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The DOT Doctor Speaks
Thursday, September 01 2011

The trucking industry states that they are 100k short in driver count for Q2.  Unemployment is at its highest in over 30 years and we have a driver shortage.  That speaks volumes for the messed up situation this country is facing.  The new regs, company restrictions and the insurance companies have made being hired as a driver a highly difficult task. 

In a position where you once needed a pulse and a desire to make money, the Gov. have now regulated to death.  Don't get me wrong, I am a strong advocate for safety but this is crazy.  We have an antidote for unemployment and yet we can't fill the roles.

I considered returning to behind the wheel after my lay-off.  I train drivers to drive.  I have taken more driving courses than most drivers know exist.  All but two companies that I contacted, and I ran the gambit of what is in the magazines as well as personal contacts, said I would have to come on board as a student driver since I had not held the title of OTR driver in the past 2-3 years.  For real!???  There is no way I am sitting in the cab with a 6-month green driver who is going to tell me how to drive.  What is wrong with this picture?  Add on the "work fitness" testing, sleep apnea testing and so forth...what you get is good drivers who are capable out of work so that under 25 year olds fresh out of driving school can hold a steering wheel.

If you hire your driver to driver, there is no need for the "work fitness" tests.  If you wish a free lumper service along with a driver, so that he/she is worn out to drive, then you need such a test.  Companies are still not getting it.  They are buying the Kool-Aid that the shippers and receivers are selling with no regard for THEIR drivers.  Drivers - drive.  S/R - ship (load) and receive (unload).  Stop expecting someone else to do YOUR job.

This so-called driver shortage just fired me up this morning.  With millions out of work, here could be an answer yet we will "import" drivers, just as we did before, to fill these spots instead of figuring out how to get an unemployed American back to work.


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Posted by: Andrea Sitler, PhD AT 03:52 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email

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