DRIVER SHORTAGE…What are we to do?

First we must understand that there are not many drivers, owner operators or fleet owners that have dropped out of the driving pool. Instead the “shortage” pains are mostly coming from the mandate of ELD’s. What a driver could do in one day on a paper log is now running into the next day. Carriers need more drivers to cover the same amount of freight. It now takes a driver 1.5 days to complete a load he used to complete in 1 day. If a carrier has 180 loads a week that took 30 drivers to complete, you would now need 45 drivers to complete the same amount of loads or reduce your loads to 120 per week.

Second we must not act in haste, an advantage that smaller carriers have over the larger ones. Having 2 trucks sitting without a driver in the seat is a much easier pill to swallow than having 500 trucks unseated.

Larger carriers are offering large pay increases and absurd sign on bonuses to draw drivers away from their current carrier. The old saying “if it sounds too good to be true”… it most likely is. Carriers like this are getting drivers to leave their jobs of multiple years promising them a gold mine. There is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow people and these carriers will not afford to pay all 5000 of their drivers the large increases and sign on bonuses they are advertising.

We are in the middle of a storm that will eventually end, we must wait it out. Instead of chasing dollars and causing a vicious cycle of recycling drivers, we must stand our grounds and insist that the Federal Government come up with changes to allow us some reprieve in how we log on ELD’s. If the government would allow the 14 hour clock to stop when a driver is sitting at the shipper and receiver, we would increase our lane coverage and decrease the shortage of drivers.

My message to all drivers out there, if you work for a good company, stop chasing dollars and stay put. It will pay off in the long run.

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