Our trucking pundit reflects on a few trends to be mindful of during the coming year.By Dana Smith
Driver recruitment continues to be an issue for a lot of companies. For any company that owns trucks, it needs to put drivers behind the wheel of those trucks. They are crucial in the everyday operation of your business. Covid has changed a lot of industries, and trucking is no different in this regard. Someone needs to drive the truck.
As we all know, It’s getting harder and harder to find drivers these days. Companies are using many different options to find new drivers. Increased compensation, sign-on bonuses, new equipment, more home time with a better work-life balance for family time, etc. But is this enough? Some will say yes, others will say there isn’t a problem. I guess that depends on which side of the fence you‘re on.
But seriously, there just aren’t enough drivers to fill the demand. With the younger generation coming into the game, they have different wants and needs than the older generation did. Finding out what those are will help you plan for your future recruiting efforts.
Being proactive, rather than reactive to future changes is always the best policy. Being a leader will set you apart from the pack. Because when you are a leader, you will have no problem filling the seats of your trucks. You may actually have a line up at your door.
In this challenging time moving forward, how will your company find its drivers?
E-log enforcement is coming very soon. As soon as January 2023 for some jurisdictions. Is your company ready? What plan do you have in place in 2023 to have your drivers certified, properly trained, and feeling confident on how to use them with minimal violations?
Depending on where you run, there are different rules. This has been an ongoing issue for companies for a few years now. There are many different options available these days to choose from. Understanding your business and getting the right information out of your e-log system will help you and your company stay the course moving forward. Remember, understanding the data you get from your tech systems is how you make those crucial decisions for your business. All systems provide data, but knowing how to read it, and using it to your advantage is key.
With enforcement taking hold in 2023, it’s crucial to have your business ready. Are you ready?
Truck technology is an ever-changing animal these days. Trucks don’t operate like they used to, and pretty much drive themselves these days. We have adaptive cruise control, active brake assist and roll over warning protection, just to name a few. What about lane departure warning systems? Then there are auto light tests for pre-trips, onboard cameras, both dash cams and driver facing cameras. All of these things combined, can significantly reduce insurance claims, make the roads safer, and reduce your overall costs as a company. At the end of the day, the system is only as good as the person using it. Make sure your team knows how.
What technologies are you implementing in your business in the future?
HIGHER OPERATING COSTS
In the past three years since Covid came around, there have been many rising costs associated with running a trucking company. Insurance and fuel have been the ones that really have increased dramatically.
Fuel has almost doubled in some places, fluctuating almost on a daily basis. Having a good fuel management system in place, and a good relationship with your fuel supplier will help you to grow your business for the long haul.
Then there is the cost of buying a new truck and the increase in pricing for parts, if you can even get them. Parts will continue to be a big problem in the future. Some pricing on parts have doubled just in the last two years.
This coupled with all the other increases can play havoc on your entire trucking operation. How will you manage your costs in 2023?
INCREASED DRIVER TRAINING
We all know a skilled driver is a good driver. Or is he? Proper training is all well and fine, but the number one thing is always attitude. You can train people to do anything, but you can’t teach attitude. It’s either there or it’s not.
Companies will have to step up their game when it comes to driver training in 2023, not just for themselves, but for the insurance requirements as well. Starting with setting the bar higher on hiring criteria. Just hiring anyone to fill the seats is not only bad for you from a safety aspect, but bad for your reputation as a company.
There are some driver training courses on the market that don’t quite meet standards these days. Be specific about your hiring requirements. Demand the best from the drivers you hire, check them out, do driver evaluations, and screen the potential driver to the best of your ability. It will save you a ton of time and money with your future hires.
What changes will you implement in 2023 to make your company safer?
Read more of Dana’s articles at themindfultrucker.com