OOIDA urges Dept. of Commerce to address turnover, retention rather than 'driver shortage'

Updated Aug 28, 2021

Trucking news and briefs for Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2021:

OOIDA calls on Dept. of Commerce to address driver retention, turnover

Following a recent recommendation from the International Trade Administration calling on the U.S. Department of Commerce to address a perceived truck driver shortage, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association responded by rejecting the notion of a driver shortage and pointing to retention and driver turnover as the problem.

ITA’s Advisory Committee on Supply Chain Competitiveness recently recommended that the Department of Commerce “take a leadership role to coordinate federal agencies to immediately address the driver shortage that threatens the effectiveness of the nation’s critical supply chains.”

OOIDA, in a letter to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, pointed to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration estimates that more than 400,000 new CDLs are issued annually and emphasized that larger trucking companies routinely report turnover rates above 90%.

[Related: FMCSA driver advisory panel's first subject: Not any 'driver shortage', but the retention of experience, safety]

The group, representing more than 150,000 owner-operators and truck drivers, outlined several areas that regulators and lawmakers could address that would positively impact driver retention. These include increasing truck parking capacity, providing fair levels and methods of compensation, repealing the exemption that denies truckers guaranteed overtime pay, improving  driver training programs, and eliminating excessive detention time.

OOIDA also noted that FMCSA’s Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee and its new Driver Advisory Subcommittee are working on formal recommendations related to the recruitment and retention of drivers. In the latest driver subcommittee meeting at the end of July, drivers in the group also talked about repealing to overtime exemption for truck drivers and more.

[Related: Overtime exemption removal no panacea for retention in trucking -- voices on basic trucking conditions for drivers]

In tough time for equipment acquisition, specialty lender hits performance milestone

Commercial Fleet Financing reported record funding levels for its clients during the second quarter of this year. That comes in spite of difficulties in both new and used markets for trucks that have slowed the pace of acquisitions and drove up demand and prices in the used market.

For the quarter, CFF funded $50,142,934 worth in equipment, an increase of more than 52% compared to Q2 2020. 

"After 26 years in business, and despite the vehicle chip shortage, CFF continues to scale to new levels," said Matt Manero, founder and president of the group. “We talk to our clients daily, and we know the economic factors that impact their businesses."

Supply chain disruptions, particularly related to the chip shortage in automotive manufacturing are making equipment "hard to find, and our clients are constantly on the hunt,” he added. 

[Related: Used truck market 'through the roof']

Pork rind brand Southern Recipe supporting St. Christopher Fund through TikTok campaign

Southern Recipe will shine a light on trucking and support the St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund with a $5,000 donation and a TikTok-centric campaign for truck drivers as part of the brand’s annual Truck Driver Appreciation campaign.

Through Sept. 18, consumers are invited to help raised funding and awareness for SCF through the campaign that gives them a chance to win cash prizes and pork rinds by lip-syncing along with selected truck drivers. Weekly voting will also be held for people to vote for their favorite TikTok driver video.

To kick off this innovative awareness effort, six SCF-related truck drivers were selected for their lip-syncing abilities. They were also asked to support SCF’s mission and awareness efforts with Americans nationwide through each lip sync video.

Meanwhile, consumers are invited to do the same and submit their entries to Southern Recipe via the social media platform of their choice. As people vote weekly for their favorite drivers’ videos, consumers will be incentivized to participate and spread awareness with the chance to win $1,000 and six months of free pork rinds. The TikTok drivers will also receive pork rinds plus a matching cash prize automatically for their talents and efforts.

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