Industry needs to tell its story

KELOWNA, B.C. – B.C. Trucking Association (BCTA) president and CEO Dave Earle says the trucking industry is not good at telling its good news stories.

Opening the BCTA’s AGM and Management Conference in Kelowna, B.C. June 1, Earle said if the industry is going to solve issues like the driver shortage and attracting young workers, companies and carriers need to let the public know what trucking is all about.

He urged conference attendees to share their success stories with the public, schools, and with those considering a career in the industry.

“Ultimately, these are our stories,” said Earle. “We need to tell them, we need to own them.”

Earle said issues like the driver shortage and increasing costs have long plagued the industry, and alternative efforts on how to deal with them needs to be explored.

He also said the public’s notion that being a truck driver means waving goodbye to your family and friends is not the case, and messages like this have to be relayed if trucking is going to attract a new crop of drivers.

Ken Johnson, chairman of the BCTA, added that the idea autonomous trucks are going to kill driver jobs is another public misconception, and how to market all the changes in the industry has experienced during the past decade needs to be explored.

To attract more workers, Johnson said those in the industry must change the way they operate to make their workplaces more attract to potential young employees.

He said one way carriers can help is to pay drivers a fair wage. Johnson said he still hears some carriers today bragging about how little they pay their drivers, where they should be bragging about how much they pay them.

Ken Johnson, left, and Dave Earle.

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A university graduate with a degree in English, I have worked in the media and trucking industries as a writer, editor, and now as western bureau chief of Today's Trucking and I have several years of management experience in journalism, as well as hospitality, but am first and foremost a writer, both professionally and in my personal life, having completed two fiction novels.

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