With much of the industry talking about a truck driver shortage due to the impending CSA release, any such shortage is the direct result of former and past practices by the industry itself. Practices that we have pointed out on many occasions, such as poor training by many of the CDL schools, over exaggerated claims by trucking recruiters and the constant revolving door with new CDL drivers in order for the schools and companies to keep the government grants and voucher money coming in. If a truck driver shortage truly is looming on the horizon, it can only be due to the abusive nature of the industry toward its drivers.
Further regulations will only add to this self-made problem. New medical standards will be an attempt to weed out older veteran drivers and the entire industry is now being set up to bring in only the youngest and healthiest of road warriors. We are hearing from many older, experienced truck drivers who are being terminated or denied employment for small, minute reasons that before, never would have been a concern for the industry.
The youngest and fittest of us all, are our men and women of the U.S. military. With many of our military veterans coming to the end of their enlistment, Troops2Truckers is preparing our vets for life after the military. One way they are doing this, is offering a no cost program for CDL training and getting them ready for a life on the road as a civilian.
Currently, Troops2Truckers is offering their CDL training program at the USMC base in Camp Pendleton, California. The cost of training is paid for through a 100% tuition program and they are under contract with many transportation and logistic companies. Apparently they understand the industry problem with so many of the CDL schools across the country. Their website states: “The main difference between T2T and a truck driving school is our output – we deliver jobs . . . trucking schools deliver diplomas.”
We have been voicing the problems within the trucking industry for quite a few years now, and many have finally stepped up and are admitting that these problems do in fact, exist. Although there are many good CDL training schools across the country, overall, the majority of trucking professionals know that one of the major abuses of the industry is the CDL training programs. Students who have graduated as long as a year before, still find themselves sitting at home, with no job and a useless CDL license. The school however, received their money from the unsuspecting CDL student.
Troops2Truckers state that they have the ability to provide a job after training, under no obligation for the student and no contract to sign. Our military vets often need help transitioning back into civilian life. They deserve our help.
Problems still remain such as low pay, poor miles, truck leasing programs that are designed to fail, strict no idling policies, no APU units, no pay waiting time and of course, the self inflicted turning over of drivers for government grant money. I only hope that the trucking companies who hire these vets will treat them with the respect they deserve and offer viable employment, and not give them the treatment that many of our veteran truck drivers have experienced within the industry.
© 2010, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.