Panel blames driver image for problems fleets have hiring

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. 

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. 

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.