Anything New?

The more things change, the more they remain the same. We get bombarded with new apps, tech innovations and geo politics. New threats. New ideas. It seems like there’s change everywhere. It’s inescapable.

But when it comes to people problems in trucking, issues often remain in the same orbits for long periods of time.

Take the annual ATRI survey on concerns in the trucking industry, announced this week at the ATA Management Conference and Exhibition.

For the third year running, the top trucking concerns as seen by over industry professionals and stakeholders is Hours-of-Service (HOS) issues. The top five haven’t changed much either:

1. Hours of ServiTrucking Concernsce
2. Challenges with its Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program
3. Driver shortage
4. Driver retention
5. Lack of safe truck parking

According to ATRI: “For the third year in a row, the industry ranked the Hours-of-Service (HOS) rules as its top industry concern. For the past two years, major HOS impacts on supply chains were the impetus behind the first place ranking. In this year’s survey, carriers and drivers voiced their concern over the uncertain future of the current suspension of the rules.”

The “ives” Have It

Maybe it’s time for some “ive” words: creative, proactive, responsive (but not dismissive).

ATA Chairman Duane Long, chairman, Longistics, Raleigh, NC. seems to agree. He said, “There is perhaps no better benchmark for the challenges we face as motor carriers and drivers than ATRI’s annual survey of top industry issues. As issues climb in ranking each year, so does our collective need to aggressively identify solutions to address those issues”.

No one says solutions to long-term problems are easy. If they were, they would melt away–but they don’t. They require:

good multi-media communication
effective, problem-focused training when appropriate
targeted recruiting and hiring processes
a resolve by management to stick with it without taking the eye off the ball

And, no, one size doesn’t fit all. It seldom does.