MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – Everybody is looking for qualified drivers who will stay with the company for a long time, but it’s becoming more and more difficult to find them.
And now Canadian recruiters are facing even more competition from U.S. trucking companies, which are trying to entice Canadian drivers to work for them.
Truck News visited the Husky Truck Stop in Mississauga to see what Canadian drivers thought about U.S. companies’ attempts to court them.
“My company has U.S. drivers driving for them, mainly O/Os, so all of the border work is left to them because, to be honest, they couldn’t pay me enough to go to the U.S.,” said Nancy Albright, a driver for Pro North based out of North Bay, Ont.
Albright said she doesn’t see this Can-Am swap as being a problem.
“If they want to jump jobs and if those companies can offer them a good situation and good money then why not?” she said.
For long-haul driver Andrew Kerr there isn’t much that a company could do to get him to drive for a company south of the border.
“It’s hard to say unless you’re in the situation but I really don’t think there is much they could do or say to get me to make that move,” said Kerr, who drives for Pro North in Mississauga, Ont.
Claude Robert, a driver for Central Freight in Winnipeg, Man., said it would probably be more of a hassle to drive for a U.S. company.
“I just think getting all of the paperwork and green card stuff straightened out would be a nightmare,” said Robert. “Not to mention that it is kind of crazy to drive for a company in the States when there are lots of companies here in Canada that need drivers. So I don’t really know why anyone would move south.”
“More power to them,” said Darrell Ray a driver for Pro North of North Bay, Ont. “The U.S. companies seem to be paying their drivers a lot more and so if it’s just a matter of getting a green card then I say why not?”
There are a lot of companies in Western Canada already that look for drivers with dual citizenship so this is the next step and it could really shake things up in Canada, he added. U.S. recruitment campaigns may also give the Canadian carriers a glimpse of what they need to do to keep their drivers, he said.
Ralph Ambridge, who drives for Trimac in Valley Field, Que., said he doesn’t blame the guys who want to head south to find work.
“Everyone wants to make a buck,” said Ambridge, “and there is enough freight that drivers can bounce back and forth between the U.S. and Canada.”
Ambridge used to work for a U.S. company and worked almost independently, he explained.
“In most cases, a U.S. carrier will get paid a load rate in U.S dollars but for the same load, a Canadian carrier will get paid the same rate in Canadian dollars,” said Ambridge. “And that just doesn’t seem right.”