Friday, August 24, 2007

Why do a lot of New Drivers Fail in the Trucking Industry?

This is a loaded question if you ask me. There are hundreds of reasons that can cause new generation drivers to fail at trucking. However, I will only give what I think is the number one reason so you don't have to read for 10 days, okay?

I have been trucking for over 10 years and have seen a lot of truckers come and go. Not just new drivers, but seasoned veterans as well. At first, I thought that some new drivers were failing because they were too hot headed and learned quickly that they didn't know anything when they "Thought" they new everything in the beginning. In fact, that is just part of the equation. What I think is the main reason why so many drivers fail is False Hope.

Let me clarify by example:
I was reading a trucking magazine that had LOTS of job opportunities posted inside and I realized that about %75 of them had one thing in common. What is that? you ask... Well, the companies in that %75 percentile were advertising $50+ earnings "POTENTIAL" per year for their drivers! AH HA! There is that magical word, Potential! That word has been the demise of Many old and new drivers. Most new drivers that see that word think of one thing, $50,000 per year. What they fail to to realize is, the "POTENTIAL" depends on several factors which include:
  • Driver Performance
  • Driver and Dispatcher Relationship
  • Company Assets (Customers)
  • Equipment reliability
  • Economical Growth and Stability
  • DOT regulations and more.....

I am not saying that the "potential" to make $50k per year isn't viable, because it is and there are tens of thousands of drivers that make that kind of money. But let's face it, The potential vs. the realistic in a not so perfect world can be very different. When a new driver works for a company who lured him/her in by the $50k potential earnings jumbo, and that company fails to deliver on that promise, the word potential falls out of the drivers mind. And, it doesn't matter who's fault it is why the driver didn't make that money, the driver is going to blame the company because in his/her mind the company said the driver would make $50k per year.

Look, everyone in this industry knows the money potential for the drivers. However, I propose that trucking companies that recruit to STOP writing these 50k potential ads, no matter how true it is, and advertise the "realistic" earnings instead. "Realistically", drivers can earn as much as they are worth. The driver themselves may not know it, but what if one driver is worth 30k and the next driver is worth 50k? Then the driver, who is only worth 30k, will be disappointed when he/she only makes 30k after reading the ad that ever so cleverly made him/her feel that he/she is worth 50k.

It's a psychology thing in my opinion. The companies are not false advertising, but I do think they are contributing to false hopes. They are trying to make ALL drivers feel like 50k (How Sweet!!!!) But making a driver feel like $50k when he/she is only worth $30k is a recipe for failure. I think these ads should read: "Big Money for Self Motivated Drivers Who Want to Make a Career Out of Trucking!" This puts drivers in the right mindset before they get behind the wheel and they will know that their income depends on them and the company as a team.

So, to summarize, new drivers are failing because they are not willing to work as much as it takes to make the "Big Bucks" in trucking and in turn are blaming the companies for not receiving the income "Potential" because and I quote, "But that's what the ad said".

You are only worth what you make yourself to be.

No comments: