Overdrive Staff | August 01, 2010

Volvo Group strongly defended the effectiveness of SCR and warned against revamping the regulations with the roll-out of EPA 2010-compliant engines already well under way.

Navistar commissioned the Transportation Research Center Inc. to conduct its tests. TRC performed independent Technology & Maintenance Council Type 4 testing of three EPA 2010-compliant trucks.

— Staff reports

Driver shortage could worsen

As the economy recovers and truck freight increases, a driver shortage is emerging, but several factors are working against meeting that demand, speakers said at a recent online seminar on The Emerging Driver Shortage.

Forecasting below-average economic growth of 5 to 6 percent over the next three to four quarters, Noel Perry, a senior consultant at research firm FTR Associates, said, “We don’t have to have a wild recovery to get a driver shortage.”

Perry and Tom Kretsinger Jr., president and chief operating officer of American Central Transport, gave their views at the webinar presented by Overdrive and Truckers News.

Perry said that even though the driver shortage could average 200,000 drivers annually over the next couple of years, carriers are unwilling to gamble on ramping up hiring significantly “until they a strong, consistent, long record of earnings.” He said many carriers laid off recruiters, trainers and dispatchers and aren’t about to rehire them right away.

Economic conditions have created a driver shortage that will match the shortfall in 2004, Perry said. Experienced drivers are in short supply because many dropped out of the business or retired during the recession.

Kretsinger said owner-operators are facing difficult times on many fronts, including running aging equipment, high maintenance costs, expensive new trucks, stagnant pay rates and government attacks on the independent contractor status. The federal government “has already increased the budget of the IRS to start auditing and challenging people, and that’s a frightening thing on the owner-operator side,” he said.

Kretsinger said the recession resulted in driver surpluses, reduced driver pay and the weeding out of the worst drivers. He said current or proposed regulations such as Comprehensive Safety Analysis 2010, tougher restrictions involving sleep apnea and other health problems, electronic onboard recorders and new hours of service regulations will make it tougher to rebuild driver ranks.

— Max Kvidera

Download a free copy of this presentation from our archives: TruckerWebinars.com

Agency eyes in-truck distractions

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