I was in the car sales industry for a few years. And we used to joke that the hiring process basically amounted to a pulse-check…. “Let me see…yep, good pulse, you’re hired.” And unfortunately that seems to be the direction many big trucking companies are going.
The industry is becoming such a dog-eat-dog environment and the profit margins are getting so small that companies are looking to save every penny they can. And it’s easy-pickings for a company to pay a rookie trucker $40k/year where an experienced guy might command $70-80k or more. These large companies know that the way buy and sell loads their drivers become almost anonymous so high-salaried drivers are looked at as a liability rather than an asset. And the problem is, inexperienced drivers are not as safe as experienced ones.
I have been promoting our industry for a while because, as a whole, the drivers are fantastic. They are safe, courteous, professional…despite the reputation which is exactly the opposite. Unfortunately, if companies keep pushing the experienced drivers out and bring in cheaper, less expensive drivers, the industry will devolve into something that deserves the reputation it already has.
Jeff Crissey has an article up at CCJDigital.com profiling the trucking/bussing industries and their accident/fatality statistical rates. It’s hard not to conclude that while the data is mostly static, we need to get better not stand still. And the answer isn’t cheaper, less experienced drivers.
Thanks for reading.