Driver Shortage??

Topic 24067 | Page 1

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Big Holli's Comment
member avatar

Here’s a question. I hear over and over again, about this driver shortage. But Every truck stop is slam full! Trucks stacked up in there! If we ever get out of this “shortage” where will we park??

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

It depends on when you're looking at a truck stop. TSs fill up around sunset, and parking gets worse as night comes.

There is a driver shortage because there's more than enough freight for all the trucks on the road now.

So companies are looking "everywhere" for more drivers. Have a CDL and a medical card? You pretty much have a job. The downside is companies will do their best to fill those driver seats, but in my opinion they fail to show the newbie the full driver lifestyle.

After all the training, many rookies realize the OTR life is not for them and leave. Hence the huge driver turnover = the need for even more drivers.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
The downside is companies will do their best to fill those driver seats, but in my opinion they fail to show the newbie the full driver lifestyle.

I don't think it's even remotely possible to convey to someone the demands that this industry and the OTR lifestyle will put on a person and their family. We have tens of thousands of pages of information on this website including forum conversations, articles, podcasts, a career guide, and even a book about this career and yet tons of people drop out of the industry within a few weeks or months. There isn't anything you can say about this job or lifestyle that hasn't been said a hundred times in a hundred different ways and formats, and until you get out there and live it you'll never be able to imagine what it's going to be like.

I really don't know what else can be done to help people understand the challenges and expectations they'll face out there.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
LDRSHIP's Comment
member avatar

The only equivalent I can relate to is military. It is akin to field problems and deployments. Simply put, you are gone. You are doing you’re job far away. Life continues without you while people back home make demands of your time and attention without regard to your current situation. They only care what they want and are missing. You have to be strong and steadfast for both sides. Even then many can’t handle it. It is a hard life of sacrifice. Either you have it within you to withstand those sacrifices or you don’t. There is much adventure and beautiful views, but again it is based upon your character. Either the sacrifice of a personal life is worth it or it is not. There is little to no grey area here.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Navypoppop's Comment
member avatar

This problem is reflected by a lot of today's drivers being former military personnel that have been exposed to long periods of deployment away from family and friends. It takes a special person to be able to be gone for long periods of time without being able to have loved ones near. I still believe that some drivers benefit from local work where they are home daily and weekends or ideally the regional/dedicated runs that get them home a couple times a week. There is a niche for every driver out there so they have to know their personal limits on hometime and choose accordingly.

Dedicated Run:

A driver or carrier who transports cargo between regular, prescribed routes. Normally it means a driver will be dedicated to working for one particular customer like Walmart or Home Depot and they will only haul freight for that customer. You'll often hear drivers say something like, "I'm on the Walmart dedicated account."

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Robert D. (Raptor)'s Comment
member avatar

Brett-

I also think even though you have told them in your book what it is like, when it hits them in the face they panic and don't give it another shot. Talk to their driver leader or someone and see if things can be worked out before they bail. Remember most jobs that people have are hourly or salaried. People are Used to making around the same amount each payday. They can't understand this is a performance based business that has been said so many times since the short time I have been on here at TT. But until a person actually does it, there is no way to know how they will react. People are used to be home every night. Most work a scheduled shift and usually home at the same time day in and day out. Even as Ldrship said about being deployed in the military, you don't know what to expect until you are facing it. Would it be nice to see if you can handle it as a short run, yes maybe. But this world, and certainly not this industry is not like that. Many of the problems are the missing of family, the loneliness, not being able to keep up with the demands. The list goes on. But I don't want to put out negative vibes to this because I only have positive things to say about an industry that I fought so hard to come back to.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Many times the sheer excitement of driving a huge vehicle creates a level of euphoria that initially masks the reality of what you actually signed-up for. We all experience the awakening...

I remember quite well the day it hit me. Soaking wet, chilled and exhausted from wrestling with a well worn gearbox on the landing gear during a downpour. I was at Nestle’ in Breineigsville Pa, 70 minutes from the DC, about 23:30 and 13:35 spent on my daily on-duty clock. I parked in the adjacent drop lot, camped out for the night and twice had to haggle with security to let me stay-put. I felt rather bewildered, questioning the chaos I created for myself.

I never did that again.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

Rainy 's Comment
member avatar

Eh... i came from 18 years of "Postal Hell". heavy lifting in a warehouse and long hours with no holidays or weekends off. working overnight and being confined like an inmate. The only friends we had were each other cause who wants to go on a date at 1am on a wednesday night?

The trucking lifestyle never bothered me, the training was frustrating and first couple months solo learning to back was no fun. But i am.the one in control, so no issues with me.

But the lack.of.stress...yes i said that...trucking stress is a freaking joke compared to.what i suffered for.nearly 2 decades. so when i hear drivers whining and moaning i want to witch slap them lol One of the best things about trucking is not having to rely on lazy coworkers or stupid bosses.

in one of the other posts a guy wrote "i had to.lift 50 pounds all day a few days straight and work 15 hour days with only a 30 min lunch". Man up. lol Im a woman and did that crap but the sacks were 80 pounds. we also rarely got days off from Oct to Feb. One Christmas season we went 93 days straight without a day off. boo hoo. now i do this and its freaking easier. and i make more money. so stop being a baby.

Is it different? sure. do i miss things normal people have, absolutely. But normal people have aggravation I dont. normal people have financial worries i dont. so it is a trade off. Every day my brother tells me i was smart to leave the USPS when i did but he feels trapped there.

Plus, my boyfriend and i have fun chasing each other across the country.

Life is what you make of.it. If a CEO is a miserable person, making $400 million a year, he is still.miserable. Im quite happy with my $72k last year and im in line for $90k this year. And i can control how.much i make too, unlike other jobs. If i want to run hard i can, if i want a little break, iI get it. If i want to train for extra cash i do it, otherwise no one is forcing me to do it.

I sleep better and I never have that "omg its monday and the weekend is so far away" dreaded feeling.

sometimes i wonder where all these easy jobs are that people must have had that causes them to moan and groan when they get to trucking.

Big Scott (CFI Driver/Tra's Comment
member avatar

I spent so much time on here learning. I read Brett's book, training diaries and other forums. I read the blogs and worked through the High Road CDL Training Program at least twice. I also followed several YouTube truckers, who unfortunately are no longer there. With all that, there were a few things I didn't understand.

This is a lifestyle. It's not for everyone. There is a lot of hurry up and wait. Yet, this country is beautiful and we have an office with the best view. We also have the shortest commute to and from work.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

JuiceBox's Comment
member avatar

Yes driver shortage as it relates to freight and company's inability to retain drivers due to the demands of the job. There are not that many people willing to spend weeks or even days away from their families or homes.

Personally, I don't think this job relates to military deployments whatsoever. It is just a completely different ball park. I also do not think the people who refuse to drive OTR are weak minded or what have you. The career and life style of an OTR driver just works for some people and it doesn't for others. If you're on the fence about it then there really is no way to know if it will work for you until you do it.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

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