Driver shortage top collective concern in ATRI survey; drivers pick HOS

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AUSTIN, Texas — The American Transportation Research Institute, the trucking industry’s not-for-profit research institute, Monday unveiled its Top Industry Issues report, which includes the list of the top 10 critical issues facing the North American trucking industry. For the second year in a row, the driver shortage is the top-ranked issue.

ARTI released the report during the American Trucking Associations Management Conference and Exhibition under way here.

The report includes response from both professional drivers and motor carrier fleets.

The need to recruit qualified truck drivers is not a new issue for the industry.

In fact, the driver shortage has been a top-three issue in 12 out of the 14 years that ATRI has conducted this survey, the results of which is a compilation of responses from drivers and fleets.

However, the driver shortage has held firm as the No. 1 issue as strong freight demand and an aging workforce increase pressure on motor carriers to recruit and retain the best talent.

The ATRI Top Industry Issues report also includes prioritized strategies for addressing each issue.

The No. 2 issue in this year’s survey is the Hours of Service rules, driven in large part by the industry’s call for increased flexibility in the rules, particularly the sleeper berth provision. Reflecting the industry’s challenges in recruiting and retaining professional drivers, this year’s No. 3 issue is driver retention, up two spots from last year.

Industry concern over the electronic logging device mandate has abated some since the final rule went into effect last December, as evidenced by a drop in ranking from the No. 2 issue in 2017 to the No. 4 issue this year. The lack of available truck parking rounds out this year’s top five but remains as the number two issue among commercial drivers.

Professional drivers ranked Hours of Service as the No. 1 concern with truck parking as No. 2 and ELDs as No. 3.

Here are the bottom five concerns when combining driver and fleet responses: (6) CSA; (7) Driver Distraction; (8) Infrastructure/Congestion/Funding; (9) Driver Health/Wellness; and (10) Economy.

Beyond HOS, Truck Parking and ELDs, here are concerns four through 10 as rated by drivers: (4) Driver Distraction; (5) Driver Retention; (6) CSA; (7) Driver Health and Wellness; (8) Transportation Infrastructure/Congestion/Funding; (9) Driver Shortage; ajnd (10) Automated Truck Technology.

Here are the top 10 concerns as rated by fleet executives: (1) Driver Shortage; (2) Driver Retention; (3) Hours of Service; (4) Transportation Infrastructure/Congestion/Funding; (5) ELDs; (6) CSA; (7) Driver Distraction; (8) Tort Reform; (9) Truck Parking; and (10) Federal Preemption of State Regulation of Interstate Trucking (F4A).

“I’ve spent the past year traveling the country as ATA chairman and everywhere I go, people talk about how we’ve got to resolve our workforce challenges if we’re going to keep this nation’s economy moving forward,” said Dave Manning, TCW president. “ATRI’s annual analysis lays out the industry’s preferred strategies for not only addressing our workforce issues, but HOS, truck parking, and congestion as well.”

ATRI is the trucking industry’s 501(c)(3) not-for-profit research organization. It is engaged in critical research relating to freight transportation’s essential role in maintaining a safe, secure and efficient transportation system.

A copy of the survey results is available from ATRI at

The November 15-30 issue of The Trucker will carry more details about the report.



The Trucker News Staff

The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.

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The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.
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Personally, I feel the “low” pay contributes GREATLY to the driver shortage and retention of quality drivers, along with the amount of time companies want you to stay out on the road. At my current employer, I have not had a raise (not even a cost of living raise) in the four years I have been there. They seem to feel that if you want to make more money, take more runs. So much for “quality” home time, right?

Hello, why not bring back temporary work visa’s for experienced Australian and New Zealand drivers. Many of us have worked there for years and have good records.

There isn’t a shortage of drivers, we are still here for the most part. The industry itself helped to make up our minds for us starting in the 80’s. Wages never seem to change and in some cases have dropped, the FEDS and all the regulations they have come up with. Want to get experienced drivers back in the seat, quit coming up with new and exciting ways to drive them into early retirement.

I’ve been driving since 1979 and the more government stick student goes into the trucking business the worse it gets and you wonder why it’s all screwed up now.

I was the owner operator for 25 years now to hear I started out sending out applications different companies and I was told by three different companies after driving about 3,000,000 miles in my career and not one chargeable accident. That if I didn’t attend a driving to school with their insurance company wouldn’t hire me. And these companies have the gall to cry about driver shortage. Freight business could’ve been solved along time ago it’s the shadow in the room that no one wants to talk about make the shipper and receiver responsible for everything the time they get there the hours of manage to service the weight on the trailers that they’re not overweight per axle the meet ends of the truck to make sure they don’t load something it’s a piece of junk and when you get to the other end they take their stuff off. Any trucking companies and brokers you’re getting paid big money per mile to haul the stuff and they want to offer nothing but peanuts your lies 20 years ago I was hauling stuff for a dollar something a mile and now it’s still a dollar song mama I’ll be only when I can identify with the damn dairy farmer and the price never goes up. Let’s face it when it comes to CSA and DOT this is a source of revenue now for all the states counties and even little towns and cities it’s not about safety it was about safety they wouldn’t let you leave and just write you a ticket. And they may not wanna hear it but the truck driving schools all they do is teach the people I would pass the test I don’t teach him how to drive the damn truck hit the minimum should be some type of apprenticeship program or somebody wants to learn’s got to go with the driver for a year but she can’t teach somebody in 21 days and crap like that. I’m sure my opinion is not the same or in different then so many others you’ve already heard from the problem is there’s no one Left that’s honest. The government just shut us the companies bitch your whole floor or the ones at your work for just honest nobody wants to see what the real truth there’s. Most guys take this job not for the money not for the benefits not drive the big fancy trucks they take this job because of one reason. Either born to do it or they’re not in the Osborne to do it don’t complain about it don’t cry about it they don’t even know why they do it it’s just who they are. And the last thing they need some government official looking over your shoulder some company monitoring everything they say and do every minute of the day I promise you when they’re tired to go to sleep I need to work to go to work and they won’t drive like maniacs you don’t need that cut the motors out of the trucks easier people that love the do this job and want to unfortunately we now have about 70% of the drivers out here don’t want to be out here doing his job. So the next time you asked for a cabinet I hope you’re prepared to answer the questions and I hope you’re prepared except the truth.

I’ll tell you another problem. When a broker/agent tells me how I am suppose to “just do it” because I have a truck and I took the load. When inclement weather and safety tells me “cancel the load” I will cancel the load. And if you have to go into the office to get the load covered. Do it! Dont bitch about it to me! Idgaf. I wont take 925.00 sitting for 3 days because roads are closed and your receiver cant get their shit straight. I will cancel that load, find another load that will keep me moving. You can Dispatch and abuse your company drivers but under no circumstances will I have some broker/agent tell me how to operate my truck. None the less yell at me and threaten my companies reputation. Just a message to you knight/swift, there is a reason you have the reputation that you do in trucking world. I’ll never take a load from your adolescent team of monkeys.