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ltbewr
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Lack of truck drivers in USA and problems from it

Wed Apr 28, 2021 1:20 pm

For a variety of reasons compounded by the pandemic, the USA is facing a shortage of truck drivers that is creating problems. Some were long existing issues like low pay, tough working conditions, odd working hours, the responsibility, too may potential drivers with drug/alcohol records or can't pass the testing, tighter time regulations, weather, traffic hassles are all factors. All levels of trucking, long haul, short haul, local delivery are affected by the shortage of drivers.

A number of drivers were discouraged and left due to the Covid-19 restrictions on movement, fear of getting infected, shutdowns of toilet facilities and lack of places to sleep or eat. Due to pandemic shutdowns truck driver schools and training of new drivers was cut off and barely recovering now.

Specialized drivers like those for gasoline to stations, hazardous chemicals are very hard hit. A lack of gasoline tanker drivers this summer could mean spot shortages even though enough product when demand will be increasing due to more doing driving in personal vehicles for cost, personal safety and related reasons. Then there is the huge increases in demand for truck drivers from on-line retailers like Amazon, the huge catch up demand at seaports to transports incoming goods. https://www.cnn.com/2021/04/27/business ... index.html
 
dtw2hyd
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Re: Lack of truck drivers in USA and problems from it

Wed Apr 28, 2021 1:31 pm

Other drivers have to be more careful. Old way of trusting truck drivers on the road no longer exists. I have noticed quite a few who cannot turn semis.
 
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c933103
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Re: Lack of truck drivers in USA and problems from it

Wed Apr 28, 2021 1:34 pm

In Japan there are increasing more shortage of bus drivers truck drivers train drivers and all sort of vocational drivers, due to problems like aging population and low birth rate and poor working condition/compensation from work. There are hope that the problem can be alleviated by using more trains and ferries for longer distance transportation to reduce the number of drivers needed and in long term the adaption of autonomous driving technology to reduce the need of drivers.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Lack of truck drivers in USA and problems from it

Wed Apr 28, 2021 1:35 pm

Check out Bonehead Truckers on YT to get an idea of the quality companies are getting. It’s a tough life, but at one time good drivers could do all right. Now, ELDs, breakdowns with Tier 4 engines, constant surveillance have taken the fun and the money out of it. O/Os in the right work can go okay-generally specialized loads or permitted work. California was so bad to deal with brokers are advertising “no Cali trips” and the rate for produce to the East was over $10,000 at one point.

You know how a SWIFT driver is seeing your wife? He’s still trying to back out of your driveway when you get home.
Last edited by GalaxyFlyer on Wed Apr 28, 2021 1:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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fr8mech
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Re: Lack of truck drivers in USA and problems from it

Wed Apr 28, 2021 1:35 pm

In the short term this is a problem for the trucking industry, and the economy as a whole. But, allowed to play out, we should see an increase in wages and better working conditions for truckers and trucking firms. I wonder how independents are doing?

I’d also be a fan of the DOT looking hard at its regulations and the qualifications that drivers have to meet in order to get a CDL. When were they last updated and are the current prohibitions against getting one still relevant? Though, I do want to ensure that the drivers that do get their licenses are competent drivers. Seen too many out there that give me concern.

Disclaimer: I don’t know what the requirements are for a CDL, and I suspect that states may have requirements above and beyond the DOT requirements.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Lack of truck drivers in USA and problems from it

Wed Apr 28, 2021 1:40 pm

fr8mech wrote:
In the short term this is a problem for the trucking industry, and the economy as a whole. But, allowed to play out, we should see an increase in wages and better working conditions for truckers and trucking firms. I wonder how independents are doing?

I’d also be a fan of the DOT looking hard at its regulations and the qualifications that drivers have to meet in order to get a CDL. When were they last updated and are the current prohibitions against getting one still relevant? Though, I do want to ensure that the drivers that do get their licenses are competent drivers. Seen too many out there that give me concern.

Disclaimer: I don’t know what the requirements are for a CDL, and I suspect that states may have requirements above and beyond the DOT requirements.


You might heard of Southern Pride and Aviation Express hauling jet engines and the like. Like the collector car haulers, good work, pays well but gone a LOT. An SP driver picking up at our service center jokes “it’s an RV that pays me”. He and his wife team drive, mostly engines, weeks at a time.
 
