Transport Topics recently had a live video broadcast all about reaching millennials in truck driving. Whether the subject be recruiting or retaining drivers, the panel seemed to agree that this generation is different. During this broadcast, there were several hot topics discussed including the intrastate vs. interstate age limitations, technology in trucking, priorities about the job itself, and much more. Let’s take a closer look at some of these now…
As the demand for new drivers continues to grow and the workforce gets older, those in the transportation industry are really pushing for some regulation changes. A huge barrier for entry is the 21 year old Interstate driving age requirement. This law mandates that a CDL holder must be 21 years of age or older to cross state lines while operating a commercial motor vehicle. To many, this just doesn’t add up since an 18 year old can drive from Los Angeles to San Diego with no restrictions at all. This is a distance much further than that of nearby cities just down the road simply separated by state lines.
Many transportation industry executives see the 18-20 year-olds as an untapped market that could really help alleviate the current and upcoming driver shortage. This has been talked about for several years and any potential it has to be implemented remains up in the air.
Technology & Social Media
Of course, technology was a huge topic of discussion when it comes to reaching the millennials. It was brought up, that in many instances, becoming a truck driver is asking someone to give up a device that many are “addicted” to for 10-11 hours a day. Think about it, when was the last time you went that long without your phone? It makes many people feel as though they’re disconnected from what’s going on around them.
That being said, when their driving “shift” is over, they perhaps can feel more connected than ever as long as reliable Wifi that doesn’t eat into their data plan is available. This is a big deal for millennials and social media will continue to be a HUGE part of the trucking lifestyle for this upcoming generation.
Then, there’s the whole piece of recruiting these drivers through technology. Everyone on the panel agreed that Facebook is still king right now, but Instagram and Snapchat are definitely coming on strong as their advertising offering grows.
Another big shift that the industry is seeing when it comes to millennials is that their work/life priorities are a bit different. It’s no longer the thought of, “let’s see how many miles I can get and run as hard as I can.” Instead, it’s more about consistent pay and a clear cut path to advance their career. It’s about having that regular home time to make sure they don’t miss out on life’s big events.
And guess what? If they don’t get those things, they’ll look to find a company that’ll provide them. The days of trucking with the same company for 20, 30, 40 years may be behind us.
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