It’s not a ‘driver’ short­age

Big Rigs - - READER CORNER -

THERE isn’t a driver short­age. There isn’t even a skilled driver short­age.

There is, how­ever, a short­age of skilled op­er­a­tors who are will­ing to do the job and are leav­ing the in­dus­try in droves due to ridicu­lous rules, ram­pant over-reg­u­la­tion, in­com­pe­tent man­age­ment and ab­surd fines.

In re­gards to younger driv­ers who would want to get into it, ev­ery­thing is against you.

There are no for­mal path­ways through school, Tafe, trade school or ap­pren­tice­ships.

Ev­ery older driver bangs on about work­ing your way up, start­ing as a yardie for free, but with the price of liv­ing these days peo­ple can’t af­ford to work for noth­ing.

Com­pa­nies also can’t just em­ploy slave labour and it’s not worth the risk to have un­trained kids wan­der­ing around yards and de­pots and load­ing trail­ers with­out knowl­edge of load place­ment, weight dis­tri­bu­tion, load re­straint etc.

Mar­gins are so tight that most can’t af­ford to slow down 50 per cent to teach.

And let’s be real, most older driv­ers wouldn’t want some green off-sider with them all day and most aren’t will­ing to teach or give younger driv­ers a hand, let alone a chance these days.

All this with­out men­tion­ing wages, un­paid work on kilo­me­tre rate, lack of de­cent rest ar­eas, and food and fa­cil­i­ties that would be more at home in a third-world coun­try. — Glenn Piper

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