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casinterest
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Re: Lack of truck drivers in USA and problems from it

Wed Apr 28, 2021 1:51 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
fr8mech wrote:
In the short term this is a problem for the trucking industry, and the economy as a whole. But, allowed to play out, we should see an increase in wages and better working conditions for truckers and trucking firms. I wonder how independents are doing?

I’d also be a fan of the DOT looking hard at its regulations and the qualifications that drivers have to meet in order to get a CDL. When were they last updated and are the current prohibitions against getting one still relevant? Though, I do want to ensure that the drivers that do get their licenses are competent drivers. Seen too many out there that give me concern.

Disclaimer: I don’t know what the requirements are for a CDL, and I suspect that states may have requirements above and beyond the DOT requirements.


You might heard of Southern Pride and Aviation Express hauling jet engines and the like. Like the collector car haulers, good work, pays well but gone a LOT. An SP driver picking up at our service center jokes “it’s an RV that pays me”. He and his wife team drive, mostly engines, weeks at a time.



It's a hard life. One of my childhood friends drives long haul, and it the cost is a lot(family time, special occasions) , even if the pay is good. I can see why Trucking is having issues, and I also imagine attracting younger folks to a career doing it is a lot tougher with all the talk of Automation, monitoring, and regulations. The pay will have to rise, as well as the price of goods in the short haul.
 
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Aesma
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Re: Lack of truck drivers in USA and problems from it

Wed Apr 28, 2021 2:20 pm

Aren't immigrants interested in these jobs ?
 
frmrCapCadet
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Re: Lack of truck drivers in USA and problems from it

Wed Apr 28, 2021 2:42 pm

Hope we get some good links and insight into this. It also intersects with the railroad industry. Truck driving is an inherently difficult job, and often physically debilitating. Tesla and other Full(er) Self Driving will be cranking into the industry. And as will the Teamsters Union. Another 'and', trucks and drivers play an essential role in stitching our economy together. Someone who is on a trucking blog, if such a thing exists, might keep us up to date on this.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Lack of truck drivers in USA and problems from it

Wed Apr 28, 2021 2:43 pm

A lot of the them are and not well accepted as you might guess.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Lack of truck drivers in USA and problems from it

Wed Apr 28, 2021 2:45 pm

casinterest wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
fr8mech wrote:
In the short term this is a problem for the trucking industry, and the economy as a whole. But, allowed to play out, we should see an increase in wages and better working conditions for truckers and trucking firms. I wonder how independents are doing?

I’d also be a fan of the DOT looking hard at its regulations and the qualifications that drivers have to meet in order to get a CDL. When were they last updated and are the current prohibitions against getting one still relevant? Though, I do want to ensure that the drivers that do get their licenses are competent drivers. Seen too many out there that give me concern.

Disclaimer: I don’t know what the requirements are for a CDL, and I suspect that states may have requirements above and beyond the DOT requirements.


You might heard of Southern Pride and Aviation Express hauling jet engines and the like. Like the collector car haulers, good work, pays well but gone a LOT. An SP driver picking up at our service center jokes “it’s an RV that pays me”. He and his wife team drive, mostly engines, weeks at a time.



It's a hard life. One of my childhood friends drives long haul, and it the cost is a lot(family time, special occasions) , even if the pay is good. I can see why Trucking is having issues, and I also imagine attracting younger folks to a career doing it is a lot tougher with all the talk of Automation, monitoring, and regulations. The pay will have to rise, as well as the price of goods in the short haul.


I was having a coffee with a driver a couple years ago waiting out a thunderstorm. Way too risky to continue. Not five after he pulled over, the dispatcher called, “what’s the reason for the stop”. He shouted back over the rain something like,”if you’re so good, let’s trade places”.

There was a time, drivers, like pilots and ship captains were given there “orders” and let go do their job as best as possible. Now, some office type wants to know if taking a leak.

The best pilot story is Captain Ford in Dec 1941. PAA HQ simple relayed thru the US Embassy in AKL, deliver plane to Marine Air Terminal LaGuardia, fly west to avoid possible hostilities in Pacific. That was it. Trust in him to do the job, which he did quite well.
Last edited by GalaxyFlyer on Wed Apr 28, 2021 2:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
Virtual737
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Re: Lack of truck drivers in USA and problems from it

Wed Apr 28, 2021 2:50 pm

dtw2hyd wrote:
I have noticed quite a few who cannot turn semis.


