Here’s a very brief run-down on what the two sides in the driver shortage argument are saying. The major trucking companies say that there is a shortage of reliable, safe drivers who they can trust to be responsible and make shipments on time. Drivers say that the reason the trucking companies can’t find responsible drivers is that they don’t pay enough or treat their drivers well enough to convince anyone who can get a job doing anything else to stay.
As the debate rages on over what is to be done about the so-called “driver shortage,” it may be important to take a step back and take a more objective look at the situation. Overdrive Online recently published a survey taken by the Mack-Blackwell Rural Transportation Center. The survey was seeking to find out how many owner-operators owned more than one truck.
You’ll notice that of the owner-operators who were surveyed, about one third said that they’d owned more than one truck at some point, but only one third of them still operated the additional trucks. The main reason they cited for getting rid of the extra vehicle? “A lack of qualified and reliable drivers.”
As it turns out, even other drivers say that they can’t find good drivers to work with them. While some percentage of those owner-operators were probably terrible bosses or didn’t maintain their equipment properly, a good chunk of them must have worked their hardest, done a good job, and ultimately failed to find a “qualified and reliable” driver who they could trust to operate their extra vehicle.
While drivers are almost certainly right that some companies treat their drivers like dirt, and while some companies are almost certainly right that some of their drivers are unsafe and untrustworthy, perhaps its time to stop clawing at each other’s throats and pointing fingers for long enough to take a good hard look at what each side can do to help themselves… and each other. So trucking companies, if you’re reading this, remember that helping your drivers IS helping yourselves.
Image Source: Driving Ambition