Why There’s A Truck Driver Shortage

Truck drivers aren’t praised for their job, in fact they get little recognition. The economy depends on truck drivers to transport freight and other items Americans purchase. As a direct result of the lack of drivers the cost of goods and shipping costs will inflate, but what’s really causing the shortage of drivers may surprise you.

One issue impacting the shortage is age and gender. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average age of a commercial truck driver in the U.S. is 55 years old, that’s just 11 years till retirement, at age 66. What’s surprising is the Department of Transportation requires all professional drivers to be at least 21 years old, which is quite the age gap for the average trucker. So what’s causing the younger generation not to pursue a career in trucking? Well, the unemployment rate for millennials is more than twice the national average, at a soaring 12.8 percent. Millennials aren’t all to blame though, because statistically only 8 percent of truck drivers are female. Companies are so desperate to hire drivers they’re offering signing bonuses, pay raises, and referrals. Some companies even started to offer free online-college tuition for their drivers. If the trucking industry can market to women and the younger generation, it might solve part of the problem.

We need to consider what it’s like to be on the road, then maybe we’ll understand why this is a dying profession. Professional drivers barely get to see their families and the constant trips make it hard to maintain relationships. Leah Fessler, a publicist for Quartz wrote, “ The 50% divorce rate statistic is a myth. Divorce rates vary by factors like race, education level, and employment status.” According to Fessler the divorce rate for truck drivers is 44.2 percent. This doesn’t mean that if you’re a truck driver you’ll get divorced, there’s other factors at play. This occupation is difficult and demands a lot of time away from your loved ones. Becoming a truck driver isn’t just a job, it’s a lifestyle choice.

Truck drivers don’t get the respect they deserve. People often don’t take into consideration the amount of time it takes a semi-truck to stop, nor do they see all they’ve sacrificed to keep us safe on the road. CEO and owner of Ezlogz, CJ “Sergey” Karman, was in the logistics industry for over 12 years, drove all 48 states, he also owned a trucking company, and was a broker and safety director. His response to the question if his years of experience being a truck driver still has its side effects, CJ responded,

Once a trucker, always a trucker. I’m grateful for having that experience. I do miss it at times, but truckers don’t get the respect they deserve. The extra stress, aside from driving, that’s brought on from paperwork like BOL, lumper and fuel receipts, is why we created the platform Ezlogz. We’ve been able to help drivers be more organized and lead a less stressful life on the road.

Many people like CJ, who used to be drivers, will never forget the life on the road and have the utmost respect for this occupation. It’s a profession America can’t afford to lose.

Sorce:

https://psmag.com/social-justice/the-long-white-line-the-mental-and-physical-effects-of-long-haul-trucking
https://www.bls.gov/ooh/transportation-and-material-moving/heavy-and-tractor-trailer-truck-drivers.htm#tab-6
https://qz.com/1069806/the-highest-and-lowest-divorce-rates-in-america-by-occupation-and-industry/
https://www.forbes.com/sites/larryalton/2016/12/22/millennials-are-struggling-to-get-jobs-heres-why-and-what-to-do-about-it/#3f536eba4bb0

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Crestwood Transportation Raising Driver Pay

Crestwood Transportation – a company based out of Texas – are raising their starting pay from 46 cents to 60 cents for all tanker drivers in the central region. The pay raise was said to be effective March 21 of this year.

  • Image by Crestwood Transportation Facebook Page via [https://www.facebook.com/CrestwoodTransportation/photos] (copyright-free)

According to the company,  drivers can now start at up to $80-85,000 per year.

In order to be considered for the position, applicants require two years of experience, a tanker and hazmat endorsement, and most importantly a clean driving record.

The company wants to reward their current and new drivers by receiving load pay, layover pay and detention pay as well as steady safe driving records.

Sources: “Crestwood Transportation Raises Driver Pay by 14 Cpm.” CDLLife, 1 May 2018, cdllife.com/2018/crestwood-transportation-raises-driver-pay-by-14-cpm/.

