How about that idea Mr. Joe Biden? Your platform to help all Americans enjoy a chance to better themselves and provide for their families could start with an Americans with Abilities Act? An act that promotes the rights of all Americans to have a chance to learn a skilled profession in an industry that sorely needs hardworking Americans. So, let us start with the trucking industry, which employs 17% of the population and has been fighting a driver shortage for at least the last 10 years. With federal help and some coordinated activities, we could tackle this issue. I believe the truck driver profession has been under recognized in the past accompanied by some not so beneficial stereotypes. However, I believe the pandemic has elevated the awareness of these hard-working people – who have recently been deemed essential workers – who work long solitary hours keeping the supply chain of America filled. I for one am very grateful for everything these professional drivers have done through these very tough times.
Here’s some suggestions that may fall under an “Americans with Abilities Act,” putting an emphasis on truck drivers:
Federal government to acknowledge that the professional truck driver is a “skilled position.” For years, carriers have developed training programs inside their own fleets to take unskilled people and train them to be professional truck drivers. They do this at a very high cost, and now a spotlight on the industry from the ambulance-chasing attorneys. Carriers welcome all walks of life to join our industry. Inclusion is the lay of the land. Bring some work ethic, a safe driving record, and be drug free; this industry will give you every opportunity to succeed. In most cases, the federal government has financial aid for traditional technical schools, but nothing for the curriculum developed by carriers. If Congress believes these drivers work in an “unskilled profession” I am sure I can drop a couple of loaded trucks off in DC, and give them directions on how to deliver that 80,000 lbs. of freight to Miami by a scheduled time in two days?
Consider the crushing affect that AB5 will have on this great industry. Most trucking companies started with one person, one family, one truck and a dream. That dream and hope is still alive today, but AB5 will destroy that opportunity. The truck driver career path can start as a driver, maybe taught by the fleet they are driving for. They can then take those skills and start their own trucking business as an independent contractor. We have millions of success stories for these hard-working businesspeople. They are treated as franchisees from the carrier that supplies the loads, marketing, and planning for the success of that new business. That is where the franchisee similarities end for trucking. The fleets are required to take a hands-off relationship with these folks. However, they, like any other private business, seek out business expertise and help to make the small business profitable. However, under current “arm’s length” restrictions, carriers are not able to help these people in gaining profitability. AB5 absolutely destroys this bedrock relationship in trucking. Instead, let us exempt interstate carriers, and even more relax the onerous oversight that restricts the carriers from helping these companies get better?
The trucking community has performed famously during these tough times, with a little business review of what the trucking industry is like today, so let’s consider helping the hard-working folks fulfill their dreams!