Covid-19 mandates ended up causing quite a stir because Canadian truckers shut down North America’s land border in order to protest having to get vaccine shots in order to do their jobs. And plenty of truck drivers in the United States have been equally frustrated with the government telling them what they should do– or must do. Besides Covid-19 pandemic issues, though, truckers are frustrated about other things like not enough pay as well as long hours and weeks away from being home with their friends and families.
The Frustration of Drivers
Is it hard for companies to retain drivers? Yes. Many drivers give trucking a try and then discover the costs outweigh the benefits so they maybe switch around to different companies to see if they can get a better deal, or leave the industry altogether. Turnover rates in trucking are staggeringly high, and that’s not a good thing.
Though the median pay for U.S. truck drivers is higher than many other occupations, it’s still not enough to convince drivers to “stay.” Do they really want to be away from home for several days, sleeping in a cab? Not always. Meanwhile, long-haul truckers are typically paid per-mile rather than per hour, and they can’t get overtime pay thanks to the Fair Labor Standards Act. So, if they’re waiting around somewhere, rather than driving, they’re not making money. There’s also the issue of trucking being a dangerous job that could result in injuries or death.
If the average person wants to train to become a long-haul trucker, they need to take training classes and if they’re paying for that on their own, they could easily go into debt. Some companies will pay for their training, but then expect to be paid back, even if the trucker leaves the job.
Is the U.S. government doing anything about these issues? They are trying to encourage private companies to offer registered apprenticeship programs that promise a debt-free deal, so that’s good. And $30 million is being spent to help states work faster at issuing CDLs (commercial driver’s licenses). There’s also the federal Truck Leasing Task Force which looks into predatory truck leasing arrangements, along with the idea of a Women of Trucking Advisory Board to figure out how to get more women involved in the industry. So at least some strides are being made.
Of course, regardless of whether you’re a truck driver looking for a job a company looking to hire a truck driver you know you can trust, learn how Platinum Drivers can help.