This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
ROADMap


INCREASING DRIVER WAGES Can raising driver pay slow the driver shortage?


BY BETHANY MAY Contributing Writer


While freight volumes and demand


continue to grow, the conversation about the driver shortage becomes louder. In the American Transportation Research Institute’s (ATRI) annual survey of truck- ing’s top issues, the driver shortage has con- sistently been ranked in the top five. This year, the supply-demand imbalance is sec- ond only to hours-of-service regulations. Though the concern has been grow-


ing since 2010, finding a resolution is get- ting more complicated as the aging work- force inches closer to retirement and a younger class is needed to replace them. Lori Furnell, vice president of business development at ACS Advertising, explains, “The biggest issue we have is the hole in the bucket. We don’t have enough coming in the funnel—new people into the industry to offset the people who are retiring. Pay is a big part of that and the different lifestyle. If I can’t get paid enough in the long term to warrant me living this lifestyle, then I’m not going to stay. It may be a job for a sea- son, but it won’t be a career.” In the last year, publications like the


The New York Times, Business Insider and Bloomberg published articles focusing on driver pay as the solution to the driver shortage, and American Trucking Associations Vice Chairman Kevin Burch claims it isn’t that simple and pay isn’t the only thing driving the shortage. Furnell, who regularly speaks about


recruiting and retention in transportation, says that current wages can only play a role


32 Summer 2015 ATA CHIEF ECONOMIST BOB COSTELLO SAYS THAT THE


DATA SHOWS, “NOW MORE THAN EVER, TRUCKING IS AN EXCELLENT CAREER PATH,” BUT THE STUDY ALSO


RECOMMENDS THAT CARRIERS CANNOT KEEP WAGES THE SAME AND EXPECT THE SHORTAGE TO SLOW.


in getting some drivers into the industry, but once they realize the hourly rate or wage advancement opportunities, it doesn’t keep them in one place or even in the industry. The issues of driver compensation, life-


style demands and the respect owed but not often given to the position cannot be sepa- rated in recruiting and retaining drivers. The industry’s heels aren’t coming off


the ground and certainly aren’t stepping on any gas pedals until everyone in the industry understands and reconciles the wages of American truck drivers to the demanding lifestyle.


Price of the life The industry may not be able to


improve parts of a driver’s life because of inconveniences built into the job. Long haul drivers will always have to spend some nights away from home. Drivers will always log a lot of sedentary hours behind the wheel. Furnell says, “They [new drivers]


don’t know what they are getting them- selves into. I hadn’t met a truck driver until


I got my first job out of college working for a trucking company. I didn’t understand what all it entailed. It doesn’t take you long to realize ‘Wow, this is a lifestyle to be respected.’ It takes you understanding it, and deciding if you are cut out for it.” And because there are so many who


don’t live it and who don’t understand the value of someone well-trained delivering freight on time, there are gaps in respect. There is a chasm between who the public thinks truck drivers are and who they actu- ally are.


Wages’ role in attracting drivers The American Trucking Associations’


recent Driver Compensation Study (based on 2013 data), covering 130 fleets and more than 130,000 drivers, found that the median pay for drivers was on par with the national median for all U.S. households ($53,000), and the drivers’ benefits are competitive with other fields. According to the study, “Median pay for drivers ranges from $46,000 for national, irregular route


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68