As per our post on Sunday, where truck drivers are concerned, working conditions are bad, getting worse, and you’re on the fast track to not being able to move 10% of your shipments on time as you’re going to be short 10% of the drivers you need within a decade unless you do something to change things.
So what can you do?
1. Make sure you do everything you can to give drivers good working conditions.
According to this post by Peter Moore over on Logistics Management, some distribution centres force drivers to stand in a 10-foot painted circle on the floor near the loading docks while the trailer is being loaded. No restroom, no cell phone signal, and no chair. Are you serious? People charged with crimes get treated better.
2. Make sure your carrier does what they can to give drivers good working conditions.
The carrier should pay them better than average, minimize waiting time by always using dropped trailers for TL, optimize routes to minimize partial loads and stops, and make sure all long haul truckers on routes without an adequate number of safe rest stops have sleeper cabs. In addition, routes should always be planned to ensure that legislative limits are not breached, which will give the driver adequate rest.
3. Make sure the drivers have good medical coverage and care.
Drivers should have a schedule that gives them at least one weekday off a month to schedule a regular doctor’s check-up and should have a plan that allows them to visit a doctor whenever they need to. (In US terms, this means that they should have PPO or POS coverage.)
4. Make sure you support any effort to prevent rest stop closures.
More rest stops are needed. We’re at 90% capacity every night and things are only going to get worse. Support any effort to not only prevent more closures, but to (re)open more rest stops to make trucking safer for all drivers.
And while all of this may not be enough to make a driving career attractive to younger drivers, it should at least stem the surging turnover and buy us the time we need to come up with a better solution.