Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Community News Network

February 7, 2013

Job seekers find a big rig pays off

(Continued)

"I judge by how many columns there are, and when it gets up to one entire page the shortage is real," said Clowdis, who advises freight companies. "On any of the talk-radio stations you get nothing but truck driver ads."

Trucking firms are confronting a "quality-driver shortage" made worse by workers leaving the job because of the long hours and time away from home, which boosts demand for the most experienced with clean driving records, according to Tripper Allen, president of Group1201, a Marietta, Ga.-based advertising firm that specializes in truck-driver recruitment.

Adding to the shortage is turnover because the "challenges and sacrifices" of long hours and stress don't make the paycheck worth it, according to Todd Spencer, executive vice president of the Grain Valley, Mo.-based Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association.

Companies including Werner Enterprises are doing more to retain drivers by keeping them closer to home. The Omaha, Neb.-based trucker, whose routes span North America from Alaska to Mexico, gets about 70 percent of its drivers home once a week, up from about one-third five years ago, said Werner Chief Operating Officer Derek Leathers. That reduces the extended trips that have been one of the biggest barriers to retention in the industry, he said.

Yet he sees more challenges ahead in recruiting if there is a sustained recovery in housing and construction, which both pull workers from the same labor force as truckers.

"We could be faced with a very tight driver market before the end of the year really depending on at what pace the economy starts to recover," said Leathers, a 22-year industry veteran. "Drivers are becoming more and more of a scarce resource every day."

As a newly minted trucker, Boyd says learning the trade gave him a new outlook.

"You just have a whole new appreciation for what these guys go out and do on a day-to-day basis: the complexity, the safety," Boyd said. "You always have to be on your toes. You can't let your mind wander."

 

— With assistance from Lorraine Woellert in Washington and Anthony Feld in New York.

Text Only
Community News Network
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video
Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands
Poll

Last weekend (July 12) the Goshen Parks Department held its Kid’s Try-athlon to promote childhood fitness and this week (July 18) the new bicycle trail is open to the fairgrounds in Goshen, offering residents a healthy way to get to the annual agriculture exposition. Have you joined the local fitness movement?

Yes, I work at eating healthy and exercising
No, I am happy with my fitness level
Changing my diet and exercise frequency is a work in progress
     View Results