issue this is, the industry faces a trucker shortage, and it needs to be stopped. Let’s continue discussing some of the difficulties a trucker can face and why recruitment and retention issues arise.
Truck Driver Lifestyle
The truck driver lifestyle requires a great deal of sacrifice. Most people don’t want to spend most of their life on the road, away from their families. The inconsistent schedule is another component of the job that some people simply cannot handle; not everyone can get used to such a lifestyle. Luckily, various truck drivers have voiced their opinion regarding the job – not all of them are discouraging.
The Washington Post reports how different truck drivers react to their jobs, and opinions are never the same. For instance, 53-year-old Donald Rich states that his life got a lot better with a truck driver career because he gets paid twice as much as in his previous job. He is also highly joyous to recommend others pursue a trucker’s career despite the drawback of wasting time off the road on things like unloading the truck.
In contrast, a 48-year-old Michael Dow shares that being a trucker is a challenging job. When asked whether he’d like his kids to become truckers, Dow answered, “I have a 21-year-old son in the military who is about ready to come out. In all honesty, I do not wish him to get into this industry because it’s a hard life,” – cites Washington Post.
At this point, it’s very obvious why a truck driving career may not be a suitable option for the average person. Truth be told, being a trucker is beyond challenging. Truck drivers usually sacrifice time spent with family, encounter sleepless nights, spend more than 11 hours on the road, face health issues, i.e., weight gain, and many more!
Compensating for all the burdens they carry on a daily basis, truck drivers are paid surprisingly well. Plus, a trucker’s lifestyle differs from one company to another. A transportation business like MDB Transportation emphasizes employee appreciation practices, providing them all the things they need to work efficiently and productively without sacrificing mental health, work-life balance, etc. Learn more about what it takes to obtain truck driver jobs here.
It’s necessary to understand all the advantages and drawbacks of becoming a trucker before actually pursuing it as a career. And for those who prefer such a lifestyle, the choice is very easy. After all, who wouldn’t want to be a part of a sustainable business that genuinely cares about its employees?
Trucking Companies Standards
There are regulations put by the transportation industry regarding recruiting truck drivers that transportation companies should follow. Some of these standards make the career of a trucker challenging, while others make it structured and productive.
Truck drivers should be 21+ years old.
Such regulation is considered a barrier to entry for truckers. People who graduate from college at the age of 18 have a long gap until 21. During these years, most people find jobs in other spheres and miss the opportunity to pursue a trucker’s career or attend a particular driving school to get the required license. So, the majority end up bypassing the chance to try themselves in the trucking industry.
It is preferable to have 10 years of driving history.
This regulation automatically eliminates most candidates in their early 20s and hinders their potential of starting a career as a trucker. Even if old truck drivers retire, truck driver shortage happens in the transportation industry. This is because of the inability to hire youngsters because of the lack of driving history.
Meet all the medical qualifications.
This is a regulation that keeps the industry organized. Plus, when all the truck drivers hit the road healthy, the probability of road accidents drastically decreases – a considerable benefit for trucking companies and truckers.
Did we miss something important? Exactly! Transportation companies should also emphasize employee appreciation by providing them with what they lack in their daily working routine.
Jack Khudikyan, The Vice President of MDB Transportation, mentions, “MDB Transportation values the talents and abilities of our employees and seeks to foster a cooperative and dynamic environment in which employees and the company alike can thrive.” Such a statement highlights how important it is for the best transportation company like MDB Transportation to make employees feel their very best every day while being on the road.
The good news is that recruitment for driving careers at MDB Transportation is open! Contact the transportation company at your earliest convenience at 562-928-0668. Don’t miss the opportunity to become a part of the professional team of individuals at MDB Transportation.
As Sonya Matejko, a writer and entrepreneur, mentions, “The U.S. is in the midst of a years-long shortage of truck drivers that are contributing to national supply-chain problems. Last week, the Biden administration released a plan it hopes will alleviate the shortage by making it easier to become a trucker, improving trucker’s quality of life, and encouraging experienced truckers to stay in the business longer.”
This means that the trucker shortage will end soon if, and only if, transportation companies apply modifications to trucker’s jobs. Some of the changes that should take place include offering fair wages, increasing freight rates, and implementing a sustainable transportation system to create a work-life balance for truck drivers.
Above all, transportation companies should care for constructing a transportation infrastructure emphasizing sustainability to show truckers that they are ready to accept responsibility for their employees’ work experience.
So, let’s hope for a brighter future and favorable changes in the transportation industry.