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Panel blames driver image for problems fleets have hiring

| December 09, 2013

As reported by Overdrive in October, fleets rank the oft-dubbed driver shortage directly after hours of service regulations and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability program as issues they say are the most concerning for them and, partly, the industry. 


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What do they see as the main obstacle in finding and hiring drivers? 

According to some fleet representatives and other panel members at a session held on the subject at Overdrive sister site CCJ‘s Fall Symposium last week in Scottsdale, Ariz., driver image could be the biggest issue in attracting new drivers to the field. 

The panel kicked around driver deficit numbers, too, saying the industry on the whole would need to hire 239,000 drivers each year for the next 10 years to keep up with freight demand and to replace the more than 1/3 of drivers (37 percent) on the road today that will retire in the next decade. 


Panel: Paying drivers by hour would be ‘suicide,’ driver pay raise looming

Fleets should be reluctant to abandon paying drivers by the mile, according to a panel of fleet managers, but driver pay is looming.

The panel members agreed the public image of drivers is the biggest obstacle fleets face in pulling new drivers into the field. 

However, Prime Inc.’s John Hancock, director of training and recruiting for the fleet, did say his fleet focuses on maximizing driver and owner-operator income to help the fleet’s drivers view trucking as a good career choice. “People want a good job,” he said, adding good income and opportunity for growth goes along way in fulfilling those needs for many people. 

Click here to see the full coverage of the panel discussion on CCJ.

  • WING

    Right on! Cronyism at it’s best/worst. ATA wants EOBR’S, then speaks with a forked tongue….CMCA gives two year back to back safety awards to company whose safety manager is also CMCA’s secretary/treasurer.And the company is good friends withe the Colorado State Patrol.

    Have the DVIR’s and pix to prove otherwise

  • WING

    The president of Prime spoke very much the same words to his cronies at an industry convention, stood at the podium and said the CSA and such would be to large TC carriers advantage, that this would remove the small carrier competition………(Landline and Truckers Report a couple of years ago….

    It doesn’t make a difference that you are dirty or clean to the client/customer…. they only want their goods on their terms….and want you, as the wheel turner……to go away, and many drivers will do just that, as the job is depressing in nature to them, and they either didn’t have the self discipline or training discipline , or started out with same…..and just gave up when they finally discovered they were only on a cattle call.

  • Zumba900

    No More Free labor/time.
    We live by the clock, pay us by the clock.
    Skilled labor isn’t cheap, and,
    Cheap labor isn’t skilled!

  • Daniel Fulgham

    I totally agree with you that it is a degree of pride that the individual takes in their appearance….of themselves and their ride….doesn’t matter what you are driving or what you get paid….it’s internal….and the external benefits you but will not motivate you to be anything other than what you inherently are

  • g

    Exactly what is Happening..Kevin nailed it!!!

  • Big Jim

    The simple truth is the few trucking companys treating people right and paying a good wages have drivers lined up for miles to work for them.

  • BigEasy1

    I can’t understand why a guy doesn’t want to work 70-80 hours a week and be away from home for 10-20 days at a time for $40,000 (sarcasm).

  • guest

    Its easier for them to hire dopey “slaves” and wait to get cheap mexicans as soon as they Ram thru immigration reform they will have 11 million dopes to choose from for LOWER wages…they have no Intention of Improving conditions for drivers…they are going to REPLACE current drivers with mexicans and for TODAY they will keep hiring marginal chumps.

  • guest

    This has been going on for 40 years…North American Van Lines had a program and Nobody ever actually Paid Off the truck….many many similar Gimmick programs to Fleece the unsuspecting newbie….all a RIP OFF and it continues in all aspects for Truckers today…all a SCAM.

  • WING

    The panel is simply saying that the industry , as a whole, has not made the driving profession , not molded as such, a worthy
    place to work, where you , as a driver, are respected, expected to have ethical and respectable ,projected image. You know, self respect, morals, ethics in action.

    The Homeless Trucker look is almost required, as a driver living in a space ,smaller than a jail cell, with too many hours on the road….is the industry norm.
    Who instituted that…. the majority of drivers are company drivers…..yet have zero power to speak up and change their image…
    Lease trucks to newbies, that are already paid for and junk, bad food, bad logging, bad health, just a wheel turner.

    The industry,as a whole, must change it’s image.. or you get what you get now….
    What the industry puts in … what comes out…. A fertilizer processor picks it up from the farm, processes it, bags it and sells it for what it is….fertilizer with fancy packaging that costs more than the product.

