- Truckers are taking full advantage of their in-demand status, LinkedIn reported last week. Demands for newer trucks and comfortable cabs are common, while on the job uniforms are off the table as negotiating points from the truckers' perspective.
- According to LinkedIn, the industry is currently short at least 50,000 drivers, a count that will likely expand to 174,000 by 2026. To avoid a greater shortage, trucking companies must hire 898,000 drivers within the next 10 years.
- One transport company has begun utilizing an algorithm that senses driver satisfaction levels so executives can intervene before it's too late.The same company's h.r. department also cautions his team to act swiftly whenever new candidates appear on job sites, since delays of even a few hours could mean the loss of a potential driver.
Some drivers may indeed be in demand, but for the majority, trucking remains a rough road.
A 90% turnover rate for truck drivers is currently the norm, as poor pay and long hours along with lawsuits addressing abusive employment contracts and misclassification continue to affect the transport industry. Dissatisfaction runs so high among some drivers that strikes over upcoming ELD laws take precedence over work, leaving vendors like potato farmers in Washington state scrambling for alternatives to move their produce.
Yet according to the LinkedIn piece, all is rosy for drivers. That may be true for some, including Bob Stanton, an interviewee with a clean driving record, 1.5 million accident-free miles, 17 years of experience, and prior stints in management and as a trainer for new drivers. One need only scroll to the bottom of the LinkedIn article to read a comment by driver Richie Perryman a driver who writes, "There is no driver shortage. There is however a shortage of companies willing to fairly compensate drivers for delays, detention, etc. For the most part, sign on bonuses are stretched out over an extended period of time with many strings attached."
As is usually the case, to determine the condition of the field, it depends on who you ask: those who plow it or those who own it.