There are tablets for that.

Sorry,. I'll get my coat.
 
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casinterest
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Re: Lack of truck drivers in USA and problems from it

Wed Apr 28, 2021 2:51 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
casinterest wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:

You might heard of Southern Pride and Aviation Express hauling jet engines and the like. Like the collector car haulers, good work, pays well but gone a LOT. An SP driver picking up at our service center jokes “it’s an RV that pays me”. He and his wife team drive, mostly engines, weeks at a time.



It's a hard life. One of my childhood friends drives long haul, and it the cost is a lot(family time, special occasions) , even if the pay is good. I can see why Trucking is having issues, and I also imagine attracting younger folks to a career doing it is a lot tougher with all the talk of Automation, monitoring, and regulations. The pay will have to rise, as well as the price of goods in the short haul.


I was having a coffee with a driver a couple years ago waiting out a thunderstorm. Way too risky to continue. Not five after he pulled over, the dispatcher called, “what’s the reason for the stop”. He shouted back over the ran something like,”if you’re so good, let’s trade places”.



I saw a post from one of my buddies where he has told to be on site for an 0900 pickup. Got there, and the manager of the site said the load wouldn't be available until 1300. 4 hours wasted.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Lack of truck drivers in USA and problems from it

Wed Apr 28, 2021 2:54 pm

casinterest wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
casinterest wrote:


It's a hard life. One of my childhood friends drives long haul, and it the cost is a lot(family time, special occasions) , even if the pay is good. I can see why Trucking is having issues, and I also imagine attracting younger folks to a career doing it is a lot tougher with all the talk of Automation, monitoring, and regulations. The pay will have to rise, as well as the price of goods in the short haul.


I was having a coffee with a driver a couple years ago waiting out a thunderstorm. Way too risky to continue. Not five after he pulled over, the dispatcher called, “what’s the reason for the stop”. He shouted back over the ran something like,”if you’re so good, let’s trade places”.



I saw a post from one of my buddies where he has told to be on site for an 0900 pickup. Got there, and the manager of the site said the load wouldn't be available until 1300. 4 hours wasted.


Happens a lot, too. The old days, he’d sleep then press on. In the ELD world, he’s on duty, so he can’t break it, not getting paid as he is probably by the mile. Once going he’ll only have about 5-6 hours before he has to stop for rest period. Wasted day.
 
davidjohnson6
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Re: Lack of truck drivers in USA and problems from it

Wed Apr 28, 2021 3:26 pm

If there really is a major shortage of drivers that lasts more than a few months, then companies will be forced to either increase pay - or decline customers

That said, with likely automation of work in the next 10 years, it would be foolish for somebody to enter truck driving as a major new career commitment if they have other career options available to them
 
Virtual737
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Re: Lack of truck drivers in USA and problems from it

Wed Apr 28, 2021 4:02 pm

Don't a good number of naval aviators still go to truck driving school once they leave service?
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Lack of truck drivers in USA and problems from it

Wed Apr 28, 2021 4:46 pm

davidjohnson6 wrote:
If there really is a major shortage of drivers that lasts more than a few months, then companies will be forced to either increase pay - or decline customers

That said, with likely automation of work in the next 10 years, it would be foolish for somebody to enter truck driving as a major new career commitment if they have other career options available to them


I’d be very surprised by automated trucking in a decade. Trains have been thinking of it for decades are no closer than the Muskingum automated coal rail of the 60s.
 
davidjohnson6
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Re: Lack of truck drivers in USA and problems from it

Wed Apr 28, 2021 5:38 pm

There are a large number of passenger-carrying rail systems around the world - see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_a ... in_systems
Automation of trucks won't happen in the next 12 months.... but with immense quantities of money to be made when it's achieved compared to conventional trucks (i.e. no need to train or employ a driver, trucks run 24/7 stopping only for fuel or to visit collection/delivery sites, no need to devote resources to ensuring the cab is comfortable for a human being such as somewhere to sleep, etc...), it is going to happen sooner or later
 
frmrCapCadet
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Re: Lack of truck drivers in USA and problems from it

Wed Apr 28, 2021 6:28 pm

Most of us have rightfully been angry about truly careless truckers who cause fatal accidents. But most accidents involving trucks are at least partially the fault of those driving smaller vehicles. The huge advantage of advanced auto-pilot on vehicles large and small is most of those accidents, regardless of fault, can be avoided or made less severe. Driving requires almost second by second situational awareness. Computer, not as good as drivers at their best, do not get tired, fatigued, bored, or distracted.
 
