Massive truck driver shortage?

Discussion in 'Non-Rail Transportation' started by MARC Rider, May 29, 2018.

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  1. May 29, 2018 #1

    MARC Rider

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    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2018/05/28/america-has-a-massive-truck-driver-shortage-heres-why-few-want-an-80000-job/?utm_term=.9d7949f2e34e

    America has a massive truck driver shortage. Here’s why few want an $80,000 job.

    Not a bad article, but the headline is a little misleading, as it's pointed out that the median pay for truck drivers is $42,000. No wonder people don't want it. Not to mention the Orwellian "telematics" monitoring drivers on the road and government regulations that even I, as a general fan of government regulation, think are excessive.

    So is this good for the railroad industry that the truckers can't find drivers? Are the railroads having as much trouble finding workers?
     
  2. May 30, 2018 #2

    KmH

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    Back when I dove an over-the-road truck I hardly ever picked up/delivered a load at a facility that could be accessed by rail.

    However, shippers are using rail more these days, mainly because it costs less per mile.

    What they gain in cost they lose in timeliness.

    Most of the big trucking firms have more than 100% driver turnover each year and routinely have 1/4 to 1/3 of their trucks idle because they lack warm bodies to put in the cab. Some have turnover rates over 200%.

    The bottom line is: driving an over-the-road truck is more a lifestyle than a job.
     
  3. May 30, 2018 #3

    railiner

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    That is an excellent article--kudos to its author, and thanks so much for posting.

    The article just really skims the surface of the world of truck driving. Who you work for makes a huge difference in your salary and work life. Also whether you are a Teamster's union member or not. And whether you drive for a company, or are an owner-operator. And of course, if you drive 'straight-away', or 'turn-around', or local delivery. Also not mentioned, besides obesity issue's, are the pounding your kidney's and other organs take over a lifetime of driving, regardless of how fancy a suspension or air-seat may be.

    I drove trucks for one year, prior to switching to buses, but still maintain my 'class-A' CDL. Even at my age, I could go out tomorrow, and easily find a job, if I was so inclined. Not many other occupations would hire me at my age.

    That said, I would not recommend anyone make a career of that job...maybe okay for a few years, for a young single person to get to see the country, and satisfy their 'wanderlust'...

    But, then should either look for promotion to a desk job, or find another career path...
     
  4. May 30, 2018 #4

    railiner

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    I don't think class 1 railroads have any problem fulfilling train service jobs. The pay and working conditions are much better than over the road trucking. Low paying short lines might find it more difficult...not sure... [​IMG]
     
  5. May 30, 2018 #5

    PVD

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    Funny how so many of the people who advocate loudly for laws of supply and demand seem want to pay less and less, and reduce benefits, and then cry they can't get enough workers so we should lower standards and requirements. Just like with pilots for regional air carriers.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 30, 2018
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  6. May 30, 2018 #6

    bmjhagen9426

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  7. May 30, 2018 #7

    Seaboard92

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    The railroads are struggling just the same as the truckers. Union Pacific, and BNSF both are offering signing bonuses up to 20,000 to recruit new Hires.
     
  8. May 30, 2018 #8

    railiner

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    Surprised to hear this....If they ever advertised in my area, they'd have to screen thousand's of applicant's... [​IMG]
     
  9. May 30, 2018 #9

    Swadian Hardcore

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    Union Pacific is offering $25,000 sign-up bonuses for locomotive engineers.

    The airlines are also having difficulty finding pilots and the railcar manufacturers have extreme difficulty finding welders.
     
  10. May 30, 2018 #10

    railiner

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    Young people today, should take a look at all of this, and think twice before getting themselves into huge debt with college loans, that take a very long time to pay back.

    When they can go to a trade school for a lot less, and start earning big bucks soon. In the cases mentioned, they don't even have to go into trade school...employer's will train them...
     
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  11. May 31, 2018 #11

    gswager

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    I do occasionally drive truck but haven't done in a few years. I did for hauling whey between milk plant and dairy few times and hauling silage during harvest season. It's not for me to do full time because I like to work with various activities, not driving all day with my mind idling. I may be doing it when I'm too old to do heavy stuff in the future. I still have CDL license. I agree with KmH that is a lifestyle, not a career, just like me with dairy blood.
     
  12. Jun 4, 2018 #12

    Thirdrail7

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    It goes back to what you stated earlier: Railroading is a lifestyle and a lot of people can't handle it. Do you know how many people walk out of the orientation when it is announced they are likely to work weekends and holidays for the first 10 years of their careers?
     
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  13. Jun 4, 2018 #13

    railiner

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    Walking out from the get-go, is better for them, and saves the employer's too, from wasting time and money training new people who for whatever reason, are just "wrong" for the job.

    Sometimes the problem is that eager corporate recruiter's don't paint a true picture of what the job is about to prospects....seem to recall my old Air Force recruiter, when I think back about that... [​IMG]
     
  14. Jun 8, 2018 #14

    Just-Thinking-51

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    Was at my employee yard taken a random. A recruiter was talking about a driver that quit his job on Friday, and had reapplied on Monday said he made a mistake.

    I dont recommend driving a truck period.

    20 years OTR over 2 million accident free.

    Try to apply for several railroad jobs. BNSF gave 5 day notice for a multi day job briefing. (When they tell your working night, weekends and holiday for the first 10 years.) No chance of making that, with out quit current job.

    Recent apply at Amtrak, rejected with out interview. Job still open, reposted several times. Last repost 1 June. Whatever....
     
  15. Jun 8, 2018 #15

    railiner

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    I just heard on a news report yesterday, that NJ Transit Rail was cutting some trains, partially due to shortage of qualified crews....so yeah...looks like there is some opportunity here too for those wanting to start rail careers....
     

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