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Truck Driver Applications Drop as Economy and Freight Rises

As most of you know, we just launched a new video series called "Ask the Recruiter" and our first installment answered the number one question we get "why would I want to be a truck driver." Well, here we go again. This bit of news comes from a TCA session titled "Repaving Truckload's Road to Success," and, in my humble opinion, also helps to answer the exact same question.

As reported by Deborah Lockridge in TruckingInfo:

"The driver shortage is already intensifying, with the number of both new and experienced driver applicants down over the last couple of months, as economic signs lead to improved optimism about increases in freight and rates this year, according to a panel discussion of three major truckload executives Tuesday at the Truckload Carriers Conference annual convention in Las Vegas."

Still not convinced this is possibly the best time ever to take a serious look at a truck driving job? Well, let's keep it simple with a few choice quotes.

"The driver shortage situation "is going to be probably the worst situation we've seen..."
"In the last four weeks, we've seen number of applicants drop by 20% to 25%..."
"Applicant count has been down on both new and experienced drivers, at double digit levels..."

Okay, we get that current driver pay has not even kept up with inflation and improvement is definitely needed. But the good news is that this issue is now at the fore front and actively being discussed.

"When you ask them what they pay drivers in their own private fleets, it's almost universally 20% to 30% higher..."
"We've failed on that front and "(We) haven't succeeded in pushing through enough increases to pass on increased compensation to drivers, so we're trying to find ways to make the jobs we have better, more compatible with home life, get them home more often..."

Bottom line, though the signals may be mixed, even the TCA Panel ended on a positive note.

"I think the next couple of years are going to be pretty exciting... When you look at the truckload industry, we're really subject to the stocking, restocking, consumption that our country has. We've gone through the destocking cycle, and if you look at inventory to sales ratio, it's pretty low. You look at housing improving, unemployment improving, that's probably going to help the consumption side. I think in 2013 and 2014 we're all going to be a lot more excited about our industry and freight volumes."

See the whole story here: http://www.truckinginfo.com/news/story/2013/03/tca-fleet-panel-sees-drop-in-driver-applications-but-positive-signs-on-economy-freight-rates.aspx

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