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ER757
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Re: Lack of truck drivers in USA and problems from it

Wed Apr 28, 2021 7:01 pm

Have a family member that was a commercial driver (both local and long haul) for many years. I can say from speaking with them that it's a tough gig in either scenario. Long haulers are often away from home for extended periods. Promises of regular home time by employers are rarely kept. It wasn't unusual for him to be on the road for 5 or six weeks straight without being back home. Driving locally presents a different set of stressors. Traffic on local freeways can be a nightmare and trying to navigate a truck, even a 26 foot box truck let alone a big rig, through downtown streets in most large cities is close to impossible.
The above both result in a high rate of turnover as drivers either change companies in hopes the grass is greener elsewhere (it isn't) or they leave the profession entirely. With chronic capacity shortages due to the lack of a large enough labor pool to fill all the available drivers' seats, prices the carriers charge increase exponentially which of course translates into higher prices for goods which affects literally everyone.
This shortage is one reason (although certainly not the only one) that the industry is pushing for authority to run autonomous vehicles. I think the day is closer than some would think.

On a lighter note, someone above mentioned SWIFT (a long haul truckload carrier). My relative worked for them a while and the joke among drivers was that it was an acronym for one of two things:
Sure Wish I Finished Training, or Slow Wagons In Fast Traffic
 
johns624
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Re: Lack of truck drivers in USA and problems from it

Wed Apr 28, 2021 7:08 pm

davidjohnson6 wrote:
There are a large number of passenger-carrying rail systems around the world - see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_a ... in_systems
Automation of trucks won't happen in the next 12 months.... but with immense quantities of money to be made when it's achieved compared to conventional trucks (i.e. no need to train or employ a driver, trucks run 24/7 stopping only for fuel or to visit collection/delivery sites, no need to devote resources to ensuring the cab is comfortable for a human being such as somewhere to sleep, etc...), it is going to happen sooner or later
Those automated railways aren't mingling with other vehicles on a public roadway like automated trucks would be. What's funny is they want to get rid of drivers and drivers' real wages are cut every year.
 
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DIRECTFLT
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Re: Lack of truck drivers in USA and problems from it

Wed Apr 28, 2021 7:33 pm

Elon Musk can solve this shortage with self-driving trucks!!
 
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stl07
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Re: Lack of truck drivers in USA and problems from it

Wed Apr 28, 2021 7:35 pm

ER757 wrote:
Have a family member that was a commercial driver (both local and long haul) for many years. I can say from speaking with them that it's a tough gig in either scenario. Long haulers are often away from home for extended periods. Promises of regular home time by employers are rarely kept. It wasn't unusual for him to be on the road for 5 or six weeks straight without being back home. Driving locally presents a different set of stressors. Traffic on local freeways can be a nightmare and trying to navigate a truck, even a 26 foot box truck let alone a big rig, through downtown streets in most large cities is close to impossible.
The above both result in a high rate of turnover as drivers either change companies in hopes the grass is greener elsewhere (it isn't) or they leave the profession entirely. With chronic capacity shortages due to the lack of a large enough labor pool to fill all the available drivers' seats, prices the carriers charge increase exponentially which of course translates into higher prices for goods which affects literally everyone.
This shortage is one reason (although certainly not the only one) that the industry is pushing for authority to run autonomous vehicles. I think the day is closer than some would think.

On a lighter note, someone above mentioned SWIFT (a long haul truckload carrier). My relative worked for them a while and the joke among drivers was that it was an acronym for one of two things:
Sure Wish I Finished Training, or Slow Wagons In Fast Traffic

And the same company runs Swift air, the joke of the US airline industry. I almost took them once from STL-HUX but ended up on F9 instead (back when they were full service)
 
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cjg225
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Re: Lack of truck drivers in USA and problems from it

Wed Apr 28, 2021 9:06 pm

I'm guessing that GIF got my post zapped.

Anyway, I'll try to remember what I said:

If you look back in the media, there are articles from the 1930s talking about "driver shortages." Heck, when the market was soft in 2019 there was talk of the "driver shortage." There are always "driver shortages." As long as I've been following or in this industry there have been, and there will continue to be.

