Reward trucks and the driver shortage

Reward trucks and the driver shortage

The driver shortage is ongoing and shows no signs of stopping.

“We need about 90,000 drivers a year coming into our industry, and we’re about 50,000 short today,” outgoing ATA Chairman Dave Manning said in a recent speech. “We project that to be 125,000 short in the next six years.

“We have a workforce policy committee that has some suggestions of what we might want to do to improve workforce development,” he said. One of the most important things, according to Manning, is lowering the age requirement for a CDL to 18. “This way we’re not having to catch them on a second or third career,” he noted.

Beyond that, suggestions included working with the Department of Labor offices to make sure that trucking is one of the industries to which they are pointing people who are looking for employment. The second potential fix Manning mentioned was that the industry needs to do a better job of communicating the fact that not every truck driving job is long-haul.

These fixes may alleviate the situation in the future, but they don’t do much for fleets that need drivers now. One solution many have turned to is spec’ing reward trucks for their best or longest-tenured drivers.

Reward trucks may not boast the efficiency numbers of their more fuel-efficient brethren, but making an exception in your fleet for a few reward trucks can pay dividends in other ways, giving longtime drivers a reward and new drivers something toward which they can aspire.

One such truck was introduced recently: the Kenworth W990, a new long-hood conventional truck and a successor of sorts to the company’s long-running W900 series. The W900 line has long been known as a reward truck, and the W990 is being positioned in the same way.

Mike Dozier, Kenworth general manager and PACCAR vice president, concedes that the W990 will not be hitting the fuel efficiency numbers of the company’s on-highway T680 truck—but that’s not its goal.

“That’s where the T680 comes in: it’s there to meet the volume needs of customers,” Dozier said. “We designed the W990 for fleets that can have a portion of their fleet be that type of reward truck. There’s also a position for the W990 on its own merit, whether it’s in over-the-road or vocational applications.”

“There’s a considerable improvement over the W900L, so any company that’s already running the W900L will benefit right away,” he added.

Dozier went on to say that he thinks the prevalence of driver reward trucks will increase in the coming years.

“Yes, there will be an increase—how much of an increase, we don’t know,” Dozier said. “Given the driver retention challenges of today, customers are looking for whatever opportunities they can take advantage of that make sense within their business and allows them to move the needle in attracting and retaining drivers.

“There are two things playing into the driver shortage,” he continued. “It’s a demanding job and we’re at a time in the market with low unemployment. So what does that market look like a few years down the line? Time will tell.”

You May Also Like

Drivewyze, Bestpass partnership to integrate weight station bypass, toll management solutions

The collaboration will support on the rollout of a Drivewyze toll trip report, providing GPS-based toll event data.

Drivewyze and Bestpass have recently announced a new partnership to address fleet and driver pain points with tolling. The partners are aligning their offerings to streamline onboarding and support for fleets adopting weigh station bypass and toll management services.

Drivewyze offers PreClear weigh station bypass services at more than 840 sites in 45 states and provinces. In addition, it offers Drivewyze Safety+, a proactive in-cab safety alerts and driver-coaching service, which includes features allowing fleets to create in-cab toll road notifications. Bestpass works with over 50 tolling authorities across the U.S. providing a comprehensive payment platform with a focus on nationwide toll management for commercial fleets with solutions for 100% of major toll roads.

An overview of the TPMS and ATIS offerings

There is a wide variety of tire inflation technology available, both in TPMS and ATIS form. Let’s take a quick look at some of the offerings.

New ways to help your trucks maintain the proper tire pressure

Let’s take a look at some of the new products that are helping trucking companies get the most ROI out of their tires.

Using the proper coolant is essential to protect engines

The solution is training. Anyone who may add coolant to a radiator needs to understand the type of coolant required by the vehicle and the danger of topping off with the wrong coolant.

Manufacturers continue to roll out electric medium-duty trucks

Peterbilt, Kenworth, Navistar, Daimler, Freightliner and Cummins are a few of the companies making recent leaps in electric medium-duty truck development.


Other Posts

Kenworth T680 Next Gen. truck awarded to military vet rookie driver

Professional truck driver Ashley Leiva of Noemi Trucking received the keys to a Kenworth T680 Next Generation truck.

ERoad launches Clarity Get for Clarity dashcam

ERoad recently announced the launch of Clarity Get, an expansion on the ERoad dashcam video telematics solution, Clarity Solo. Clarity Get allows fleets to view video clips that are important to your operation, as well as historical video footage from MyEROAD, a cloud-based fleet management platform or mobile application. EROAD Clarity Get combines HD video, GPS tracking

The biggest truck technology stories of 2022

Technology is changing the way all things operate. In the world of heavy-duty trucking operations, fleets are constantly looking for ways to work smarter, not harder. Now, technology is supporting processes that are automated, instantaneous and increasingly available to the trucking industry. With all of the developments, integrations, partnerships and product advancements, looking into technology progression

Assured Telematics driver safety report coming to trucks with Lytx camera

Assured Telematics says that its driver safety report will be available in early 2023 to all fleets with a factory-installed Lytx dash camera system on select commercial trucks. The driver safety report, which has been custom developed by Assured Telematics, combines a fleet operator’s real-time telematics data from Geotab with the joint customer’s Lytx data to provide efficient insights