    It is insanity to expect something different…when we do the same things over and over again….and expect different results!

  • WING

    Do you know of any company that pays by cents per mile….that pays the driver an incentive ,lets say 15.00, to do a thorough pre/post trip? That’s not driving time… it’s free time!

    There is no incentive to pride in the ride.
    The company is not paying you for your time. Mileage pay is production pay. You are only being paid to be…Drum Roll here……Safe. The industry
    watch word…. dropped like a celebrity’s name.
    Safety is a four letter word in many companies, as
    it doesn’t involve common sense.

    Does the driver come with common sense? Did his culture/parents insist on using common sense, speaking up when you should, taking a stand when injustice abounds. Self discipline? Pride in the ride…lifestyle…insisting on changing things for the betterment of Drivers?

    No, the industry leaders are at the head of the pack…of LEMMINGS….
    And there is some scientist out ther who will dipute the reason and or myth that Lemmings will follow their leaders over a cliff…

    If you purposely dig an endless rut in the driver’s road….it is just an elongated grave wainting to be filled with the new bodies of untrained, undisciplined drivers, and many potential ,good drivers will not go near the ditch… as the stench from the throw away bodies is so great…both from
    entrenched leaders who have long past risen to their level of incompetence, and the smell of greed, indifference, cronyism and the like, make
    any potential recruit run up wind and away from this industry.

    The smell is so great, no even the ditch diggers…
    you know ….DRIVERS….can pick up the shovel to cover up the mess.


  • WING

    The industry doesn’t have a clue that it is always on probation….the newbies are on probation, say 90 days….What does the company project within those ninety days?
    That its a hole to work in?! A hole become a dich which is just an endless grave.

  • WING

    Self Dicipline, Self Respect.. You are the Captain of your ship….don’t think so….Remember the Titantic..
    Who got the blame for that?

    If we don’t self regulate…some one will come along..
    read here…EOBR’s ,Sleep apnea tests, …these won’t improve your CSA score…when the company only takes a hit for two years and the driver takes three.

    Won’t need to worry about the dress code…when tattle tale cameras are everywhere. And they are evolving… technology is available to allow the truck to the point a driver will not be needed.
    Then the 1% ters will be fullfilled.
    This Christmas, may you one percenters have all you need.. May your spark plugs spark and your light bulbs light… a quote.

    We will not exist….we are being shown the light..
    It will just be LIttle Robots ALL!

  • WING

    just like the computers and data they rely on so heavily to tell if you are ‘qualified’ to be a driver.
    if you put fertilizer in the machine…what comes out the other end?

    So the many ‘managers’ who have never driven a truck, don’t care to, and don’t care to do any thing but manage, rose to their level of incompetence, sit at their desks and never get a ticket, for that incompetence, know one thing that the farmer with the fertilizer machine does…that the fruit is ripe for the picking!

  • WING

    No need for Hollywood…make every driver watch a movie called ‘They Drive By Night’.
    Covers all the bases of trucking. The Wife of Ambition is insane with greed and power hungry, wanting for everything, and spending all the money she can, even hitting on the help….who in his own ambition…makes a deal with this devil….and the husband reflects the general manager/dispatcher who glibly rolls with the flow, oblivious to the obvious. Even has the Evil Broker!
    Stars George Rath, Ann Sheridan. Humphrey Bogart.
    Laugh my @## off when Bogart gives the Broker his due!
    The equipment we have now is better…but the human condition is the same!

    We who forget the lessons of history…are repeating them!

  • Wing

    It , by federal law, should be required viewing, by every prospective driver, at trucking schools, at hire-ring and by every company executive.

  • Steve Paris

    I’m not even sure what your point/ counter point is here.
    I read through some of your other post on this subject though. I’m trying to figure out how a movie from the 1940’s could possibly have any barring on the state of the industry as it is today. I’m sure it is an entertaining movie but just like “Smokey & The Bandit” has very little bases in real life.
    Not even the “Reality” shows are based on real life. Producers & writers manifest situations to create drama.

  • CurlyHKY

    I’ve been driving 6 yrs. now. Unfortunately I believe my days are numbered in this industry. Too much nonsense to put up with for the pay that’s earned. Made the mistake of comparing my salary to any decent local warehouse job that will offer time and a half after 40hrs.

  • Harry S Munster

    im gonna look this one up..i havent seen it..but ill make a point of it.thanks for the tip strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.