Is there really a trucker shortage in America? Or is it a question of doing more to keep America’s drivers happy and on the road for the long term?
It’s no secret to Real Truckers that the industry hasn’t been the most kind to us truckers over the years. Whether it’s struggling to find parking for our rigs or shippers and receivers treating us as if we are disposable, trucking is an underappreciated profession by the masses. At Real Truckers we believe there isn’t a shortage of drivers, the industry and society just need to treat drivers better and make trucking what it was in the 1970’s.
The American Trucking Associate says the average turnover rate each year for for long-haul truckers at big trucking companies has been greater than 90 percent for decades. That means if a company has 100 truckers, 90 drivers will be gone within a year or, equivalently, 30 of their driver positions will have to be refilled three times in a single year because so many new drivers leave within a few months.
Common sense says if you don't have enough workers, the company should raise wages and within a reasonable amount of time, there would be no more shortage. Is trucking somehow different? We don’t think so.
When we frame the issue as a retention problem, the responsibility falls on the industry to make trucking more attractive as a profession, not the trucker.
The truth is trucking companies see their drivers are inexpensive labor and don’t mind the trucker turnover if there are more drivers to replace them.
Lots of times companies will attract drivers with high earnings, but they leave out some important information.
Let’s say a company advertises you can make $150,000 a year as a trucker. What they leave out is with this money they have to cover all the costs of their truck, fuel, insurance, equipment, repair and maintenance. The truckers also must first get their own trucks and acquire the skills and certifications to haul.
Luckily for our truckers, we know a company that treats its employees the right way. Reach out to our buddies over at Drive Logistics so they can help you become an owner operator and take control over your trucking career.