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Date

54 percent of survey respondents still not impressed with telematics technology 9/16/2019 Friday Short Haul - Walmart video, it's churn, not shortage, California's independent contractor bill, hemp drivers plea 9/13/2019 TCA honors three Highway Angels 9/11/2019 Now they're talking about "smart" trailers 9/9/2019 Friday Short Haul - Detention-time comments, truck orders decline, diesel fuel shortage 9/6/2019 Berkeley study says reducing independent truckers can alleviate climate change 9/4/2019 Clearing up concerns about the drug and alcohol clearinghouse 9/2/2019 Friday Short Haul - Hurricane Dorian, Speed limiter bill, Thank a Driver campaign 8/30/2019 Georgia jury awards $280 million for truck-driver-caused multi-fatality 8/28/2019 Friday Short Haul - New eCascadias, Top cities for truck driver jobs, Push against driverless trucks 8/23/2019 Decision on California drivers' employee/contractor status coming down to the wire 8/21/2019 UPS jumps on autonomous bandwagon with TuSimple investment 8/19/2019 FMCSA publishes proposed HOS rule changes 8/16/2019 Fleets, drivers coming to like automated manual transmissions 8/14/2019 CVSA asks for new truck crash study 8/12/2019 Friday Short Haul - HOS revisions delayed, AEB mandate proposed, Koch sued for sex discrimination 8/9/2019 Kodiak Robotics takes lead in autonomous truck industry race 8/7/2019 New York City combats rash of cyclist/truck clashes 8/5/2019 Friday Short Haul - CRST wins lawsuit, OOIDA opposes insurance hike, UPSNav 8/2/2019 Mechanics shortage equals driver shortage in intensity 7/31/2019 DOT announces almost 1$ billion in grants to fix infrastructure 7/29/2019 Friday Short Haul - DOL on sleeper pay, UPS drone delivery, Geowiz ELDs 7/26/2019 FMCSA takes a look at assault, harassment of female and minority drivers 7/24/2019 It's hot out there, what's a trucker to do? Can't idle. 7/22/2019 Friday Short Haul - Utah truck rollovers, aging truckers, lifetime CDL bans 7/19/2019 Truck-mounted LED billboards coming under fire 7/17/2019 Trucker 'drones on' with unique approach to teaching driving skills 7/15/2019 Friday Short Haul - Rhode Island tolls, human smuggling, contractor vs employee status 7/12/2019 ELD mandate deadline looming, many still not compliant 7/10/2019 New "boot" device being deployed to threaten Walmart overnighters 7/8/2019 Friday Short Haul - Prime Inc vs Amazon, mother fights HOS changes, truck drivers appreciation week 7/5/2019 Proper way to fly the American flag on your truck this Fourth of July 7/3/2019 Roundabouts are becoming popular; but are they best for trucks? 7/1/2019 Friday Short Haul - Skills test proposal, driver shortage, hemp sentencing, driverless trucks 6/28/2019 Experts warn of active wildland fire season 6/26/2019 More states signing on to enlist truckers against human trafficking 6/24/2019 Friday Short Haul - Shippers of Choice, insurance rates, wheel spikes, WIT award 6/21/2019 Freight numbers not holding up to 2018's highs 6/19/2019 Truck safety group urges purges of drug abuse drivers 6/17/2019 Friday Short Haul - Self-driving certificate, truck platooning, trade war stacking up cargo 6/14/2019 HOS waiver coming soon for fireworks haulers 6/12/2019 FMCSA takes a further look at detention time 6/10/2019 Friday Short Haul - Autonomous delivery, HOS rules changes, CDL retest 6/7/2019 Roadcheck 2019 in effect this week 6/5/2019 Hemp arrest prompts USDA memo 6/3/2019 Friday Short Haul - Waymo big rigs, Move over sting, Under-21 comments 5/31/2019 Severe weather prompts renewed emergency declaration 5/29/2019 Memorial Day holiday is prime time for cargo thefts 5/25/2019 Friday Short Haul - Hauling hemp, road rage fatality, new rules for autonomous vehicles 5/24/2019 Autonomous trucks on USPS test run 5/22/2019 Future era of cab-less trucks will be the end of HOS rules 5/20/2019 Friday Short Haul - FMCSA under-21 comments, Tesla autonomous car crash, 24,000 drivers sign contract with YRC 5/17/2019 Under-21 interstate drivers getting serious look by FMCSA 5/15/2019 Trucker Buddy program matches drivers with a classroom; everyone wins 5/13/2019 Friday Short Haul - Driver awarded $80 million, ODFL driver wins, loading dock black hole 5/10/2019 Storm breaks out from Rockies, slams into Midwest, South 5/8/2019 Capacity issues have shippers looking at private fleets 5/6/2019 Friday Short Haul - HOS rules, dark skies, Falcon drivers 5/3/2019 'Bug' permits now required for four eastern states 5/1/2019 Simulator use is catching on for schools, carriers 4/29/2019 Friday Short Haul - Thinking electric, Penske opens charging station, border crossing crisis, railroads taking trucking business 4/26/2019 ELDs might not be the panacea that was hoped for 4/24/2019 Truck