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Anheuser-Busch Teaming Up With Nikola

Anheuser-Busch are reportedly teaming up with Nikola in buying up to 800 hydrogen-electric trucks to replace more than half of their fleet.

The trucks being delivered will be the Nikola Two – also known as the Day Cab version – and have a capability of producing zero emissions, ability to be refueled in 20 minutes and have a range between 500 and 1,200 miles.

Manager Editor, Brian Straight reported:

” The cab is designed with “surround vision” and features a 15 in. touchscreen that gives the driver a virtual aerial view of the area around the truck and trailer in real time, eliminating blind spots. A panoramic windshield and a forward position for the driver provides improved visibility. That view is complemented by high-definition cameras combined with radar, sonar and computer software. The result is a complete 360 deg. view of the vehicle.

The mid-cab design features a sliding entry door to reduce the dangers of climbing into and out of the cab.

Inside the cab, there is a touchscreen where some of the most advanced productivity tools are located. Nikola aims to make the vehicle an “all-inclusive” model, giving drivers all the tools they need to do their jobs. This includes standard readouts such as battery levels, ranges, wheel torque and cabin controls, Bluetooth-enabled phone, calendar, integrated logging and driver/vehicle performance data and more. It also includes navigation and vehicle data as well as “Nikola Shipments.”

Nikola has plans for converting 100% of their fleets in the future.

 

Sources: Straight, Brian. “Anheuser-Busch to Buy up to 800 Nikola Hydrogen-Electric Trucks.” FreightWaves, www.freightwaves.com/news/green-trucking/anheuser-busch-to-buy-nikola-hydrogen-electric-trucks.

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HOS: Who Has to Comply?

As previously stated in a recent post, HOS – Hours of Service – is a federal regulation of limitations most truckers have for the length of time they can be driving or be required to take rest breaks.

Who is required to comply with these regulations? Here is a simple breakdown stated directly from the FMCSA:

“In general, a CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business and is involved in interstate commerce and fits any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards”

 

Sources: “Hours of Service.” Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, United States Department of Transportation, 30 Dec. 2013, www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/hours-of-service.

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Online Groceries Creating Higher Demand For Refrigerated Transport

With most families having to provide with multi incomes for one household, a big trend in mid 2017 to present day is “Online Ordering.”

Most people feed off of the convenience you get from ordering your groceries online and picking it up within the hour down at their local grocery store. Another big trend is meal prep – or meal kits like BlueApron or Hello Fresh! – that has changed the game with having the option to just pop a pre-made meal in the oven or on the stove.

With the growing amount that online ordering has created for convenience will be a much higher demand for refrigerated items.

 

Sources: “How Home Delivery and Fresh Foods Are Changing Refrigerated Transport.” TopNews – Drivers – TopNews – TruckingInfo.com, www.truckinginfo.com/channel/fleet-management/article/story/2018/04/how-home-grocery-delivery-and-the-focus-on-fresh-are-changing-refrigerated-transportation.aspx.

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Bespoke Aerodynamic Truck Design

As discussed in previous posts, the future of the trucking industry was brought with bespoke aerodynamic designs created by Shell and AirFlow Truck Co.

  • Image by The Trucker via [http://www.thetrucker.com/News/Story/BespoketrucksShellandAirFlowTruckCohavedesignedandbuiltone] (copyright-free)

It is designed and built as a hyper-fuel-efficient Class 8 truck with the capability for reducing the energy usage associated with the transportation of goods. The body of the proposed tractor is made of carbon fiber from the side skirts, to the hood, and front end.

The Trucker News Publisher states:

” The truck will use a number of full synthetic Shell Lubricants products including Spirax S6 GXME 75W-80 transmission oil, Spirax S5 ADE 75W-80 differential oil and Spirax S6 GME 40 wheel hub oil. In addition, Shell Rotella Extended Life Coolant will provide excellent high-temperature protection and heat transfer. Shell Rotella Diesel Exhaust Fluid, a high purity diesel exhaust fluid, will also be in the truck. ”

The efficiency and lesser fuel costs could really make positive and growing changes for both Shell, AirFlow Truck Co. and the trucking industry altogether.

