Change drivers’ working conditions and then recruitment will become easier, says T&D’s editor-in-chief, Will Shiers.
I’m getting bored with people saying that in order to attract fresh blood into this industry, all we need to do is shout about how fantastic it is. Well I’ve got news for you – it isn’t! At least not at the coal face anyway. If you’re in the business of selling trucks, operating them or even writing about them, you can argue that despite the long hours it’s an incredibly rewarding place to be.
But it’s a different story when it comes to actually driving them. When I consider how badly UK truck drivers are treated, I find it amazing that the labour shortage isn’t more acute than it is. They’re pretty much universally hated by the general public, there’s a severe lack of safe and secure parking, they get fleeced by MSAs, treated by lepers by many of the customers they deliver to, are bullied by parking attendants and given an ever-increasing amount of red tape to deal with. And if that’s not bad enough, public toilets are like hens’ teeth.
It strikes me that we need to make some fundamental changes to driver’s working conditions, and then we’ll have something worth shouting about.