The False Driver Shortage - Again, Don't Buy It

I get irritated every time I see the same old “Driver Shortage” stories put out as “news” on the Internet. First and foremost, this is not “News”, it’s more of a press release put out for a group of ATA member companies that are lacking drivers due to the bad situations that they put their drivers in.

This article “Driver Shortage Changing The Face Of Trucking Industry  – from “The Trucker” website is so full of tired fallacies that it’s going to take a while to inform you. Let’s start with information about “The Trucker”. It’s a publication and website put together by Randall-Reilly publishing. Randall-Reilly is in the business of advertising, not news. They also have sister companies that collect data for targeted mailing lists and phone lists. Sounds bad already right. The Trucker is not for the trucker, it’s published for trucking companies, the vast majority of which belong to the ATA (American Trucking Association).

The American Trucking Association is the trucker driver’s enemy. It’s members are the large trucking companies. The ATA promotes laws that provide the least pay to the driver to increase profits. It’s their business and it’s what they do, which is ok. The problem is that they promote themselves as folks that are on the side of the drivers. They give the impression that they move the majority of freight when they actually move a much smaller percentage of overall freight than their competitors, the small companies and owner operators. They dream of putting the small business out of business or in a comprimising position that they can take advantage of. They succeed with lobbying efforts that no small business can afford to participate in.

The article first complains that the trucking industry is not getting new blood. No kidding? Look at the stagnet pay and work schedule that is unheard of by today’s youth. No longer is the workforce full of farmer’s and soldier’s that are used to working ALL the time. It’s no longer second nature to work yourself into the ground for less than minimum wage. Yes, you can make a good wage, but when you figure the hours used to make get it, it’s very low.

Then they go on to bragging about regional runs. With the hours of service regulations, regional runs pay even lower than over-the-road positions. Dispatch is trying to juggle getting drivers home with running miles. You will either earn low pay or falsify your logs to make the delivery schedules.

Then they say that middle-aged white men are shrinking in availability. So they’re saying this is the demographic that pulls the weight and their son’s are not interested. Their sons refuse to put up with what their Dad did. They grew up without seeing their Dad. The trucking industry has made their bed, but they don’t want to lie in it.

Then they talk about the worsening economy helping the driver shortage. What? A bad economy is good for the fine members of the ATA. What does this tell you? People must be desperate to accept what their offering.

Then they claim freight is stacking up without being delivered. This is the biggest lie of all. When have you seen this shortage at your store? This freight stacks up until the bid on hauling reaches an amount a small company or owner-operator can afford to take it and still clear a profit. They’re forcing us to be logistical geniuses they claim. No, they’re forcing you to be competitive.

The article ends with a VERY short narrative from an ex-driver saying it’s tough out there. No kidding.

I hope this article helps you look at this “Driver Shortage” misinformation objectively. Know your sources before you think you’re getting into an industry that needs you. One understated fact, it is very tough out there.

2 comments to The False Driver Shortage – Again, Don’t Buy It

  • Anonymous

    Mspearman, you know coming out of my keyboard this really means something.  I couldn’t have written a more acute or on point essay.  We are in total agreement when it comes to this.  Just thought that might bring a smile to your face, or a look of mutual disgust, based on the subject matter.


  • mspearman

    I put this post up in hopes it could help someone in their decision to pay an ATA company to train them and head out to make their fortune. It’s a sad situation that has only worsened over the years.

    I would really like to foil their plans to take advantage of soldiers returning to a worsening economy. They are going to be the ATA’s only hope of survival soon. It makes me sick to see them advertising in military journals trying to sucker these kids. If just one of them gets some value out of this, all my efforts are more than worth it.

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