( File photo )

The shortage of truck drivers tops all transportation industry concerns, a new study reports.

The American Transportation Research Institute 2018 survey found that the driver shortage was by far and away the top concern of drivers and carriers.

In its annual survey of more than 1,500 respondents from the transportation industry, the institute said other top concerns were potential reform to hours of service regulations, driver retention and the Electronic Logging Device mandate.

The issue of the driver shortage ranked as the industry’s top issue for the second straight year, according to the report. The survey found respondents favored pushing for Congress and federal agencies to develop an apprenticeship program to attract, train and retain safe 18- to 20-year old interstate drivers;

Hours of service regulations have been a top-three industry issue for eight straight years, according to the report.

Survey respondents said they favor increased flexibility in the current sleeper berth provision. They also said research is needed to understand the safety and economic consequences of driver delays while they wait to load and unload. In addition, survey respondents said more research is needed on how hours of service rules could be modified for highly automated trucks.

Regarding the ELD mandate, the survey respondents said more research is needed on the relationship between driver compensation models and driver productivity.

Industry concern index
(2018 American Transportation Research Institute)

  1. Driver shortage: 100;
  2. Hours of service: 75.1;
  3. Driver retention: 55.1:
  4. Electronic Logging Device Mandate: 44.8;
  5. Truck parking: 42.5;
  6. Compliance Safety Accountability: 31.4;
  7. Driver distraction: 30.4;
  8. Transportation infrastructure: 27.3;
  9. Driver health/wellness: 17.6;
  10. Economy: 14.6
 
Comments
Submitted by r henry on Wed, 10/31/2018 - 13:24

The reason good truck drivers are hard to find is that driving a truck long distance is a VERY difficult job. Even the drivers who thrive being alone, who are modern cowboys on the interstate.....get tired of being abused by both shippers and receivers, DOT...and everybody else they run into in the course of their job. I have done a bit of it myself, and I can tell you that no amount of money would motivate me to do it again.

Submitted by C Allen on Wed, 10/31/2018 - 14:38

I don't believe the driver shortage is as severe as trucking companies make it out to be. What I think is and has been happening in our industry are drivers moving from one company to another in hopes of finding better pay, home time, etc. The trucking companies distort compensation, home time, etc. Now they are touting sign on bonuses in which they have no intention of ever paying out. Companies lie and cheat drivers until they quit and move on (I won't mention those companies who also brought us ELD's). If you pay attention, the smaller fleets (50-150 units) don't need tactics like sign on pay, etc to recruit and retain top talent. Some do, but many do not. And yes, until we fix a broken shipper/receiver system, or pay drivers fair and equitable salaries the constant job hopping/turn over will remain.

Submitted by Stephen on Sun, 11/04/2018 - 19:04

The driver shortage is caused by the E-LOGS and poor treatment of truck drivers. The receivers that do not have any bathrooms for truck drivers. The receivers who do not have parking spots for a 10 hour break and force trucks to leave with no hours are causing truck drivers to leave trucking companies after they get too many tickets. Walmart has become a place truck drivers do not want to go to. Truck drivers need to be paid for all hours worked at a wage that competes with other jobs that are out there.

Submitted by Stephen on Sun, 11/04/2018 - 19:04

The driver shortage is caused by the E-LOGS and poor treatment of truck drivers. The receivers that do not have any bathrooms for truck drivers. The receivers who do not have parking spots for a 10 hour break and force trucks to leave with no hours are causing truck drivers to leave trucking companies after they get too many tickets. Walmart has become a place truck drivers do not want to go to. Truck drivers need to be paid for all hours worked at a wage that competes with other jobs that are out there.