Statistics are easy to make say what you want to say or, at the least, easily misinterpreted. The driver employment statistics are largely based on large fleets, but over 90% of fleets in the US have 7 or fewer trucks. It's a lot harder to accurately account for what happens at those fleets in the BLS stats or other stats used for employment. A common scenario is what is popular now because the spot market is high: drivers leaving fleets to strike out on their own. When the spot market is high, drivers think that they can make more money being self employed and taking spot loads than being with a fleet as an employee or owner/operator that may have contract deals below the spot market. Whether that really works out in practice is neither here nor there, but the reality is simply that carriers "lose" drivers, but those drivers are just going elsewhere, not leaving the industry.

Furthermore, "shortage" is often a misinterpretation of "imbalance" and "inefficiency." There's not necessarily a "shortage" as much as drivers are not in the right places for various reasons. A shortage in one market may be the mirror of an excess of capacity in another market. If carriers and brokers are not efficiently marshalling their drivers around, they can have them in places where there's not a lot of freight to pickup, so they have to spend time repositioning to where there is freight, making it look like there aren't enough drivers. Add in that shippers/consignees may soak up a driver's time making them wait, and more inefficiency piles up. A lot of time and money is being poured into digitalization of freight markets now to make supply and demand more apparent. Maybe a carrier thinks there isn't cargo in an area when there really is; that can improve efficiency of time and keep drivers hauling cargo more time out of a period.

Another thing to consider is what kind of drivers are we talking about? If there's a significant problem, it's with "one-way" carriers, which generally means long-haul over-the-road truckers who do ad-hoc loads one way and have to find either a backhaul or find a polygon route to get back home. That lifestyle use to be romanticized... it's not anymore. Now people value certainty and being home most or all nights of the week. LTL carriers and final-mile carriers can offer that; those types of carriers are not struggling nearly as much to put butts in seats right now because they offer good pay and being home every night. That's where digitalization of freight networks comes in; trying to get more certainty and better ability to get over-the-road drivers back home with some frequency and certainty.

Finally, consider sources. One of the big trumpeters of the "driver shortage" is the American Trucking Association, which is mostly focused on larger carriers. They are the carriers losing drivers often to smaller and midsized carriers (or to drivers striking out on their own). I know the CEO of Qualified Carriers, a risk management company that tracks an enormous amount of data on carriers and fleets. He and I have talked many times professionally and socially about this issue. It's fun to watch him duke it out in the press with the ATA about the "driver shortage." The ATA constantly paints the picture that there are no drivers to be had, but refuses to acknowledge that most drivers the large carriers lose are jumping ship to other carriers or starting their own companies. Not that many truly leave the industry. Some do. But then there are always drivers entering the industry, too.

We've had a "driver shortage" for a long time. We apparently have one now. We will likely have one for a long time. None of this is new.
 
WIederling
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Re: Lack of truck drivers in USA and problems from it

Thu Apr 29, 2021 4:10 pm

Aesma wrote:
Aren't immigrants interested in these jobs ?


Asyl seekers/migrants are funneled into parcel delivery here ( Germany ).
Very polite, very keen but they stumble on language barrier and not knowing their way around the rural area I live in.
( not knowing about drop points can't be tagged onto them: this is a systemic problem.. and the language barrier
can be tricky: my drop point is "hinter grüner Tür rechts" which morphs into the recycle paper bin which is also green.
Last couple of month I only accidentally found some packages .. delivered to the green Trash Can. )
 
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ER757
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Re: Lack of truck drivers in USA and problems from it

Thu Apr 29, 2021 6:01 pm

I've been giving thought to the self-driving truck idea discussed in this thread and others. If it does come to pass I think it would not be door to door but line haul only. The first mile/last mile would be performed with actual human drivers while the over the road terminal to terminal portion would be autonomous - way too many variables involved in pickup and delivery. And even on the over the road portion, I think there'd be relays at intermediate terminals based on total distance of the trip. Trucks can't re-fuel themselves or replace a part that breaks en-route
 
johns624
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Re: Lack of truck drivers in USA and problems from it

Thu Apr 29, 2021 6:48 pm

ER757 wrote:
I've been giving thought to the self-driving truck idea discussed in this thread and others. If it does come to pass I think it would not be door to door but line haul only. The first mile/last mile would be performed with actual human drivers while the over the road terminal to terminal portion would be autonomous - way too many variables involved in pickup and delivery. And even on the over the road portion, I think there'd be relays at intermediate terminals based on total distance of the trip. Trucks can't re-fuel themselves or replace a part that breaks en-route
Only LTL trucks go terminal-to-terminal. The vast majority go manufacturer-to-DC or similar.
 
