How many CDL jobs in Indiana remain vacant week after week? How about Utah, or Ohio, Texas or Colorado? There are CDL jobs open across the country because of the profound driver shortage the trucking industry is now in the midst of. We are tens of thousands of drivers short in an industry that continues to grow and expand with the economy. Indeed, the shortage is so profound that some smaller and less profitable trucking companies will inevitably go out of business if they cannot find enough suitable drivers to compete.
Two parts of the driver shortage need to be addressed. The first is pretty simple. It is a matter of promoting trucking as a legitimate career choice with good pay and opportunity, rather than implying that truck driving is somehow less-than-honorable. The truth is that not every high school graduate needs to go to college. It is time that teachers, guidance counselors, career counselors, business leaders and politicians promote trucking as an important part of the U.S. economy.
The second component of the driver shortage is one the industry does not want to talk about. Yes, there is a legitimate shortage of qualified drivers with CDL licenses. However, there is also a shortage of drivers who have CDL licenses and are willing to put up with being mistreated in order to work. As one of America’s oldest and most successful trucking companies, C.R. England has learned that the best way to deal with a driver shortage is to treat drivers right.
We did some research to find out what things the industry could do to attract and retain the best drivers in the business. We have heard what drivers have to say, and the results are below.
The Driver’s Role
Many long-haul truckers find themselves frustrated by both dispatchers and receivers because they are blamed for things that are out of their control. Truth be told, the driver’s role is to get freight from point A to point B in a timely fashion and with no damage. Drivers have no control over the weather. They have no control over traffic conditions. They certainly have no control over shippers or receivers incapable of keeping their own time and scheduling commitments.
Trucking companies would do well to step back and evaluate what the role of the driver is in relation to the overall business plan. Responsibilities should then be designated to every member of the company’s team as roles dictate. Drivers cannot be responsible for everything, nor should they be.
Another big complaint among company drivers has to do with equipment. Running aged equipment that frequently breaks down makes it difficult for drivers to get in their miles to earn their paychecks. Furthermore, it is not fair to them. They are paid by the mile; to lose time because equipment owners do not maintain their fleets is not right. This is something C.R. England takes very seriously. Our drivers operate late-model equipment maintained to meticulously high standards.
Honesty and Integrity
Some trucking companies are looking for honesty and integrity in their drivers during the hiring process, only to turn around and push those same drivers to drive overweight or over time. This is not good. Trucking companies need to practice the utmost honesty and integrity.
At C.R. England, we do not claim to do everything right all the time. Nevertheless, we to do our best to treat our drivers the way they deserve to be treated. If you are interested in driving for one of the country’s most respected companies, contact us.