It is not uncommon to see ads recruiting truck drivers at diesel pumps. These ads are placed to entice truckers with better pay,work hours , benefits etc but a new trend is being noticed – Extremely high sign on bonuses offered by trucking firms. Which begs a simple question, why?
Posted on semi trailers as well, ads boasting bonuses upto 8000$ for experienced truck drivers but thats not all
- Crete Carrier of Lincoln., Neb., boasts 7% more mileage than the industry norm. Shaffer, an arm of Crete, advertises permissible 65-mile-per-hour cruise speeds
- Covenant Transport of Chattanooga offers drivers a run home every other week and guarantees $100-per-day late pay.
- Summit Trucking of Clarksville, Ind., pledges drivers can get home every other day.
These aggressive offers are further pushed online on job portals and directories as well. Ensuring that truckers everywhere are aware of the offers available
Truck Driver Shortage
American Trucking Association(ATA) predicts there will be a shortage of truck drivers as many drivers are in their late 50s and 60s. As they retire the shortage could exceed 174,000 drivers in seven years if the recruiting efforts fall short.
At the same time, ATA predicts an estimated 2.3% growth rate with regards to freight volumes in 2017 was seen and upto a 3.4% annual growth rate till 2023 is expected.
Learn more about the future of the trucking industry here
Nearly 400,000 people nationwide obtain commercial driver licenses every year. But the nomadic life, erratic sleep and eating schedules and low pay have been fueling early retirement and low recruitment for truck drivers.
Are lucrative offers the solution?
As enticing are the new offers are, money is not the only concern for truck drivers. A truck drivers lifestyle is not an easy one.
“Unless steps are taken to make it easier for individuals to pursue careers in trucking, demand for drivers will continue to outstrip supply – eventually even leading to supply chain disruptions,” Bob Costello, Chief economist of ATA
“A lot of people don’t know that if a company has to bribe you to work for them something’s wrong,” said Annette Sammis, 55, of Oak Ridge, Tenn., a driver for Fraley and Schilling truck line of Rushville, Ind.
The mandatory use of Electronic Log Devices (ELD’s) since Dec. 18 has also been causing concern for truck drivers. Drivers fear that with constant monitoring of operating time, ELD’s will force them to curb actual driving time to the legal limit of 11 hours per day.
Trucking executives predict more than 10% of owner-operators will leave business once ELD’s begin to restrict income
It seems to be a mix of low recruitment, low lifestyle improvements, and high truck driver demand that has put the trucking & transportation industry in an awkward position. Wherever the improvement stems from, it needs to come now and fast for the sake of the economy on a whole.