We all know that there is a shortage of drivers currently, particularly anyone that has spent time queuing to buy fuel recently. Even the UK’s army of temporary workers have been unable to sufficiently plug the gap, and there is a lot of discussion as to the reasons behind the shortage.
We found a particularly interesting account from Nick Carter on LinkedIn, we thought his perspective could be similarly applicable to other sectors where there also shortages so have reproduced it below:
An abused profession
Driving was all I ever wanted to do, I got my licence at the age of 17. What I didn’t take into account was the absolute abuse my profession would get over the years. I have seen a massive decline in the respect this trade has, first, it was the erosion of truck parking and transport café’s, then it was the massive increase in restricting where I could stop, timed weight limits in just about every city and town, but not all the time, you can get there to do your delivery, but you can’t stay there, nobody wants an empty truck, nobody wants you there once they have what they did want.
It’s specific to the UK
Compare France to the UK. I can park in nearly every town or village, they have marked truck parking bays, and somewhere nearby, will be a small routier, where I can get a meal and a shower, the locals respect me, and have no problems with me or my truck being there for the night.
Go out onto the motorway services, and I can park for no cost, go into the service area, and get a shower for a minimal cost, and have freshly cooked food, I even get to jump the queues, because others know that my time is limited, and respect I am there because it is my job. Add to that, I even get a 20% discount of all I purchase.
On the job costs…
Compare that to the UK £25-£40 just to park overnight, dirty showers, and expensive, dried (under heat lamps) food that is overpriced, and I have no choice but to park there, because you don’t want me in your towns and cities. There are so many restrictions making it difficult or impossible to stop anywhere.
Ask yourself how you would feel, if doing your job actually cost you money at the end of the day, just so you could rest.
Not only have we been rejected from our towns and cities, but we have also suffered massive pay cuts, because of the influx of foreign drivers willing to work for a wage that is high where they come from, companies eagerly recruited from the eastern bloc, who can blame them, why pay good money when you can get cheap labour, and a never ending supply of it as well.
The bottom line
Do you want me to go back to driving trucks? Give me a good reason to do so.
Perhaps once you work out why you can’t, you will understand why your shelves are not as full as they could be. I tried it for over 30 years, but will never go back, you just couldn’t pay me enough.
The original content was posted by Nick Carter on LinkedIn.