Skip to comments.Experts Warning of Coming Crisis: a Shortage of Drivers.
Posted on 11/15/2012 5:00:49 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
Experts are warning of a coming crisis: a shortage of truck drivers.
The Associated Press reports demand is so high that more than 100,000 trucking jobs are expected to go unfilled each year through 2016.
Mohammed Khan, the Director of the Great American Truck Driving School in Detroit told WWJs Sandra McNeil hes seen a 50-percent jump in enrollment at his school since 2010.
People do want to become truck drivers. The fact is that the demand just ups the supply right now, said Khan. There are a lot of truck driving jobs that are wanting because they just cant find enough people. And our school has gotten very busy over the past two years.
Khan said recruiters are looking for someone with a brain.
They want somebody who can think. Its not just a dumb job anymore. There are a lot of computers and a lot of statistics to know which path to take. They want thinkers, Khan said.
Khans schools four-week course draws the interest of people from all walks of life. Hes recently seen some former Detroit police offices go through the program. About one of five of his students are women.
Khan said mature folks looking for a new career are always welcome but everyone must be able to pass a federally required physical...
(Excerpt) Read more at truckersamerica.com ...
Just sayin', in case some enterprising young reader is looking for a direction to try.
Still one of my retirement dreams. As long as I don’t need the money, trucking can be a lot of fun.
At first glance I thought maybe this was a Windows 8 thread.
How about employer PAID full training (Heaven forbid) for complete training and assistance in getting the CDL... to become qualified... All talk and no action as I see it... Getting a CDL when you have little money from being out of work is not a piece of cake... This total baloney public consumption - PR BS piece by EMPLOYERS is old hat... I just want to SPIT everytime I hear this clap trap... There are a zillion people out here (16 Million unemployed) who would LOVE an employer to pay for trainng - BUT NOT ... These cheapskate employers just want to complain and never recognize the truth of the matter...
I just love these threads. The romance of the open road and all that. LOL
Apparently most people in Detroit can’t drive. Isn’t that ironic? /s
Don’t worry, illegal aliens will fill the void, courtesy of the democratic party and RINOs.
I’ve talked to a few guys who say the industry has been ruined by the big players. They’ve bought up a lot of the competition then either muscled out or got regulations that shut down a lot of smaller players.
Just laying the groundwork for mexican truckers driving the trucks Americans don’t want to drive
Mohammed Khan doesn’t care if the jobs are filled or not. His primary interest is to get those checks to his truck driving school.
There was another truck driving school in Detroit that was shut down a while back for handing out HAZMAT certifications to illegals.
I think you either love it or hate it. I worked for a while where I was talking to drivers all the time and I think you have to be a certain type who enjoys driving because you drive more in a month than the average person does in a year. I had one cousin who died very young, just past forty, with brain cancer and his casket was carried on the back of a road tractor in the funeral procession. He had absolutely loved the job, wouldn’t have done anything else once he tried it. As for myself I don’t think there is any way I could ever have been a long haul driver, I get groggy after two or three days of driving all day long. I drove a switch tractor for a while just backing the trailers into the dock and pulling them back out, so I can say I have pulled loads but I never got off the company property. I averaged about one hundred yards between hook and drop.
I might as well go ahead and give this a try. Lord knows my degree hasn’t paid off.
I owned my own truck and had my own authority. The regs have pretty much taken the money out of it and if you drive for one of the big companies forget about the freedom or the good money. Sold my truck back in 06 and wouldnt consider ever doing it again because of the government controls.
Long haul trucking is a very marginally profitable business (for the companies).
They have been dying for drivers for some time.
Finding qualified (or even minimally qualified) people without DUIs is very difficult. Yep, not having a DUI on your record is now a job skill.
My wife works for a small long haul company. The per mile pay for hauling is awful. Government regs are beyond crushing.
Do you know if they send a truck through several states, they have to report the mileage traveled in each state, to each state, and pay fuel taxes based on that mileage. Don’t have to have bought any fuel in any of the states they drove in.
Sounds to me that you have driven more miles backing up than most regular short haulers have forwards.
Shortages of drivers, pilots, physicians, engineers, nurses, child care providers, and in so many other areas, plus a massive shortage of jobs? It’s amazing how effectively Obama has delivered on the “change” he promised.
I operate a trucking business and have a better insight into this matter than nearly anyone. There is not a shortage of capable and skilled drivers - not by any stretch of the imagination. What there is a shortage of is decent paying goods to transport. Rates are established by federally filed tariffs, and it is nearly impossible to earn a living by driving anymore. We transport freight, intermodal, and household goods. All of these commodities have horid rates right now.
Competition has the largest carriers driving rates down to nearly break-even points and in some cases below cost. It is simply a matter of maintaining cash flow with no profitability for them - they can hold out for a while doing it. Those of us who have significant overhead and ever increasing regulatory compliance costs are in a tough position - how can we pay the drivers any more when we are losing money on the loads?
