George & Wendy Show

Wendy Parker

Thin the herd without churning the masses

| December 18, 2017

Y’all ain’t gonna believe this, but there’s a driver shortage. Is too. I read it on the interwebs. It’s got to be true if the ATA and the TA (no, the other one, not the truck stop), or any other poser who chooses to use the word “trucking” in their official Mickey Mouse Club title, says so. It has to be true if they keep saying it, right?

I mean, a 95 percent churn through licensed individuals who have completed requirements necessary to be hired, shown up for the job, and for whatever reason, left the exact same job in less than a year (most probably in fewer than six months), totally indicates there aren’t enough people to fill the jobs, right?

Right?

“Moooove over! Crusty Lane Trucking is offering free internet if I drive for them — get out of my way!”

No. That is not right. And you can’t do math to make it right, because it does not exist, not even at Virginia Tech.

There are finally a few brilliant folks out in “mainstream news” land who have begun peeling away skin on the “obvious onion” in trucking and started mentioning the fact that being paid has a lot to do with wanting to stick with a job. It’s kind of the whole premise here. You work to get paid, and the work you do reflects the pay you receive, and vice-versa. If you want professional-level work, you pay professional-level wages — you want professional wages, you do professional-level work.

Pretty simple, right?

Right?

Apparently not. Mainstream news might have recently gotten the memo, but a large number of the churn factories missed it, or more likely ignore it. Instead of “getting it,” and offering pay that fully compensates the driver, they offer “perks,” because for some weird reason none of these people understand you can’t buy groceries with “perks.”

You’ve seen the ads.

“At Slim Fred Trucking, we offer our drivers a personalized monthly star chart, so they can enjoy the constellations while night-driving. No other company cares like we do.”

“Mastodon Meats proudly feeds their fleet. Our drivers are provided free access to anything they can grab through the plastic flaps, and we’ll even allow a microwave on the truck so they can cook it. Family is our motto!”

“Sign on with Crusty Lane Trucking and your bonus is knowing that our owner, B. Spear, is a proud supporter of trucking and truckers, and gives his personal assurance of commitment to the drivers by providing free internet access for their ELDs and a free yearly subscription to the company magazine. No one knows what truckers need more than us, even truckers. Come be a part of our family.”

I don’t know about you, but I find the “family” thing a bit creepy. I have family I’d never even consider working for, and I’m sure there is more than one member of our family who feels the same way about me. How about being treated like a valued employee instead, one who needs to be paid fairly more than they need a subscription to live streaming television? How about taking all this business about a driver shortage and pounding sand with it?

Pretty simple, right?

Right?

It is. It really is that simple. Stop screaming shortage. Stop churning. Start paying. You won’t need perks to attract the caliber of driver you need, they’ll be able to afford their own perks, and you will thin the herd without churning the masses. Pretty simple.

The driver shortage alarm

The disconnect between the money and the mantra: As trucking has trumpeted a driver shortage over most of the last 10 years driver pay hasn’t ...

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