There is a major driver shortage facing the trucking industry and with the upcoming ELD mandate a lot of truckers, including the road veterans who love their job may quit.
If the driver shortage grows at an even more rapid rate the nation could face economic disaster because truckers are the backbone of our economy. With a current driver shortage of 48,000 drivers that’s only increasing we hope carriers are doing something to combat the issue. We even have a few ideas on how they can do so.
Fighting The Driver Shortage
1. Make Trucking More Inviting To Women
Women are an untapped working resource in America. While 47% of women make up the workforce only 6% are in trucking. That’s an incredibly low number, even though statistically women are better drivers. They have a lower rate of getting into accidents and often benefit from lower insurance rates because of it.
One thing that might turn women away from the industry is its reputation for being super manly. For example, if the true road warriors get hurt, they don’t notice. They simply rub some dirt in it and go about their days. Trucking can seem so manly at times it may be intimidating.
That’s why there are groups like Women In Trucking that show off women drivers, advocate for them, and show ladies that they have what it takes to become awesome truckers. Use their example to bring more gender diversity to the industry.
2. Should the Industry Lower The CDL Age?
Currently, if you’re under 21 you can only get your CDL for intrastate trucking. That means you can only deliver loads within your state until you turn 21. This makes things tricky for young drivers because local jobs tend to go to older, more experienced drivers.
If a younger person wants to become a driver the 3-year gap of having to wait after high school could be extremely demotivating. Plus, they might find another career path while they’re waiting.
But is 18 too young? Some experienced drivers say that there is no way an 18-year-old can handle the trucking lifestyle, while others say, if they are serious and mature enough to handle it then they should be able to.
3. Improve Health Conditions
Depending on how you handle it, trucking can be an extremely unhealthy profession. Sometimes drivers don’t make enough pay to get healthier food options, so they spend what they can on unhealthy fast food options for every meal.
Also, if they drive too many hours and need to sleep, they don’t have any time to work out. Plus, most carriers don’t provide drivers with good health benefits, so they don’t even have the tools they need to check up on their health.
Things like raising pay, reducing OTR hours, providing good health benefits, and providing health education could make a major difference. Obesity, heart conditions, and sleep apnea are only a few of the major health risks facing the industry.
Free health screenings, work out equipment in the cab, seminars about how to eat healthier on the road, and more could really improve trucker health and as a result, less people might be scared away from becoming a driver.
We Support Truckers
Our nation only functions because of the hard work that drivers do every single day and night. The growing shortage could cause a major economical disaster, but hopefully, carriers are getting prepared to combat it.
Please share your ideas about how to combat the shortage in the comment section below and visit ExpressTruckTax.com for more trucking blogs.
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