I talk to hundreds of drivers a month. Most want to drive and love doing so - they just can’t afford to do so any longer and are leaving to seek other opportunities. So, what does the FMCSA and federal gov’t do? They allow foreign drivers into the nation to continue artificially depressing the rates. I’m seeing more and more Eastern European and Mexican drivers, almost as many as Americans these days. They are exacerbating the true root of the problem.
Just substitute the word “driver” with “doctor” and I think we can all see where Obamacare will lead
Do they teach how to haul incendiary devices into metropolitan areas???
Many of the big companies do train you for free. My cousin signed up with C.R.England and they sent him to South Carolina for a few weeks and then to Salt Lake City for a few more. They even paid for his CDL in Utah as well his food and a place to sleep. I think he said they have a barracks or bunkhouse type of sleeping arrangement. He had to sign a contract to work for them for a year I think.I loaned him a couple of hundred dollars while he was in school but he said he spent very little of it.
My son tried it last year. He was bringing in about $200/week working full time going cross country. Said people treated drivers like dog poop, and there was no way he would continue working as a truck driver.
Yup, but the drivers aren't interested in learning how to stop or finishing the school.
This is one of the toughest jobs out there today, especially for people who want to have a family life while they're working on the road. But I've traveled across this great land many times and I have never met a truck driver who didn't come across as a personification of the American spirit.
I've actually been presented with an opportunity to work with an FMCSA representative to do a third-party assessment of the new hours-of-service rules and their impacts on the industry. I'm mostly interested in the facility impacts in my profession (civil/highway engineering) -- e.g., the impacts of the two mandatory 1:00-5:00 AM rest periods within a 34-hour restart on overflowing highway rest areas during overnight hours.
In all my research, I've determined that the impact of staging and loading/unloading time on the hours-of-service is a serious problem for the industry. The FMCSA only allows a driver to be on duty for X hours at a time, which penalizes drivers who end up losing time at terminals and warehouses for no fault of their own. I know the industry has tried long and hard to get mandatory surcharges imposed under Federal law for delays at terminals like this, but to no avail.
Drop me a Freep-mail if you're interested in sharing any other insights in private. I'll see if I can send you a reference to an article I had written on various aspects of truck parking/rest issues related to land use and zoning a few years ago.
I’d like to hear what you consider some of these “ridiculous demands” from the insurance industry are?
These are the underwriting guidelines for drivers for the company I work for:
2 years experience
No major/serious CDL violations in the past 3 years
No more than 2 moving violations in 1 year and more than 4 in 3 years.
No preventable DOT recordable crashes in the past 3 years
Meets all FMCSA qualifications
We don’t tell our customers who they can hire and who they cannot hire, that decision is up to them.
However, I’m sure everyone at FreeRepublic is aware of the problem with trial attorneys in the country and how a trucking can be hounded and sued out of business in the event of even a moderately serious accident. And remember, it is the insurance company that funds the liability defense for the trucking company and involved-driver in the event of a lawsuit.
A driver with a poor driving record who is involved in a serious crash can be the death knell of a trucking company.
The only truth I see is that Obama and its government regulations are killing this industry as it is All industries that are left in the U.S.A.. Believe me if it sounds too good to be true it is and if it sounds good at all it's not in THIS economy. Just search Google etc. Believe me there are a lot of traps out there and scams. There is no opportunity in America anymore , mostly scams. Just trying to help any one that may be taken in by this article or some of the posts on here.
Here are some reviews that show this trucking company is a complete scam that will put you in severe debt:
Just to clarify one of your points, there are no FMCSA limits for “on-duty” time, there are only limits on driving time after certain driving and on-duty thresholds are reached (11 and 14 hours daily, 70 hours weekly).
The 34 hour restart rule revision, if it survives the court challenge, will significantly reduce a driver’s productivity (and pay), as the available weekly hours will shrink.
As far as the truck parking issue, it remains a big problem in the industry especially in California and the east coast areas.
Well I often hire drivers for seasonal work from around june until late october as concrete mixer operators.
I usually get fresh out of the school guys or school bus drivers looking to drive for the summer. Since my outfit is small and family owned we often hire green drivers and teach them all about being a mixer driver, but getting the CDL does require a truck for the driving test, and you need a medical card.
My son will be 19 next february and I am already teaching him all about air brakes, range selectors, shifting without the clutch and most importantly inspecting your truck for safety defects. and he will hopefully go straight for a CDL here in Alaska. We can never get enough mixer drivers, I can get truckers but they often fall short when it comes to the actual process of delivering concrete, its local but for here in rural Alaska we often have deliveries an hour or more away.
Maybe a small company with delivery trucks like fast freight, bread delivery or even local produce will train a person and supply the vehicle for the road test, I started as a mechanic for school busses and they supplied the bus for my road test and eventual CDL.
Part of the problem is insurance companies.
They want drivers with 3-5 years of squeaky clean driving records.
When you drive professionally, and drive more miles in 1 year than most people drive in a life time.. your bound to catch a ticket once in 3-5 years.
There is a national database kept of all your interactions with the law, weigh stations and the outcome of all inspections.
