Most truck drivers would agree the wages could be better.
No, scrap that.
Pretty much every truck driver would agree that the wages NEED to be a damn sight better.
Recruitment companies advertising driver opportunities will happily quote salaries of £34,000 a year. And that – apparently – is a starting salary.
Back in the real world, drivers in the field (well, on the road) know it’s a different story altogether.
Earning £34,000 as a truck driver is virtually impossible for existing drivers – let alone anyone just starting out behind the wheel.
Of course, before you can think about driving a truck professionally, you need to have the right training and qualifications in place. Unfortunately, this training doesn’t come cheap.
Companies offering such courses generally require the sum of about £3,000 to deliver the training. Plus the safety training fees. Plus the cost of a medical. Plus a whole host of other additional costs they feel like adding on the day.
So, you’ve done your training and you’ve found a job that’s OK (money wasn’t what you were expecting, but you know…). If you’re in a city, it might not be long before you find yourself with a parking ticket.
Returning to any vehicle to find a fine has been slapped on your windscreen is frustrating enough. Finding a parking ticket when you’re just doing your job can be infuriating. Especially when you know how hard it will be to claim that money back from the business.
And while I’m on a roll, what’s the deal with the planners? I doubt many hold an HGV licence. I sometimes wonder if some even know how to drive a car. Others act like they don’t even know what an HGV looks like.
Unfortunately, a degree in logistics planning does not transform anyone into a trucking logistics master.
I get that there’s a business to run, and all businesses need to hit targets and keep the customers happy. What I don’t get is how so many ‘managers’ lack the people management skills to get the job done and keep everyone happy.
Saying that, there are some companies that do get it right. I just wish there were more of them around.
If the industry is serious about finding a solution to the ongoing trucker shortage/crisis, companies need to keep drivers onside. And guess what? There are two – very simple – things they can do.
1. Pay drivers a fair wage
2. Treat drivers with the respect they deserve
It really is that simple. Let’s hope more companies move away from the ‘them’ and ‘us’ mentality and take a more united approach to trucking.
We can always hope, right…?