The Driver Shortage Myth

Discussion in 'Experienced Truckers' Advice' started by Thane, Jul 16, 2018.

  1. HoneyBadger67

    HoneyBadger67 Road Train Member

    Dec 15, 2018
    Champaign, IL

    They have college degrees for truck driving? Or did you get a worthless degree and, after the realization hit you that 'liberal arts' doesn't pay bills, decide that (even) you could be a driver?
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  3. REO6205

    REO6205 Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

    Feb 15, 2014
    Hey now, a liberal arts degree is great. It totally prepares you for life in the 19th century. :rolleyes:
  4. Rubber duck kw

    Rubber duck kw Road Train Member

    Dec 9, 2017
    To me if you get an engineering degree and then drive truck and never use your degree, you just flushed your money down the toilet.
    HoneyBadger67 Thanks this.
  5. Trucking in Tennessee

    Trucking in Tennessee Road Train Member

    Mar 19, 2018
    As bad as I cuss it sometimes, driving is therapy. I'm addicted. There is nothing like it. I have tinnitus, so the noise really helps take my mind off it. I drove from upper Nashville to 285 in Atlanta and back yesterday. I couldnt believe how soon it ended, even after the detour around Chattanooga and driving through two thunderstorms. 11 hours for it all. But if it was easy everyone could do it. I love the interaction, the ballet, when trucks move like they are choreographed to avoid something or on a 3 lane both move to the left before a signal. Just do it because you are a pro and it needed to be done. The dance is fun with another veteran.
  6. bryan21384

    bryan21384 Road Train Member

    Sep 18, 2009
    1918 Anywhere, USA 90210
    Nope no degrees for trucking. My degree wasn't useless. That would mean my time in college was useless if my degree was. I don't find my time in college to be useless. I did learn a lot of things from different people. My degree is in education, and I admit I've made far more money in trucking than I would have in teaching. The thing is, college is for some, not all. Doesn't make the experience or degree useless if it don't lead to big bucks. Many guys and gals in the road found a job in driving that makes for a good living with minimal training. Doesn't make one better than the other.
  7. Veteran driver

    Veteran driver Medium Load Member

    Aug 24, 2010
    Jacksonville, Fl

    Todd Spencer makes a valid argument but I must also agree with Oldironfan that the driver pool is getting a lot more shallow these days. Let’s face it, the new generation is not exactly banging down the trucking industry door to climb on board. This OTR thing is a lifestyle. A great portion of your life is spent away from loved ones. You’ve really gotta like driving and living on the road in order to last in this business. People want to be home with the wife and kids, birthdays, music recitals, graduations, weddings and other important events. You won’t always be able to attend every event. So they choose another profession.
    Lepton1 Thanks this.
  8. Coover

    Coover Road Train Member

    Dec 9, 2016
    Yes, he said it in a nice way.

    Bluntly there is no driver shortage, there is a shortage of quality drivers. drivers that present themselves in a professional manner, in the seat on the road, at customers, and when out in the view of the general public.

    Also with the way freight is being more regional, and long haul is being put more on rail, who wants to be out 2-3+ weeks away from home taking 34's in a urine soaked parking lot while making crap wages? The money isn't there, nor is it worth the sacrifice to be away from home, or loved ones if you have those.

    Nowadays it seems that one can do better either running regional home weekly or even running local.
  9. STexan

    STexan Road Train Member

    Oct 3, 2011
    Longview, TX
    Not everybody has this POV. More than you think are well suited to "life on the road" and it's a good thing or we'd all be eating beans and rice every day.

    Not everything can move by rail, in fact, only a tiny fraction of long perishable freight is suited to rail. Carriers who run 48 irregular routes and mostly perishable freight require and need drivers who don't demand or need frequent home time because the logistics are just too difficult to do every week AND keep the drivers making the kind of money they want. Trucks that are home 2 days/wk, every week don't get a lot of long freight moved.

    There's all kind of driving jobs and there's all kind of drivers with all kinds of wants and needs. It's just a matter of getting the right driver into the right job, then everyone's happy.
  10. Coover

    Coover Road Train Member

    Dec 9, 2016
    I see and understand your point, but there are very few companies that are true long haul that actually pay what the driver should be making to do this.

    My main point was who in their right mind would want to only make mileage pay, getting only 2200-2500 weekly and never being home and living out of a truck. This is exactly what most crap mega companies want, it's easy for them to pick up short cheap runs and have you sit around unpaid until they can undercut/lowball and steal another load.
  11. Hotplate

    Hotplate Medium Load Member

    Sep 20, 2015
    The shortage is simply a lack of people willing to put up with the pay/working conditions in the irregular-route OTR segment. Not ALL OTR jobs are bad, but the vast majority of mega-fleet trucking gigs stink.

    In manufacturing, these type of low-skill/low-pay jobs get either automated or sent overseas or they bring illegals in to work those jobs cheaply. Trucking is a little different because it can't be outsourced and illegals can't really do it (yet) so that's why there's these constant labor holes/shortages that the companies whine about.

    But technology is advancing rapidly and driverless trucks will be a threat in the future.
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