Thursday, November 1, 2012

Truck Driver Shortage

I predicted this some time ago - well it's been a couple of years anyway - and that prediction is coming to see the light of day.  The Federal Government has been increasing regulatory interference on truck drivers for decades.  But the enactment of CSA 2010 was a completely different ball field, a game that veteran drivers haven't seen before, much less participated in and MUCH less wanted ANYTHING to do with.

Truck drivers getting a warning instead of a ticket will, by the company they are driving for and because of the new regulations, be viewed as having received a ticket.  The reason being is that the more warnings or tickets that drivers receive under this new system, the more scrutiny the Feds will put on any given company.  If it gets to "intervention" phase, it could include an entire fleet being shut down by the Federal government.

So, trucking companies or companies that have their own fleets of trucks to deliver the goods they sell are now compelled to get rid of drivers that get tickets or warnings.  That's all nice and fine, but as the pool of drivers shrinks - much having to do with older drivers getting out of it after being in the profession for 2 or 3 or even 4 decades - now what?  The news stories have been the same for a couple of years now: trucking has little appeal to the younger generation.

Truck drivers are mostly despised as ignorant.  We are too stupid to find "real" employment, so we reverted to driving trucks to make a living. We are treated like dogs*** in traffic.  When you tell someone who asks you are a truck driver, \you far-more-often-than-not get a sneer, a look, conjecture that what you are doing with your life is a complete waste.

We truck drivers won't have to do a complete shutdown of trucks for a week or however long to make a point.  The time is coming or perhaps already here that you are going to start paying more at the grocery store and everywhere else because of shortage of truck drivers.  It will slowly get worse over time unless something is done about it.  99% chance that nothing will be done about it until it becomes a severe problem  - store shelves are empty and gas station holding tanks aren't being refilled.  I give it 5 more years, max, before this issue becomes a national debate.

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