For the second year in a row, the driver shortage is the top-ranked issue in an annual survey of the top 10 concerns of trucking executives.
In fact, the driver shortage has been a top-three issue in 12 out of the 14 years that the survey has been conducted by the American Transportation Research Institute.
“I’ve spent the past year traveling the country as American Trucking Associations Chairman and everywhere I go, people talk about how we’ve got to resolve our workforce challenges if we’re going to keep this nation’s economy moving forward,” said Dave Manning, President of TCW, Inc.
“ATRI’s annual analysis lays out the industry’s preferred strategies for not only addressing our workforce issues, but HOS, truck parking, and congestion as well.”
The No. 2 issue in this year’s survey is the hours-of-service rules, driven in large part by the industry’s call for increased flexibility in the rules, particularly the sleeper berth provision. Reflecting the industry’s challenges in recruiting and retaining professional drivers, this year’s No. 3 issue is driver retention, up two spots from last year.
Industry concern over the electronic logging device mandate has abated some since the final rule went into effect last December, as evidenced by a drop in ranking from having been the No. 2 issue in 2017 to the No. 4 issue this year.
Lack of available truck parking rounds out the top five of executive concerns but remains the No. 2 issue among commercial drivers who were surveyed separately, ATRI points out.
The remaining concerns are No. 6, compliance, safety and accountability; No. 7, distracted driving and use of smartphones by other drivers, No. 8, infrastructure/congestion and funding, No. 9, driver health and wellness, and No. 10, the economy.