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ER757
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Re: Lack of truck drivers in USA and problems from it

Thu Apr 29, 2021 6:54 pm

johns624 wrote:
ER757 wrote:
I've been giving thought to the self-driving truck idea discussed in this thread and others. If it does come to pass I think it would not be door to door but line haul only. The first mile/last mile would be performed with actual human drivers while the over the road terminal to terminal portion would be autonomous - way too many variables involved in pickup and delivery. And even on the over the road portion, I think there'd be relays at intermediate terminals based on total distance of the trip. Trucks can't re-fuel themselves or replace a part that breaks en-route
Only LTL trucks go terminal-to-terminal. The vast majority go manufacturer-to-DC or similar.

Quite familiar with LTL/FTL - was our FTL booker for 10 years and before I worked at my current company I was traffic manager at my last job. I still maintain what I stated above - even FTL would be picked up and delivered by local drivers and taken to the nearest terminal of the FTL carrier at both ends. There are myriad reasons you don't want a load picked up with zero oversight.
 
PHLspecial
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Re: Lack of truck drivers in USA and problems from it

Thu Apr 29, 2021 7:15 pm

Hmmm to bad freight rail is not considered more. Sigh.
 
johns624
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Re: Lack of truck drivers in USA and problems from it

Thu Apr 29, 2021 8:29 pm

PHLspecial wrote:
Hmmm to bad freight rail is not considered more. Sigh.
Most receivers don't have rail access and with PSR, many railroads don't want to be bothered with "loose car" customers. Much is shipped by trucking companies using rail, but it's COFC and TOFC.
 
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cjg225
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Re: Lack of truck drivers in USA and problems from it

Thu Apr 29, 2021 8:45 pm

PHLspecial wrote:
Hmmm to bad freight rail is not considered more. Sigh.

The market fluctuates. Intermodal had a very strong run a few years ago, but it's still stuck in a bad cycle, though for different reasons than recently. When the freight market went soft in 2019, intermodal lost much of its price competitiveness with over the road trucking. In 2020 it gained back some competitiveness, but a shortage of drayage and imbalance of containers has hampered it against OTR trucking.

Plus, distance is a huge factor. The longer the haul, the more competitive intermodal tends to be. You're just not going to get many shippers to want to use intermodal for runs under, say, 750 miles... and basically none under 500.

That all said, we're worlds better than the Europeans in this respect.
 
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DIRECTFLT
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Re: Lack of truck drivers in USA and problems from it

Fri Apr 30, 2021 5:48 am

A Truck driver that posts videos of his trips, said that some long time truck drivers were sick of the Federal electronic required micro-management that came in, during the Obama Administration, and were thinking of quitting. I'm not the expert on this, so google the topic to find out more, if you want to research this angle.
 
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cjg225
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Re: Lack of truck drivers in USA and problems from it

Fri Apr 30, 2021 11:29 am

DIRECTFLT wrote:
A Truck driver that posts videos of his trips, said that some long time truck drivers were sick of the Federal electronic required micro-management that came in, during the Obama Administration, and were thinking of quitting. I'm not the expert on this, so google the topic to find out more, if you want to research this angle.

There's truth to that.

The Trump administration relaxed some Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration rules that the Obama administration had brought in. But... Biden's pick to head the FMCSA is going to undo all of that and then some. Very hardcore pick.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Lack of truck drivers in USA and problems from it

Fri Apr 30, 2021 11:39 am

Tier 4 engines were a disaster—expensive maintenance, frequent breakdowns, higher fuel consumption. Instituted by fiat before the technology was thoroughly tested and proven. That resulted in gliders with rebuilt Cat and Cummins engines installed, exempted from some of the emissions and the ELD mandate. That was pretty much an O/O deal—some commodities truckers and permitted loads. Freight rates have been falling as big firms could manage the new regulatory regime better than smaller operators. Old story there. Big firms, like Swift, can afford to big compliant trucks and spread out the risk of breakdowns and accidents over a large fleet. A guy leasing out a couple of tractors can’t afford the compliance risks—fuel and breakdowns.

