Truck drivers are in great demand these days. Trucking companies are desperate to bring young workers into the trucking industry. However, they are not attracting a sufficient number of these workers.
Trucking industry needs to act now on driver shortage, says MTA president Blagden.
WINNIPEG, Man. — The province’s trucking industry is heading towards a “crisis in the very near future” as a result of the shortage of new people entering the industry, according to Norman Blagden, president of the Manitoba Trucking Association.
The Manitoba trucking industry is expected to be short about 1,000 drivers within seven years, Blagden stated in his president’s report, presented at the MTA’s Annual General Meeting.
Blagden said a number of factors, most notably lifestyle issues, is keeping young people from entering the industry as drivers. Some of these factors include the inability to predict pay from one week to the next and the guesswork involved in determining home time.
“Until changes are made, we will not be able to attract new drivers in the numbers we need,” Blagden said. “We cannot take the approach of waiting to figure it out when the time comes…We need to see the big picture and act now.” Read more here
Both the United States and Canada are experiencing a severe shortage of qualified truck drivers. Truck drivers especially those that have families make many sacrifices to drive trucks over the road. Among the many circumstances contributing to the problem are the long hours and the irregular hours truck drivers are expected to work. Even though drivers are short on sleep, they are expected to be alert and able to handle trucks safely. So drivers continue to work even though they may be exhausted. In addition to this, many dispatchers expect drivers to continue to drive even if they don’t have any legal driving hours available.
Another major problem is that drivers are not compensated sufficiently for the work they do and the schedules they are expected to keep. Increasing salaries and benefits could certainly go a long way towards getting more drivers into the industry. Particular attention should go towards young drivers because if they enjoy their careers, they will be able to work for many years.