Tackling Trucking Turnover
Conventional wisdom says that the trucking industry suffers from a driver shortage; however, the real issue might not be a lack of drivers willing to take the job, but rather those who stick with it. Low pay, long hours, compliance concerns, out-of-pocket expenses, and parking scarcity can combine to lead established drivers to say enough is enough and look for new job opportunities.
Lewie Pugh, Executive VP of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, recently joined the Inbound Logistics podcast to discuss how he thinks the industry might address turnover issues.
“There’s no driver shortage. There are conditions and restrictions that are creating shortfalls and high driver turnover,” says Pugh.
According to Pugh, 400,000 new CDLs are issued every year, which he claims is more than enough to meet demand for the next five years. The problem is that drivers are not staying. Pugh cites pay as an area requiring immediate attention (See related article: 10 Best Paying Trucking Companies). For example, truckers can work long hours – up to 70 hours per week. They can spend much of that time searching for parking or waiting for their truck to be unloaded. Unfortunately, overtime pay is not available for some company drivers making just $50,000 per year. Their salary may be locked, and it doesn’t matter if they put in 30 hours of unpaid overtime.
“Congress needs to repeal the exemption in the Fair Labor Standards Act for truck drivers’ overtime,” says Pugh. “There’s no reason why a truck driver shouldn’t get paid overtime. There’s so much wasted time that drivers never get paid for.”
Find out how paying professional drivers more is in the best interest of shippers. Listen to the Inbound Logistics Podcast to find out what steps industry leaders are taking to increase driver satisfaction and retention.