I’m having a coffee, while I wake up this morning, sitting in the driver’s seat of my truck, in the parking lot at the truck stop in Walcott, Iowa.
This morning for some reason, I began reflecting on how much the trucking industry has changed since I started in this business, almost 35 years ago.
Perhaps the reflection was due to the fact that I was at one of my all time favourite truck stops. I always look forward to stopping at the Iowa 80.
Or maybe it was from the disgust I felt in having to step around garbage strewn about the parking lot, by the new generation of truck drivers, as I walked into the truck stop this morning. There was never garbage scattered around here like this 30 years ago. I’m sure it’s a full time job for the staff here, just keeping up with cleaning the parking lot.
Quality of Driver Work Force
I suppose as the level of driver wages continue to drop in relation to the cost of living, we can expect to see more of this type of thing.
Big fleets dominate now and their priority is filling the seats of their trucks, to keep the money rolling in. As a result, a lot of carriers now hire drivers today who they wouldn’t have touched with a ten foot pole, years ago….. back then, they didn’t have to.
Will the trucking population soon be nothing more than taxi drivers hauling freight? It’s already that way in some places.
‘Pride in your ride’ is disappearing as more and more of the older truckers retire or go on to a different job, other than trucking, where the money is better.
Manufacturing continues to do well but at the cost of the trucking industry, which is still working with outdated freight rates. You get what you pay for, is the old expression and it’s certainly true now in trucking for the most part.
FMCSA Dreams Big
FMCSA thinks the tractor trailer accident rate will go down and save lives thanks to their latest H.O.S. regs. But, they haven’t figured into their formula, those thousands and thousands of new inexperienced drivers, as the experienced drivers continue to leave trucking. Will this low skilled work force create fewer problems on our highways? Will there be fewer accidents? We already know the answer to this.
The throngs of poorly trained, inexperienced drivers, will certainly make a mess of the dreams and wishful thinking of the FMCSA. It will throw their statistics all to hell….. just wait and see.
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