When Will the Truck Market Come Back?

The trucking industry has gone through some ups and downs over the past several years, largely centered around two intertwined issues: a shortage of truck drivers and the low wages paid to truck drivers. Drivers who have seen their wages decline over the years are wondering if and when the industry will recover. Of course, it’s impossible to predict for certain. Wages and the success of the industry depend on a number of complicated factors: the economy as a whole, freight demand, government regulations, competition for positions, and more. Let’s talk about these various issues and what they likely mean for the trucking industry in the rest of 2016 and moving forward.

The American Economy

The first major factor affecting not only trucking, but all industries, is the American economy. So far in 2016, the economy has been recovering at a consistent but slow pace. If the economy continues to grow steadily, that will correspond with positive growth in the trucking industry. Strong industry and demand for freight help to keep trucking rates high. In May this year, for example, tonnage increased by 2.7%. Higher freight demand usually corresponds to bigger paychecks for drivers.

On the other hand, a strong U.S. dollar in comparison with foreign currencies leads to a decrease in exports, which is bad for commercial trucking. The U.K.’s recent exit from the European Union, and the subsequent shift in currencies, may cause demand for exports to be rocky in the coming months.

Continue reading

The Importance of Having Experienced Truck Drivers on the Road.

Hiring the right truck drivers makes a huge difference, both to the success of your trucking company and to public safety on the road. Trucking companies have a responsibility to themselves and others to hire seasoned, experienced truck drivers and to provide sufficient training and guidance to newer, inexperienced truckers. Keep in mind that experienced drivers will generally command a higher salary, but that cost is worth it for keeping your cargo, trucks, driver, and other people on the road safe. Experienced drivers are also typically easy to work with and will complete jobs reliably with a professional manner. Plus, insurance premiums can be less for experienced drivers with a good driving history. On the other hand, newer drivers shouldn’t be left out because often times they will be more flexible and can learn from your base of experienced drivers. It’s best to keep an eye on the future. 

Keeping the Road Safe for Themselves and Others

No one can deny that truck driving is dangerous. Truck drivers manage heavy vehicles, sometimes carrying hazardous materials. Handling a truck safely requires caution and knowledge of how a rig moves when fully loaded or without a load. An experienced driver knows how to maintain a proper following distance, adjust to poor weather conditions, slow down properly when approaching exits and turns, and maneuver around obstacles. They also have more experience controlling emotion when sharing the road with less thoughtful drivers. Careful driving keeps the truck driver and other drivers safe, reducing the risk of accidents as much as possible. It also protects the truck and its cargo from damage. Experienced drivers also know what to look for when it comes to mechanical and maintenance issues. They typically have their pre-trip inspections down to a science, and they recognize warning signs when they’re on the road. Experienced drivers make for safer roads and better-protected cargo. 

Continue reading