The increase in truck technology may actually help stem the decrease in driver numbers.
It seems as though every day we read another story about the driver shortage. NationaLease has posted numerous blogs on the topic and how it’s affecting not only carriers but shippers as well. As the average age of professional drivers goes up and the interest by millennials driving as a career goes down, how do we reverse the problem? The answer might be right in front of us, according to a recent Fleet Owner IdeaXchange blog by Jane Clark, Vice President of Member Services for NationaLease.
Clark notes that companies that invest in new technology, like telematics and automated manual (AMT) transmissions, will find it somewhat easier to attract younger drivers. She makes the point that this younger generation has grown up with technology and is more likely to go with companies that utilize newer technologies. That includes using new methods of communication like social networks and online job sites for recruiting.
Although some companies are concerned about how their older drivers will feel about accepting using different and newer methods, the reality shows that concern may not be necessary. Clark stated that she’s heard from fleets who were dealing with older drivers resistant to the use of AMTs. However, after a few days of driving a vehicle equipped with AMT, many of them decided they didn’t want to return to driving a manual transmission.
There are still issues like long hours away from home, intrusive regulations, and potentially unhealthy lifestyles that keep millennials from applying for driving jobs; nevertheless, bringing new truck technology into the mix is one way to turn things around.