 

Sources:“’Bespoke’ Trucks? Shell and AirFlow Truck Co. Have Designed and Built One – TheTrucker.com – America’s Trucking Newspaper.” The Trucker, www.thetrucker.com/News/Story/BespoketrucksShellandAirFlowTruckCohavedesignedandbuiltone.

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Self Driving Freight?

 

  • Image by unknown via [https://gajitz.com/if-batman-were-a-trucker-hed-drive-this-cool-future-rig/] (copyright-free)

Amazon discussing future ideas for autopilot drones that make their own deliveries, Tesla creating a self driving car, and companies like XPO Logistics Inc making the move with the use of robotic machines to raise mass production in their warehouses, what are plans for the future in the trucking industry?

It’s a possibility that one day in the future, trucks will have self driving deliveries that make it from destination A to B or robotic machines that can make deliveries themselves, with technology and innovation rapidly growing every day, anything is possible.

 

 

Sources: “The Future of Freight: What’s Your Vision?” Transport Topics, 5 Apr. 2018, www.ttnews.com/articles/future-freight-whats-your-vision.

“Profit, Revenue Grow at XPO as It Invests in Tech.” Transport Topics, 3 May 2018, www.ttnews.com/articles/profit-revenue-grow-xpo-it-invests-tech.

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Drug Testing for Truck Drivers

The Trucking Alliance –  The Alliance for Driver Safety & Security – are reportedly pushing congress for drug testing to ensure there are no prior opioid addiction or illegal use of substances while going behind the wheel.

  • Image by unknown via [http://www.truckinginfo.com/channel/drivers/news/story/2018/05/trucking-alliance-pushes-congress-to-tighten-truck-driver-drug-testing.aspx] (copyright-free)

If Congress decide to push for drug testing, verification for no opioid addiction or illegal drug use will be required at least 30 days prior to employment to anyone applying for safety sensitive related jobs in the trucking industry.

 

Sources: “Trucking Alliance Pushes Congress to Tighten Truck Driver Drug Testing.” TopNews – Drivers – TopNews – TruckingInfo.com, www.truckinginfo.com/channel/drivers/news/story/2018/05/trucking-alliance-pushes-congress-to-tighten-truck-driver-drug-testing.aspx.

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One Wrong Turn into a 4 Day Excursion

The New York Post – the 4th largest newspaper in the United States and leading digital media publisher – reported that a trucker from Portland, OR – Jacob Cartwright, 22 years old – was en route to his destination when he put in the wrong address and got stuck in the woods in an area with limited cell reception.

Cartwright was hauling a trailer full of potato chips and claimed he never ate or took any with him during his 14 mile walk in a span of four days.

He finally ended up in the town of La Grande dehydrated and determined to get back to his wife and kids.

He is expected to make a full recovery.

 

Sources: Associated Press. “Trucker’s Wrong Turn Turns into Four-Day, 14-Mile Hike for Survival.” New York Post, New York Post, 30 Apr. 2018, nypost.com/2018/04/30/truckers-wrong-turn-turns-into-four-day-14-mile-hike-for-survival/.

“New York Post.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 30 Apr. 2018, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_Post.

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Outcomes of Truck Accidents

The most important thing when going behind the wheel of any motor vehicle is being safe and staying alert. But what are the major outcomes you could get from an accident of a commercial motor vehicle?

  • Image by unknown via [https://www.accidentplan.com/uncategorized/crash-indicator-level-the-playing-field] (copyright-free

Here are a few critical things that could occur:

  1. Insurance & Truck Repairs
  2. Possible Explosion – if a colliding compact car were to catch on fire –
  3. Rollover
  4. Possible Death or Critical Injuries to Yourself or Others

The biggest factor that created the December Mandate of 2017 was to require rest breaks to truckers in the hopes of resulting in less accidents due from falling asleep at the wheel which will potentially avoid more accidents and less likely for these critical outcomes to occur.

 

Source: “How Bad Can a Truck Accident Mess Up Your Car?” Trucker News, truckernews.com/how-bad-can-a-truck-accident-mess-up-your-car/.

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