The trucking recession has yet to slow down. With 2020 here, many are wondering where the next generation of truck drivers are.
There are a number of reasons why the younger generations aren’t eager to join the trucking industry. From long nights away from home to the dangers of the industry, many have now seen the appeal that many, in days past, have seen as a great opportunity.
Truck driving is a relatively dangerous career choice. Truckers spend the most time on the road and if you asked any seasons trucking veteran, they’ll have a list in their back pocket of crazy accidents that they’ve seen or that they’ve actually been through. Accidents are plenty on the highway, and many are fatal. If an accident occurs and death is involved, it may not be the trucker’s fault at all, but the knowledge that it happened to them can stay with you for a while.
Where many within the “Millennial” and “Gen Z” demographics are going to college or have degrees, there isn’t much interest in spending their lives in an industry where you have to go back to school. I don’t see too many Youtube sensations getting behind the wheel of a big-rig and starting a career.
Don’t get us wrong, though. There are plenty of hard-working individuals in the industry, but at this point, the Millennial workforce that is in the manual labor division has had the time to either make it into a full-time career or has moved on to the more comfortable lifestyles. Also, if you asked anyone in the younger generations, nobody knows who Bob Segar is.
The seasoned veterans are now ready to retire. This is the major factor in why there is a trucking recession. They are leaving en masse, and there is nobody left to replace them. When they started trucking, the world was a different place. There was a lot more respect for truckers, the police were friendly, and people gave them space. They were also paid adequate wages. Nowadays, they are seen as a nuisance on the road. They absolutely aren’t by any means, but to that guy, who is flying in the slow lane cause he’s late for work and zipping around your truck doesn’t think so. The retirees are on the way out. They’ve been through everything and they’re now ready to kick back and relax. They’ve earned it.
Since 2018, new methods have increased in order to appeal to a new workforce. An increase in pay, health benefits, and time for the family has been the main focal point for most major trucking companies to attract new drivers. Unfortunately, this hasn’t caught the eye for the newer generations. An entry-level position still pays relatively the same in a career that doesn’t involve the level of stress that truckers face daily.