Trucking is a long way from dying, despite what you might hear or read.
In the June 2021 report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the total number of jobs in truck transportation rose by approximately 6,400.
With the pandemic in the rear-view, the priorities of the future workforce are changing. With the BLS also stating growth is projected to continue through 2029, companies, fleet managers, and drivers alike need a return on their investment.
Based on years of data, it's very unlikely a driver will stay with the same company his or her entire career, and there are key factors at the top of most driver's minds.
Truck drivers need security and streamlined job. Larger companies are able to offer more robust retirement packages and health insurance, but that alone isn't a deal breaker for most truckers. Drivers need an easy button. They need time-saving and simplified ways to get the job done and, in-turn, companies benefit, too.
Drivers want to feel like what they do right matters. Driving safely, being ready for a roadside inspection, keeping track of fuel, doing a daily vehicle inspection, truck maintenance, and knowing what weight they are carrying is just the beginning of everything truckers have to keep up with.
Having the data in one place, by using cloud-based software, makes recognizing those who work hard easy to spot. It also makes it simple to see which drivers might need more support because they are under in miles or their delivery times are off.
Drivers want to feel understood. Many truck drivers rely on social media to stay connected, but companies and fleet managers can also call to talk to the men and women that work for them. Valuing each driver brings value to the company. It can't be said enough, the pandemic took its toll on most drivers and a quick call to see how your driver is doing can make the miles go smoother.
Improving a driver's health benefits everyone. Quick, easy bites from a fast food place, constant sitting, and serious amounts of travel time put drivers in a catch-22 when the demands of the industry (and making money) take priority.
Truck drivers are expected to think fast, haul tens of thousands of pounds with ease, and pass physical exams. "In the interest of public safety, CMV drivers are held to higher physical, mental and emotional standards than passenger car drivers," according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website.
Companies and fleet managers can make sure their drivers are taking the appropriate time off to put their health first. Then, truck drivers won't have to take voluntary time off later down the road to address a problem.
The driver's mind matters. Driving a truck can often give a person higher pay without a college education. Companies and fleet mangers can take the skill sets truck drivers already help them integrate it with new certifications and specializations. Older truck drivers have industry knowledge and know-how they can pass down to newer drivers via training and coaching. Brain power boots confidence.