ELD have become a problem as it puts hard stops on HOS. Where you could run as many paper logs as needed to look legal and rest when you needed to, now you have to rest when the electronic clock says “sleep”. You also have a 34-hour rest break every so many days, I think 7 or 8. How does that work at a truck stop or roadside rest area?
 
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cjg225
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Re: Lack of truck drivers in USA and problems from it

Fri Apr 30, 2021 3:01 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
ELD have become a problem as it puts hard stops on HOS. Where you could run as many paper logs as needed to look legal and rest when you needed to, now you have to rest when the electronic clock says “sleep”. You also have a 34-hour rest break every so many days, I think 7 or 8. How does that work at a truck stop or roadside rest area?

ELDs are a problem, but it's much more about how the HOS work (or don't, rather). HOS assumes people are robots. There's no humanity to them. You don't just snap your fingers and someone falls asleep or relaxes. The lack of compatibility with the real world arguably makes the HOS worse for safety in some respects.
 
CaptHadley
Posts: 168
Joined: Sun Sep 15, 2019 4:36 pm

Re: Lack of truck drivers in USA and problems from it

Fri Apr 30, 2021 3:33 pm

Retired now however “trucking” would have never been on my radar. I finished high school, graduated from college, don't have a criminal record and am not a fan of illicit drugs. Pretty much counts me out of the running.
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 8089
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Lack of truck drivers in USA and problems from it

Fri Apr 30, 2021 4:03 pm

cjg225 wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
ELD have become a problem as it puts hard stops on HOS. Where you could run as many paper logs as needed to look legal and rest when you needed to, now you have to rest when the electronic clock says “sleep”. You also have a 34-hour rest break every so many days, I think 7 or 8. How does that work at a truck stop or roadside rest area?

ELDs are a problem, but it's much more about how the HOS work (or don't, rather). HOS assumes people are robots. There's no humanity to them. You don't just snap your fingers and someone falls asleep or relaxes. The lack of compatibility with the real world arguably makes the HOS worse for safety in some respects.



As I run a FRMS program in aviation; I’d agree but what ELD did was strictly enforce and document an unworkable HOS program forcing drivers to drive when fatigued and resting when they’re not. That and while the program was instituted, things like lack of rest areas, increased team driving by big carriers made fatigue worse. Team driving is a killer.
 
johns624
Posts: 4000
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 11:09 pm

Re: Lack of truck drivers in USA and problems from it

Fri Apr 30, 2021 5:19 pm

CaptHadley wrote:
Retired now however “trucking” would have never been on my radar. I finished high school, graduated from college, don't have a criminal record and am not a fan of illicit drugs. Pretty much counts me out of the running.
Nice, elitist view of truckers you have there...
 
N757PZ
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2020 1:23 am

Re: Lack of truck drivers in USA and problems from it

Fri Apr 30, 2021 6:08 pm

[threeid][/threeid]
CaptHadley wrote:
Retired now however “trucking” would have never been on my radar. I finished high school, graduated from college, don't have a criminal record and am not a fan of illicit drugs. Pretty much counts me out of the running.



Yeah I feel ya. Amazing how those uneducated, drug crazed criminals can safely navigate metropolitan areas like LA, NYC, DFW, etc. to deliver over $600 billion dollars worth of goods every year.
 
SRQLOT
Posts: 659
Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2017 6:05 pm

Re: Lack of truck drivers in USA and problems from it

Fri Apr 30, 2021 6:16 pm

Anyone from Indiana or Nebraska noticed fewer trucks on the highways? Just curious, always dreaded driving thru Indiana due to trucks almost shutting down the highways.
 
PHLspecial
Posts: 925
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2018 4:11 pm

Re: Lack of truck drivers in USA and problems from it

Fri Apr 30, 2021 6:17 pm

johns624 wrote:
PHLspecial wrote:
Hmmm to bad freight rail is not considered more. Sigh.
Most receivers don't have rail access and with PSR, many railroads don't want to be bothered with "loose car" customers. Much is shipped by trucking companies using rail, but it's COFC and TOFC.

PSR had good intentions but most train companies used as cost cutting only.
 
johns624
Posts: 4000
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 11:09 pm

Re: Lack of truck drivers in USA and problems from it

Fri Apr 30, 2021 9:04 pm

PHLspecial wrote:
johns624 wrote:
PHLspecial wrote:
Hmmm to bad freight rail is not considered more. Sigh.
Most receivers don't have rail access and with PSR, many railroads don't want to be bothered with "loose car" customers. Much is shipped by trucking companies using rail, but it's COFC and TOFC.