Some companies are checking credit reports and passing on people they think are a risk (like the out of work guy who went through truck driving school while passing on some bill payments)
basically, few existing drivers can continue to pass the anal probe.
well.. how does one get 2 years of experience before your insurance company will cover them?
the rest of the requirements seem rather lax from the ones I have seen in the past.
I was a truck driver for three years in the mid 90s. Local, not long haul. Regulations and constant inspection stops got so bad, I felt like I worked for the government without the benefits.
Most of the large fleets in the US have a driver training program; either in-house where the student can go to their school and get a CDL, or they will hire from the many private truck driving schools in the country. The new student-driver will be with a company trainer for a few weeks and if all goes well, will be assigned their own truck. Or is some cases, be required to do a lease-purchase program with the company.
Many companies that do this type of training will reimburse the student-driver the full cost of the truck-driving school tuition, but the new driver must stay with the company for at least a year to be reimbursed.
A new driver that goes this route and keeps their driving/ safety record clean with the original company can basically go anywhere they want after a couple of years, the driver shortage being what it is.
but schools and the medie will keep up the hype that to be ANYONE important, you got to go get a phoney baloney degree and pay some university thousands of dollars so they can pay their teachers $100000 or more....
There is no insurance company I’m aware of that requires 3 to 5 years of driving experience. And I’ve seen most of the industry’s underwriting guidelines for drivers.
There are quite a few trucking companies that have more stringent requirements for new-hires that their insurance companies. Those that haul hazmat or high-value cargo,for example.
For those that would criticize the insurance industry, remember we are the ones who pay the claims on the accidents that the drivers are involved in. If you look at the property/casualty industry loss ratio for the past 10 years you’ll see that the overall combined loss ratio is well above 100. And the operating ratio for the past 5 years also is above 100.
Having read the other two replies to your comment, it sounds like you are the one who hasn’t gone out of his way to find opportunities. Sorry you’ve had a rough time, but maybe it’s your attitude? Just a thought.
Try going to a nearby truck stop and picking up some of the driver recruiting magazines. They all have dozens of ads for companies who are hiring, either experienced or student drivers. Also, check to see if their are any local truck driving schools in your area. The education you get from the school is usually better than going to a trucking company’s school.
The real reason there is a driver shortage is that a lot of people try it, find out they don’t like it and quit after a few months. It’s a tough job and a difficult lifestyle to adjust to but can be pretty rewarding for those that stick with it. After the first year or 2 it gets easier.
Thanks for the information. I’m single with no dependents, so family life really isn’t dragging on me as I know this job causes great strain with alot of married families.
One thing I know I want to steer clear of is leases. Some trucking companiess apparently try to pressure recruits to get tied up in a lease, which is functionally forcing someone to run there own business, and I suspect alot of these folks have no clue. I would think the failure rate for this process would be so great, companies would abandon the practise.
Nevertheless, if I become a driver, I want to be a company driver only.
OK — thanks for correcting that.
Here’s an example of how one large fleet runs their program:
OK, one last post in case anyone who cares might stumble upon this thread.
Due to the chronic driver shortage and also the related aging demographics of the drivers already in the trucking industry the insurance company underwriting guidelines have eased in recent years. ( I might also add, as I posted earlier, that the industry’s loss ratios have been worsening as this has been happening).
If a trucking company still is struggling with their insurer’s rules/guidelines on driver hiring, they should consider getting an agent who will market their company to other insurers. An insurance policy is usually a 1 year contract between the trucking company and the insurance company, and trucking companies have the option to cancel mid-term if they choose.
There is no insurance company who will tell a trucking company who they can hire and who they cannot hire. If they did this they would be subjecting themselves to certain liabilities they do not want. The insurance company’s options, if a customer is hiring drivers outside the guidelines, are to increase rates, to exclude the driver from coverage (if the policy or state law allows them to do so), or to choose to non-renew the policy at the end of the term.
Hey you are guessing way too much... I am retired and will be conducting a type of working retirement in Thailand teaching English as a Foreign Language and operating a small business.. Not a lot of bucks - but I can live well in Thailand.
Also - beyond the trucking industry, I find American Business and Industry to be just blowing smoke about not finding qualified employees - mainly as an excuse to import foreigners - H-1B programs, etc. On Fox Business News I hear carping of this nature all the time ... And NOT ONCE have I seen a feature about a corporation having a training program hiring Americans to fill jobs in the Engineering and Computer Tech Fields or another significan job field. The reply post about the trucking company that did just this is admirable... BUT it is the extreme exception. In reviewing job ads on Monster.com, Careerbuilder.com I have seen NO ADS offering company paid training aside from introductory job orientation. It is a total LIE that American Corporations cannot find qualified and savvy people that have the potential to be trained to hold a job in a very high level. American corporations however are willing to hire foreigners under various immigration programs - Because they can pay them 60% of the competiting wage that Americans want and deserve. Soon - next year I suspect there will be a wholesale import of Mexicans and Central Americans to take trucking jobs - at lower wages.
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