TTSAO 2016 Annual Conference

February 24, 2016


I had the pleasure of attending TTSAO's first annual conference regarding the future of driver recruitment and addressing the challenges carriers face with the driver shortage. The sessions included a panel of speakers from Private Fleets, For Hire Fleets and Transportation Publications. There were a number of great questions asked by the MC of the panel members and here are some of the questions that stood out to me. 

Question: Why do you think there are less people entering the driving force? 

Panel 1 Answer: There is a misconception out there that the trucking industry isn't professional, that it is a job of last resort or an easy job for the uneducated to obtain. This is not the case. It is a complicated and intricate industry that is always changing and growing. The challenge is changing that misconception. 

Panel 2 Answer:  Demographics - Since we can't hire drivers below the age of 21, we loose the opportunity in hiring or mentoring straight out of high school, when young adults are deciding on career path. 


Question: What can carriers do to address this misconception?

Panel 1 Answer: Carriers need to champion the diversity in backgrounds and eduction of their employees. Show the world that University and College Educated people are drivers. Mothers are drivers. Accountants are drivers. Athletes are drivers. 


Question: Why are drivers leaving the industry?

Panel 1 Answer: Experienced drivers are unhappy with regulatory changes. They feel the industry is not what it used to be. 

Panel 2 Answer: Entry level drivers find the industry is harder than what they thought it would be. It can be stressful, the hours are long and family time is sometimes sacrificed. 


Question: What would be your advice to reduce the amount of drivers leaving?

Panel 2 Answer:  Be upfront about the challenges of the job and the life style effects while accentuating the positives such as great income, independance, visiting new locations.  Implement a consistent driver recognition program. A small recognition even just a simple thank you goes a long way. 

Kari Ranonis

Driver Services


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