PSR had good intentions but most train companies used as cost cutting only.
May EHH and his disciples rest in hell...
 
ltbewr
Topic Author
Posts: 15787
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2004 1:24 pm

Re: Lack of truck drivers in USA and problems from it

Fri Apr 30, 2021 10:34 pm

ELD's don't allow any flexibility to deal with reality and a factor in fewer wanting to drive. I live in northern NJ. There almost no truck stops commercial or state run legal parking areas. The few commercial stops are expensive and often packed. Traffic, accidents, weather all make it impossible to stay fully legal. Pull over to the side of the road and your likely to get the police knocking on your cab door and telling you to move or face at ticket. Forget about using most parking lots like at Walmarts or those of where delivering to, local ordinances, noise curfews, NIMBY's and liability fears prevent their use or at risk of a heafty tow, storage fees and facing a nasty junkyard dog when go to get your truck out of 'jail'. There are also too many idiots using their phones, have no respect for trucks or their drivers, driving distracted, tired or in unsafe vehicles.
 
Kno
Posts: 615
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:08 pm

Re: Lack of truck drivers in USA and problems from it

Fri Apr 30, 2021 11:47 pm

CaptHadley wrote:
Retired now however “trucking” would have never been on my radar. I finished high school, graduated from college, don't have a criminal record and am not a fan of illicit drugs. Pretty much counts me out of the running.


Since you claim to be so well educated I’m surprised you’d make such an uneducated statement.
 
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cjg225
Posts: 2183
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2013 8:59 pm

Re: Lack of truck drivers in USA and problems from it

Sat May 01, 2021 12:19 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
As I run a FRMS program in aviation; I’d agree but what ELD did was strictly enforce and document an unworkable HOS program forcing drivers to drive when fatigued and resting when they’re not. That and while the program was instituted, things like lack of rest areas, increased team driving by big carriers made fatigue worse. Team driving is a killer.

Lack of rest areas is still a major problem.

But, I agree with what you say. I'll characterize it slightly differently: ELDs have made it much harder to flex the HOS, both for good reasons and bad reasons... But not impossible. There are many stories around about tampering with ELDs. It's really not *that* hard. Here's one particular story from a couple months ago (hardly the only one I've seen recently): https://www.freightwaves.com/news/truck ... atal-crash
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 8089
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Lack of truck drivers in USA and problems from it

Sat May 01, 2021 3:48 pm

There is a “tricks only” rest area on I-287 in north Jersey, I was surprised to see it. Mostly it’s ten hours at the side of an entrance or the shipper’s lot.
 
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cjg225
Posts: 2183
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2013 8:59 pm

Re: Lack of truck drivers in USA and problems from it

Sat May 01, 2021 5:31 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
There is a “tricks only” rest area on I-287 in north Jersey, I was surprised to see it. Mostly it’s ten hours at the side of an entrance or the shipper’s lot.

Huh. I must've missed that. I was just up that way twice in August and October last year.

A good idea, for sure.
 
dfwjim1
Posts: 2582
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:46 pm

Re: Lack of truck drivers in USA and problems from it

Sat May 01, 2021 8:28 pm

A number of years ago I heard that Schinder Trucking was offering a deal where a truck driver that drove for them could choose an option to drive one full week and then be home and off the following week.

Not sure if that program is still in effect though.
 
johns624
Posts: 4000
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 11:09 pm

Re: Lack of truck drivers in USA and problems from it

Sat May 01, 2021 10:31 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
There is a “tricks only” rest area on I-287 in north Jersey, I was surprised to see it. Mostly it’s ten hours at the side of an entrance or the shipper’s lot.
Was that a Freudian slip? Didn't you mean "trucks"? :D
 
johns624
Posts: 4000
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 11:09 pm

Re: Lack of truck drivers in USA and problems from it

Sat May 01, 2021 10:32 pm

dfwjim1 wrote:
A number of years ago I heard that Schinder Trucking was offering a deal where a truck driver that drove for them could choose an option to drive one full week and then be home and off the following week.

Not sure if that program is still in effect though.
That deal comes and goes with Schneider. For a while, it was 3 men/2 tractors. So, 2 weeks on, 1 week off.

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