Blue Collar Blog

May 2, 2019

Fewer folks to put hand-to-wheel…     

Wages are up; Perks are up; Quality of Life is up; Work-Life-Family Balance is up…but the number of Drivers is down… What in the world is wrong in the trucking industry?

There is more credit and satisfaction in being a first-rate truck driver than a tenth-rate executive — B. C. Forbes

     So where are all of these young rebels that don’t want to march in step to the corporate drum? Where are these “seekers of independence” that have always dominated our industry?

 We still get a fair number of new drivers every year. The biggest difficulty is that the demand continues to grow because our population grows—more people need more “things”—and those things need to be delivered.

The truth, however, is that fewer are joining us than in the past. Many have been persuaded to enter tech-occupations because “technology, technology, technology” is all we hear from the media. “You’ll never get a job if you can’t operate a computer” we’re told.

     The problem is that this simply isn’t true anymore—you no longer need to be a programmer to have a great career. Nobody foresaw the rise of Smart Systems where we simply speak commands which a computer interprets, and then executes. Some of us don’t even type anymore, preferring to use voice-recognition rather than a keyboard.

     Naturally technology is going to have an impact on all of our futures, but that has always been the case. Many of us have grandparents that remember that it was well into the 1930s before even the majority of homes had electricity; that before TV broadcasts became popular in the 1950s, radio was the primary form of entertainment; they may even recall when most houses didn’t have indoor plumbing.

Trucking is Technology Reliant

     You can put your tech skills to work in the trucking industry, but if you don’t have such skills, the technology is designed to figure out what you want and just get ‘er done. Here at Blue Collar, for example, we utilize 2 major software systems that fully integrate with one another.

     Our TMS system is McLeod Software; the companion software for that is Zonar, which drives our ELD and EVIR applications. Office employees interface the system through McLeod; drivers interface through Zonar. All the information from Zonar then automatically comes into McLeod seamlessly. That said, Zonar is has an easy learning curve that it only takes two days of training to get a driver confident enough to run it competently!

     As an industry, another drain on our driver-resource has been the Old Guard who are technophobic. If someone won’t take the time to show these older Pros how intuitive and easy it is to use ELDs (Electronic Logging Devices)—and how they do most of the hard work for you—these Pros simply exit the market and find jobs in other industries.

You Can’t Teach Experience

     Losing such a valuable asset as their years of skill and knowledge is unforgivable. The new batch of drivers could learn so much from them. Blue Collar would happily take these skilled professionals onboard and benefit from all their experience. How can other companies let this incredible value slip through their fingers?

     With such a pronounced shortage of drivers, companies are now hiring folks they wouldn’t have considered years ago. Fresh from truck-driving school (and through no fault of their own), these new drivers have no practical experience. Consequently, they are running into problems, and the roads are less safe. They could benefit so much from riding second-seat with a Pro for a few months, but the demands of the industry need them on the road faster.

Enticed by Money

     And these newbies are often lured away by rival companies offering a few dollars more, or a few more cents/mile, without understanding the consequences. Young drivers abandon an employer without notice because loyalty isn’t seen as important. They don’t realize that benefits accrue when you build a career with a company. They also fail to realize that six employers in six months means that your loyalty will be under constant scrutiny. Companies need to know they can rely on their people.

     At Blue Collar we pay our drivers well, having raised rates by more than 25% over the last two years. We’re going to hang on to our talented crew! Our new software has made us much more efficient, too, allowing us to provide better shipping rates to customers and ultimately gain new business—and that means more miles for our drivers—and more miles means more money!

The Takeaway

     Any driver who feels like they want to discuss our driving options, please give us a call. We’ll do more than you might expect to give you a satisfying career—to take away all that uncertainty—to get you to a place where you don’t have to constantly be on the lookout for a better opportunity.

     Come and check out a career at Blue Collar, and we’ll treat you right!

Call Blue Collar now at 877-384-5623!