Right Driver

The driver shortage is getting worse

Businesses that ship cargo and carry human passengers are facing a severe driver shortage as 2022 draws to a close. In addition to a long-term global logistics backlog and an ailing economy, owners are in a double bind when it comes to finding willing, qualified, trainable candidates to fill behind-the-wheel jobs that are an essential part of the quest for financial solvency and profitability. In the commercial trucking sector, for instance, the shortage is causing companies to offer unique incentives to new hires.

Even city-based passenger van businesses are finding it difficult to recruit and retain talented operators. It’s the same story for any organization that needs licensed employees to drive trucks, cars, vans, and buses. In some cases, even willing candidates make common mistakes resulting in failure of their driving tests, ruling them ineligible even though they are willing. Short-haul trucking outfits, local auto parts delivery services, and even personal taxi services are finding it tough to fill positions. The following offers a quick overview of the situation in several sectors that are affected the most by the lack of behind-the-wheel professionals.

Truck fleets

Fleet managers in the transport industry have been hit hard, and at the worst possible time, with the shortfall of qualified drivers. But more than any other industry, the big fleets have leveraged generous incentives to bring new faces into the many job openings. Free training to obtain a heavy vehicle driver licence is one of the major parts of the latest attractions for candidates. In fact, everyone who takes a heavy goods vehicle examination must be ready for a series of challenging benchmark skill tests as well as a comprehensive written test.

Candidates must know how to use a pre-trip checklist as part of a more comprehensive pre-trip inspection on every truck they intend to use on a given job. It’s just one of many critical components of the daily routine for professionals who operate large vehicles in the transport industry. So far, the offer of no-cost training for new heavy vehicle test-takers and future operators has brought many people into the transportation sector.

Passenger vans

Passenger van drivers have been in high demand for at least a decade. City-based van fleets that transport both human passengers and non-human cargo have been growing in popularity among local and regional shippers who want to avoid the higher costs of using lorries and large-scale conveyances. Additionally, the skyrocketing price of gasoline has led many small companies to hire passenger van services for group outings and regular transit between job sites and corporate campuses in large cities. Even though operators don’t need category C or CE, many must earn special license designations and carry extra insurance.

Box trucks and for-hire taxi operators

For decades, drivers of box trucks within city limits were the workhorses of the local transport and delivery industry, and they still are. However, with so many individuals opting for part-time work as Uber and Lyft workers, it’s become increasingly more difficult for small delivery companies to find qualified candidates who want to work full-time driving box trucks. Independent passenger carriers who use their own vehicles to convey people within a small geographic region represent the only area of the transportation sector in which there is not a current shortage of workers.

Darren has owned several companies in the automotive, advertising and education industries. He has run driving theory educational websites since 2010.

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