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A Cure for the Driver Shortage

The transportation industry has been hearing of a looming driver shortage for years. It doesn’t take long to find an article discussing the urgent need to recruit new drivers and the importance of providing attractive compensation plans that keep them happy. Turnover in the driver’s seat has contributed to the enormous amount of lost revenue as carriers turn down, or third-party, loads they can’t accept.

With all the pressures placed on carriers to find and keep the best drivers they can, it’s certainly an employees’ market. So why don’t we see people flocking to the occupation? This is a deeper question than people realize. It’s often said that drivers need to be incentivized through higher pay. There have been several labour market surveys sent out by industry associations over the years. Those small number of responses that are generated by the surveys show wages in the mid-high $20/hr range. They typically also show bonus programs and benefits.

In addition to the wage information, we know from experience that many employers now offer referral bonuses to employees as well as signing bonuses to new drivers. It’s fair to say that employers are working hard to get people in the door using the one tool they feel they can control… money. But what if it’s more than that?

When I ask people whether they would be interested in a career as a commercial truck driver, they often laugh it off and say that the job seems a little too “blue collar” for them. It’s associated with lower education, longer hours (most of which is spent away from home), and little in terms of opportunity for advancement. Put simply, the profession has a reputation problem.

This isn’t something that gets fixed with money. The industry needs to start examining other ways to create a fulfilling career through opportunities for education and professional advancement. One idea that I could offer industry employers is that they take some time to invest in their employees’ passions. Google gave their employees a set number of hours every week that their staff uses to pursue ideas or projects outside of their normal work. This is where Google Earth came from. What might happen if you took your employee's dreams and made the realization of those dreams one of your incentives?

The transportation sector is one of the fastest evolving in the world. It’s being disrupted by technology, global trade, and changes to the way people do business. As communities rely more and more upon transportation and logistics businesses, those businesses are relying more and more on the communities that they hire from. Consider how we can work together to change the conversation around professional truck drivers and let’s make this profession attractive to a whole new generation. This was my idea… what are some of yours?


Truck Focus Blog is a division of the Pivotal Transportation Industry Solutions company. We encourage you to learn more about our mission!

Furthermore, if you have a question or topic for a future blog article, I encourage you to send us an email inquiry.

Thank you again for taking the time to read, and I hope you have a safe day!


Did you know, the Pivotal Transportation Industry Solutions offers online compliance training that is designed by industry experts, to help ensure you meet your regulatory requirements?

If you or someone that you know requires compliance training and prefers to take the courses online, then I encourage you to send us an email to inquire further,


Truck Focus Podcast - Episode #12

Haaris Karimullah - Leibel Insurance Group

Haaris is a commercial account executive at Leibel Insurance Group and is making a huge impact in our industry, as he really focuses on understanding the operation of a carrier, to help offer the best service and insurance experience possible.

Episode #13 - Erik Sherman

Erik Sherman, the co-founder of Able Consulting Inc. has been creating a pivotal impact in the transportation industry and is a true visionary of what is possible. Erik brings hands-on experience as well as a breadth of knowledge surrounding tech, regulations, training, and operational excellence.

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