Relationship Manager at HNI
There's a huge problem in trucking.
People have no idea how tough it is out there for drivers.
And if more of us truly acknowledged the huge (and often heart-breaking) challenges of life on the road, we'd be much better positioned to filling our open seats.
Where's the Respect for Drivers?
Too often, truck drivers are treated as second-class citizens for a job that takes over your life. Drivers and their trucks frequently are unwelcome at roadside businesses. Can you image reading a sign on the bathroom door that reads "Attention [your profession]: No facilities." How would that make you feel about your job, especially when you sacrifice so much of your personal time with family and friends to keep shipments arriving on time?
Poor treatment of drivers is, without a doubt, contributing to troubles in driver hiring. The industry needs 96,000 truck drivers this year to keep up with demand, and the shortage could rise to 240,000 in less than a decade. Recruiting and retaining skilled drivers is a tall order when the job is demanding and they don't get respect.
Slow Driver Hiring Slows Down the Economy
Most people don't understand how important trucking is to the economy. The cargo that trucks bring ensures you have what you need in your everyday life and in emergencies. From Christmas presents to medical equipment, fresh produce to furniture, if you touch it at home or at work, a truck driver probably had a role in bringing it to you.
Motor carriers that succeed in driver hiring and are beating the driver shortage are able to communicate the important role drivers play. Their drivers know the gig is about more than a steering wheel, diesel, and 18 wheels. Trucking is about bringing the good stuff people need. The trucking industry needs to step up its game in changing the current truck driver brand. The industry has lots of work to do when it comes to influencing employees, shippers, and the public.
Taking Steps Toward Dignity for Drivers
The solution to this problem is succinctly stated at the end of the video, which was created by JB Hunt. (Don't worry, I won't spoil it for you!) Respecting the dignity of trucking will make life better for drivers. And because drivers play such an important role in our modern existence, it could make life better for all of us, too.
Check out your video and tell us what you think in comments. If you work in trucking, does this "day in the life" ring true for you?