Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility Getting Younger Drivers into the Trucking Industry

Getting Younger Drivers into the Trucking Industry

By October 27, 2022Trucking Information

Not a week goes by that the truck driver shortage avoids making headlines. However, while analysts point to everything from high demand to a sarcastic take on younger generations, the numbers are painting a very clear picture. The “silver wave” of mass retirees is happening now, and will for the next few years. Baby Boomers, once the backbone of the trucking industry, are retiring at a rate of six for every two new drivers. The 3:1 ratio gets even less stable when you realize that new drivers are bouncing out of the trucking industry at an alarming rate, which is skewing retention numbers in a very concerning direction.

Appealing to Younger Drivers

For trucking industries to get younger drivers on board, they have to look beyond superficial things, such as clothing, slang, and music. What drives the younger generations? What attracts them to trucking over other professions? What are the built-in perks of working for a trucking company that appeals to younger generations? The carriers that have unlocked that information have been able to make great gains in recruiting and retaining younger drivers.

Gen Z Has Normalized Trucking

Gen Z is the target audience for filling the vacancies created by retiring drivers. A large part of that is that Gen Z does not distinguish between going to trade school, getting certified/licensed for a job, and going to college. Unlike Gen X and – to a degree – Millennials, getting a college education was not prioritized over other career paths. Gen Z doesn’t “look down on” jobs like factory work, truck driving, and constructing the way previous generations were socialized to view them. They started to become aware of the world during the Great Recession, and realized that getting a job that pays well is more important than racking up tons of debt. The trucking industry offers a great pay scale in an industry that every business depends upon, and that’s how some carriers are recruiting drivers from Gen Z.

Drive a Truck, See the World

Younger people want to travel. Many have spent most of their lives in their hometowns, because families have been traveling together less and less over the past two decades. And since big vacations and traveling in general costs quite a bit, Gen Z workers are looking for jobs that allow them to see different places. Trucking is the ideal profession for young people who want to travel. Some carriers are even letting these young drivers take their home time in different locations. Gen Z drivers love the idea of seeing new states, parks, natural wonders, eating different types of food – and trucking companies are appealing to that side of driving when they recruit.

Incorporating the Social Aspect

A lot of older generations groan when they see younger people using their smartphones and tablets, but that’s simply how they communicate. During the pandemic, those smartphones allowed them to stay in contact with each other, and create content to share with their friends. There are Gen Z drivers who are keeping video journals about the places they see and life on the road, and they are gaining followers and sparking interest in truck driving better than traditional recruiting models. Trucking companies are letting these young drivers become the face of recruiting more drivers from the Gen Z demographic because they know how to reach others better than outdated brochures and VHS training cassettes.

Tech-Forward Drivers

One of the biggest obstacles over the past few years has been getting older drivers reskilled and trained on new technology. Tablets, GPS, fuel apps, ELDs, electronic load bards, and more have taken some getting used to, and the tech train never stops. There will always be new systems to learn. Gen Z never knew a time without the internet. They’ve been navigating the digital space all of their lives, from their own devices to setting up WiFi and smart TVs for their parents and grandparents. Younger people do not want to struggle or get left behind by the latest and greatest technology, so they get out in front and learn it as quickly as possible. As the industry transitions to electric vehicles, and the devices used by drivers get more advanced, it only makes sense to hire from the generation that is predisposed to learning new technology.

Launching Your Own Trucking Company

If you want to launch your own trucking company, now is the ideal time. Maybe you are an owner-operator looking to start a robust company with younger drivers. Maybe you are looking to pivot from your current carrier to start your own business. Whatever the reason, Single Point Capital can help. With our start-up program, we will make sure the forms licenses, and permits are all filled out correctly and filed with the right agencies. And if you sign up for our freight bill factoring services, we will waive the administrative fees. To get started, talk to the team at Single Point Capital today.

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