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US report finds 40% of fleets currently dealing with driver shortage

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Forty percent of fleets are currently affected by a shortage of drivers and another 25% indicate they believe the shortage of good drivers will impact their ability to grow in the future, according to a report from CK...

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Forty percent of fleets are currently affected by a shortage of drivers and another 25% indicate they believe the shortage of good drivers will impact their ability to grow in the future, according to a report from CK Commercial Vehicle Research for its Q3 2011 Fleet Sentiment Report.

Of those reporting an immediate concern, three-quarters need drivers to fill current vacant seats, 63% say it is limiting their ability to add capacity and 42% are changing the way they deploy their fleet such as targeting more regional and local freight opportunities instead of long haul loads.

“Freight demand is good among the majority of fleets that report to us, but some could definitely haul more if they could find good drivers,” said CKCVR founder Chris Kemmer. “Even for those that have a full complement of drivers now there is concern that this scarce resource will likely impact their future growth potential.”

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9 Comments » for US report finds 40% of fleets currently dealing with driver shortage
  1. Greg Decker says:

    And we are supposed to feel sorry for them??? I don’t think so!! They have treated driver’s worth as a “dime a dozen” for the 20 plus years I have being driving. They are now feeling the repercussions of their actions!!!!

  2. John Donlon says:

    I have to agree with Greg in regards to the way a lot of carriers treated there drivers.I myself have driven for 40 + years (27 as an owner operator) and have witnessed the treatment and mentality of the dime a dozen theory.This is not to say that all carriers are like this, because I know first hand of some excellent companies, which I had the privilege to work with..It is time to get the wallets out and start paying the good drivers their worth before you lose them all..Thank You

  3. Lucien Bleau says:

    I have been saying for long time that there is no shortage of drivers. However, there is a terrible shortage of decent paying driving jobs.

  4. Michael Gower says:

    What a crock!

    Saying there’s a shortage of drivers is tantamount to me saying I can’t find a NEW Cadillac CTS for sale for $10,000, it’s utter nonsense. If the fleets would solve their revolving door/driver churn problem there would be no shortage. The TCA (Truckload Carrier’s Association) reported recently that 36% of their newbie drivers washout in the first 90 days! That’s is a 144% turnover rate in newbie drivers alone!

    If the fleets are looking for sympathy it’s in the dictionary between shit and syphillis!

  5. John Coups says:

    I have to take the article at face value, everybody is struggling to attract good talent. There are however a number of factors.
    Gary reinforces what many have known for years. Commercial truck drivers are no longer viewed as “value add,” but rather as a required overhead within the industry. The lower the cost, the higher the margin.
    John on the other hand suggests that it is time to pull out the wallets and pay drivers what they are worth. Both Gary and John are right.
    “Pulling out the wallet” is a short term approach. Wages have stagnated for several years now. As the economy has struggled, and freight is re-sold through online auctions for lack of a better term, there is less money to go around. If wages did increase even incrementally it would cause a substantial inflationary pressure that would be forced upon the consumer.

    What has proven to be even more effective than tossing money around is the human element. Treat people well, not like cattle. Be respectful of the drivers you have, find time to listen, AND pay a decent wage. It doesn’t need to be a huge increase, drivers are smart enough to see that tonnage is down, however treat them as the intelligent people that they are. Loyalty is earned not bought.

    Just my two cents …

  6. xtruckers says:

    When we they learn?? Drivers are the backbone of any company. Are we not? Heard someone say not to long ago that drivers do not run a company! Really!!!! Well then who does?? Maybe if drivers just stop caring management might listen more! But in my 43 years I haven’t seen it yet!! and probably won’t . If anyone does please pass it on..

  7. Johnny H says:

    In so many professions, experience is paramount. Not so in trucking. You start at the bottom of the pay scale with the other rookies….something is terribly wrong.

  8. Evan Kirkby says:

    This is complete bull crap! this industry does not have a driver shortage what this industry has is a insurance problem!! Every week there is 100s of drivers being trained and getting their licences. They are trained and know all the rules and the safety regulations and of the road. The problem is once they graduate no one will hire them because the insurance companies wont insure the new drivers. Now the new driver is one of the safest drivers on the road he is up to date on all the new rules and codes of the industry he knows exactly what to do in his pre-trip and everything. But what he lacks is the over the road experience, but how is a new driver ever going to get the experience he needs if the companies wont hire him till he has 2 to 5 years experience. If the companies what good drivers they should be hiring these guys, the companies should be the ones telling the insurance companies what they need not the insurance companies telling us what to do.
    Young drivers 18 to 25 years of age get turned off from the industry because say they go and get their licence at 18 no one will hire him till he is 21 or 15 with so much experience under his belt due to insurence. By the time he hits that age he has found a different job has a life and once again the industry asks the question wheres the drivers?
    The industry average is is 45-65 years of age when these guys are gone the industry is going to hurt cause the industry is hurting itself by turning the young guys away. WAKE UP CEOS!!

  9. Michael Hoffman says:

    The problem is simple. Pay more, Have regulated rates controlled by the through railroad commission. Standardize rates. Stop company rate cuts. Pay by percentage. If a load paids $500 from the customer to the company, new drivers get paid 23% and 2% goes to higher insurance rates. 2-5 year drivers or accident claim drivers at 24% and 5year+ drivers or no accident drivers get paid 25%. A ceiling of 27% for most companies. Hub miles don’t work, Drivers get lost, deliver in the wrong area, companies use non truck traffic routes for low driver pay etc. Some companies do this already and it works. As rates change due to fuel prices, so does the rate for the driver for higher inflation of cost of living. Regulate by chart price hauls. otherwise keep getting screwed.

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