drivers may soon see "phantoms" driving yard trucks 4/22/2019 Friday Short Haul - Nikola big rigs, WIT welcomes Peterbilt, Oregon crashes, Border crossings 4/19/2019 Carriers claim financial benefit of putting up drivers in hotels 4/17/2019 Uber's IPO application reveals interesting data about its freight brokerage business 4/15/2019 Friday Short Haul - CDL examiner arrested, tolls proposed for trucks, marijuana use on the rise 4/12/2019 Smart Load Board will get carriers the loads they need 4/10/2019 Huge lines and long wait times greet carriers at Mexico border 4/8/2019 Friday Short Haul - Marijuana, ATA campaign, personal conveyance rules 4/5/2019 Over-the-air downloads revolutionize parameter updates 4/3/2019 Don't get scammed by skimmers 4/1/2019 Friday Short Haul -- New Cascadias honored, motorist survey, U.S, Xpress awarded, rest stop parking 3/29/2019 Legislators address underride collisions, propose more underguards for trucks, trailers 3/27/2019 Motorists soon may encounter a different kind of truck convoy 3/25/2019 Friday Short Haul -- Women in Trucking, irate motorist, FMCSA eases HOS, Safe-Cap 3/22/2019 Recent survey shows cost of roadside repairs is rising 3/20/2019 FMCSA announces drug and alcohol clearinghouse website 3/18/2019 Friday Short Haul - Swift settlement, driver shortage myth, TCA Best Fleet award 3/15/2019 The hidden danger of looking but not seeing 3/13/2019 Accident scammers target trucks for financial payout 3/11/2019 3/9/2019 3/9/2019 Friday Short Haul - Snow on the roof, bypassing toll road, Waze under fire 3/8/2019 Retailers blame driver shortage for price increases 3/6/2019 Drivers' smartphones may be clue to road roughness 3/4/2019 Friday Short Haul -- Freight rates, HOS changes, tonnage reports 3/1/2019 New tax changes hit drivers hard 2/27/2019 FMCSA to implement under-21 interstate driver program for former military 2/25/2019 Friday Short Haul -- Connecticut tolls proposed, hydrogen fuel-cell trucks, cell phone use 2/22/2019 Congress committee looks at state of America's highways 2/20/2019 Number of cargo thefts is down; but dollar value about the same 2/18/2019 Friday Short Haul -- Crossing the border, CA sues FMCSA, Lobbying against larger trucks 2/15/2019 Detention - A problem still in search of a solution 2/13/2019 February Highway Angels honorees named 2/11/2019 Friday Short Haul -- C.R. England announces pay raises, eCommerce impact on trucking, TCA announces best fleets 2/8/2019 Is a guaranteed minimum pay the solution to the driver shortage? 2/6/2019 Long CDL testing wait times cost economy billions of dollars; not helping driver shortage 2/4/2019 Friday Short Haul -- Walmart hiring, Uber Freight App, Speed-limiter Law, America's Road Team 2/1/2019 Cranking -- The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly 1/30/2019 California survives challenge to its low-carbon fuel standards 1/28/2019 Friday Short Haul - Highway robbery ... autonomous trucks ... new trailers 1/25/2019 LithiumHub enters jump-starter market with Jumpbooster JP30 1/23/2019 2019 Looks Good For The Transportation Industry 1/21/2019 Raymond Burt named TMC Trainer of the Month for February 2018 3/28/2018 TMC Transportation Announces Recipient of Prestigious Wheel Master Award 3/7/2018 TMC Transportation Named The Home Depot’s Flatbed Carrier of the Year For Fourth Straight Year 2/28/2018 Pay Raises & New Peterbilts for PAM Drivers 2/26/2018 New DOT Drug Testing Rules Effective Jan 1, 2018 1/11/2018 Amtrak Derailment: Trucks Haul 270,000 Pound Locomotive Engine During Cleanup 12/21/2017 Pepsi Places Largest Order Yet For Tesla Electric Trucks 12/12/2017 Kavin Hallett named Trainer of the Month for October 2017 12/8/2017 Over 100,000 Truck Drivers Likely Have Undiagnosed Sleep Apnea And More Testing Is On The Way 8/10/2017 Drivers Share Their Best Tips, Tricks, And Secrets For Life On The Road 7/18/2017 Drivers Are Losing Money By Taking The Wrong Approach 7/13/2017 Truckers and Guns: What Is and Is Not Legal 7/6/2017 Preparing To Go Solo For The First Time? Experienced Drivers Share Their Best Advice 6/29/2017 The Truck Stop Survival Guide: Advice From Experienced Drivers 6/15/2017 The Worst Cities For Traffic In The U.S. For 2017 6/8/2017 We Ask Drivers How They Would Make The Logbook Rules Better 5/30/2017 Self Driving Trucks Are Not Coming Anytime Soon 5/25/2017 11/30/-0001

Mechanics shortage equals driver shortage in intensity

Dave Wickenhauser on Wed, July 31, 2019

Last Updated: Wed, July 31, 2019

With females in her family having been around trucks their entire lives, Aymee Cunningham wanted to follow their footsteps. Landing a Diesel Mechanic position at Peterbilt of Joplin, Aymee has earned a lot of respect because of her talents and passion for trucks. --See video below.

