With trucking being the largest sector of the economy’s transportation industry, it easily beats out all other areas such as air, water, rail and pipeline. Trucks account for more than 80 percent of total transportation revenue, pulling in more than $124 billion in 2006. The industry is so large, that one in every 15 people are employed in the trucking industry. Even in tough times such as a recession, trucking, in some form, will always remain. There are still those who, for many reasons, cannot receive the needed CDL license in order to operate in commercial commerce. Trucking companies like Pitt-Ohio are increasing the chances for many, by implementing new and visionary training opportunities which can lead to achieving the commercial driver license. Welcome to the world of trucking . . . by way of the Sprinter Van.
The commercial sprinter van is not actually new, with the first one being launched by Mercedes-Benz in 1995 and a newer version in 2006, which was later voted Van of the Year in 2007 by Professional Van and Light Truck Magazine. However, companies such as Pitt-Ohio saw the sprinter van as a new training model for future truck drivers. President and co-founder Chuck Hammel, stated:
“But by far the most pleasant realization was that we were able to get non-CDL drivers behind the wheel, so our applicant pool expanded tremendously. We could get people into transportation that never thought they would want to drive a tractor trailer.”
Now, obviously, a sprinter van pales in comparison to an 18-wheeler . . . but what a program like this can accomplish, is having the newcomer to the trucking industry get familiar with the industry’s surroundings, such as the loading dock, loading and unloading procedures, paper work, shipper and receiver terminals, etc. The biggest fear of newcomers to the industry is operating in such “intimidating” surroundings. Once they become accustomed and familiar with these sights and sounds of trucking, the transition to the big rigs could prove to be much easier.
Big Rig TV has a video of this concept in action by Pitt-Ohio. The trucking industry is in need of more training alternatives for upcoming truck drivers. Introducing newcomers to the world of trucking through these Sprinter Vans . . . is not a bad idea.
© 2010, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.