Cummins Leading The Way For Younger Driversby Jake Tully - Published: 8/16/2016
A widely debated issue in the trucking industry may be one of the solutions for the industry's shortage of drivers.
In what may be a one of the greatest shortages of truck drivers in recent times, the National Truck & Step Van Driving Championships has opened up the door for a conversation about the industry's next move.
While some companies have individually offered more student programs and others have upped the bonuses they offer, manufacturers have taken it upon themselves to recruit the younger generation of drivers to get behind the wheel.
“Nothing gets delivered around the U.S. and cities without truckers,” said Amy Boerger, vice president of sales for Cummins’ Engine business. “It’s important to us. In order for parts to get into our plants and engines to be shipped away from plants, it’s effectively done with truck driving.”
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Cummins Engines made an announcement at the NTSVDC this past weekend to highlight the involvement of manufacturers to being in younger drivers, with their contributions just as important as those made by staffing companies and trucking industry outlets.
According to Boerger, Cummins is planning on attending more trade shows and events within the trucking industry in addition to establishing more comprehensive training programs using Cummins equipment and helping students follow engage in new driving practices and driving technology.
Seeing younger drivers on the road may be part of the solution, but some experienced truckers are trepidatious about this potential trend within the industry.
"Sure, you gotta have the newbies out there, but you get too many and it could be trouble," said Jesse Gray, an owner-operator of over 25 years. "I don't think the solution necessarily lies in young kids out there. Companies need better rates for experienced drivers, to start."
Still, Cummins may be on to a trend within manufacturers and companies alike. Many will wait the ATA report in driver trends to see the statistics regarding important figures in the industry.