There’s no denying that the country depends on the network of trucks we have on our roads to transport goods each day. Without these dedicated truckers delivering cargo to various warehouses and fulfillment centers, we as consumers wouldn’t be able to buy anything! Sure, there are other ways to transport goods such as via airplane or even on freight trains. But, these days, trucks are the dominant method of cargo transportation.
As an ordinary road user in your car, you might not think much about trucks or the people that drive them. The thing is, the trucking industry is likely to be reaching a crisis point right now. And, as you know, an industry crisis can often spill over into other sectors and ultimately affect consumers.
So, just what is wrong with the trucking industry these days? And is there anything we can do to fix it?
More pressure on drivers to take fewer breaks
At both a state and federal level, there are laws designed to protect the fundamental rights of truck drivers on the road. Some of them pertain to the number of hours they can spend on the road each day.
The sad truth is that many delivery companies put a lot of pressure on truckers to complete tight schedules without any delays. Often, that means not spending as much time taking breaks from the road as they should.
As you can appreciate, the longer you spend on the road, the more fatigued you will feel. Plus, there’s an increased likelihood of accidents occurring.
In fact, the statistics of truck accidents in the USA make for interesting reading; here’s a great article about it. Because truckers are under increasing pressure to do more in less time, they often have to change jobs and work for new companies that don’t pile on so much work to their drivers.
There aren’t enough truck drivers
One of the reasons for the increased pressure is down to availability. In some parts of the country, there is a severe shortage of qualified and experienced truck drivers. The American Trucking Associations even claim that, on a national level, there are 30% fewer truckers on the road than in 2014! As a result, work schedules aren’t so fairly distributed among staff members at delivery companies.
The industry does recognize that it needs to do more to entice new, younger drivers to follow in the footsteps of the seasoned veterans. However, very little appears to be getting done about it at the time of writing.
Companies aren’t treating their drivers well enough
We mentioned a moment ago how truckers often change jobs many times in their career. As you know, part of the reason is due to the workload and schedules given to each driver. But, another one is down to how employers are treating their staff.
The sad truth about many trucking companies is they don’t treat their drivers like employees. In fact, they treat them more like robots! And what adds salt to the wound is that truckers aren’t even properly compensated for their troubles!
A quick look at the available trucking jobs online will show that the salaries drivers get paid just aren’t as high enough as they should be, given their duties and responsibilities.
Until these issues get sorted out, the trucking industry crisis will only escalate and negatively affect businesses and consumers alike.