While the big rig driver shortage has been getting all the press these days, there's another truck industry-related labor shortage that has been flying under the radar – diesel mechanics and technicians.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 67,000 new diesel service technicians and 75,000 new mechanics must be added to the labor pool by 2022 to replace retiring Baby Boomer workers. And not enough new technicians and mechanics are coming out of the vocational programs to fill that need.

Industry insiders say that this particular shortage in the labor pool has the same potential to "dramatically alter" the economic situation as the lack of drivers has.

They say that with more than 33 million trucks on the road that move almost three-quarters of the nation's freight, the lack of technicians and mechanics could have a chilling effect on the industry.

Supply Chain Dive interviewed one of those industry leaders: "We have all felt the consequences of the skilled labor shortages in the over-the-road transportation industry," Andy Dishner, COO of Tennessee-based Konexial, said. "Not only does this affect the fleet owners and managers, but it has the potential to dramatically alter the economic equation."

"It’s not just behind the wheel, it’s under the hood as well—the adverse effect of a shortage of mechanics and support roles," he said. "Not having a driver to man the truck is a priority issue for sure, but a driver simply can’t do his job if his rig is down without someone to fix it."

Adding to the dialogue, one former diesel mechanic who is now an industry leader, Homer Hogg, TA/Petro's director of technical service, told CCJ that when he began in the field in the early 1980s most of his fellow workers were his age, and he and they have advanced together and are now close to aging out.

In the meantime, there is a different mindset among the age group of men and women who should be replacing them.

“It’s time to understand the challenges facing [our] organizations and look into what is driving those challenges,” Hogg told CCJ. “Our labor pool is shrinking. We have to start looking beyond our normal hunting ground.”

He said he believes that today's potential diesel mechanic replacement workers respond to the notion that there is a degrading "grease monkey" stigma attached to the profession.

John Devany, general manager of Betts Truck Parts & Service in Fresno, California, agrees that has something to do with the low interest by today's younger working population.

"Being a diesel technician is not a sexy job, I get that,” Devany told CCJ. “But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good job. The perception that what we do is big and scary is wrong.”

He said that diesel technology is rapidly evolving into more technologically advanced diagnostics, with computer-based service tools to maintain the diesel vehicles.

“A lot of kids today are growing up on tablets and computers, and that’s our future,” says Devany in his CCJ interview. “What used to be about tribal knowledge is now becoming more of a white-glove environment.”

And unlike many of the reasons that drivers claim for leaving the profession, pay doesn't seem to be the issue with the diesel technician and mechanic shortage.

CCJ reported that a 2018 survey found that nearly 40 percent of heavy-duty truck technicians were earning at least $60,000 per year, with almost half of them claiming to be making more than $70,000 per year.

Charlie Nichols, general manager of Calvert City, Kentucky-based TAG Truck Center, told CCJ, “There are so many kids today who graduate from college and can’t get a job. You see them working in retail for not much money at all. They could be working for us making $50,000 to $70,000 a year plus benefits, but they have no idea we pay like that.”

The survey did indeed reveal that 92 percent of truck technicians receive health insurance, 83 percent get paid holiday leave, and 83 percent get benefits such as 401(k) and IRAs.

“There is a very big misconception in our country that every kid needs to go to a four-year college,” Nichols told CCJ. “I don’t believe that’s the case. A four-year school is not the holy grail for everybody.”

Penske Truck Leasing told Supply Chain Dive that it is needing to become proactive in order to find new technicians to service the 323,000 vehicles in its North American fleet.

In addition to marketing materials, Penske has collaborated with TechForce Foundation to make younger people aware of the opportunities in the vehicle technician profession.

Gregg Mangione, senior vice president of maintenance for Penske Truck Leasing, told Supply Chain Dive, that employees want more training and career development. And by implementing and upsizing their training programs, and using these programs as recruiting tools they are seeing a change in attitude of the younger populations.

"Students get discouraged," Jennifer Maher, CEO at TechForce told Supply Chain Dive. "The stigma that it’s a dead-end, dirty job that doesn’t pay well keeps too many parents and counselors dissuading students from pursuing the pathway. Yet this outdated stigma couldn’t be further from the truth. The skills required to be a professional technician are highly technical and advanced. Technicians can go from entry level to master technician, and have the opportunity to shift from hands-on work to become advisors, managers and corporate leaders."

Sources: Supply Chain Dive, CCJ

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