The Last Word
- Created: 01.08.2015
An Honorable Profession
By Kenneth Calhoun, Guest Writer
For years, we’ve been dealing with the very real crisis of the truck driver shortage. The American Trucking Associations reports that freight volumes grow year-over-year, but the industry is still many drivers short of supporting that growth. In addition, driver turnover is up 11 percent this year. And yet, freight companies are not just missing men and women behind the wheels of trucks. There is another crisis we are facing in terms of manpower: a technician shortage, the men and women under the hoods and hovering over motherboards of increasingly complex freight machines. The whole chain is affected as demand grows, but manpower stays the same.
In terms of supporting the fleet that moves our nation, we have only the lowest capacity to keep the system running. Wait times at service locations are at record lengths. Staffing fleet maintenance facilities has become a constant challenge. Asset utilization is suffering, and it is harder each day for the fleet operator to deliver the service their customer demands.
So what gives? Aside from the exponential growth of complexity in the vehicles, near record delivery of new vehicles and growing demand for delivery of raw materials and finished goods, why are the wheels coming off?
Up Front-They Like Us. They Really Like Us.
- Created: 10.30.2014
As an industry, we talk a lot about image. We worry about public opinion.
It’s only natural. After all, who doesn’t want to be loved?
While image is not everything, it certainly has an impact, from driver and industry recruitment to regulatory, legislative and public policy actions.
I think most of us think that the trucking industry’s image needs some improvement.
I wonder, in the absence of any real data, why we make this assumption.
Are we giving too much power to a vocal minority that may be driving the discussion? Is it the high profile, typically negative and misunderstood media coverage? Have we become so defensive about what we imagine to be our industry’s image to be that we have come to accept it as fact?
The Last Word
- Created: 10.30.2014
Industry Communications Demand More Creativity
By Tom Ricciardone, Guest Writer
A truck driver’s day begins with the end in mind.
Safety first. Safety always. There can be no compromise.
Where what it takes is driven by what’s at stake: Dedication, passion, commitment—to upholding the highest standards of excellence.
Where hard work and working hard are the price of entry. And professional pride is personal.
Where preparation and attention to every detail are never in question. All day. Every day. No matter where. On and off the road.
Each day the road ahead is filled with challenges. Unforeseen risks. From anywhere. At anytime.
For the professional truck driver, for the business that keeps America moving, their business is safety.
Up Front- What we do. Why we do it.
- Created: 10.01.2014
I’ve worked for the Arkansas Trucking Association for over a decade now. You would think I’d have a handy elevator pitch that succinctly conveys the essence of what it is we do.
Yet, I don’t. Not one I’m completely satisfied with anyway.
Sure, I can recite the mission statement. Rooted in our core value of service to our membership, it adequately states our primary objective to protect, promote and inform on our member’s behalf.
But the mission statement alone doesn’t explain how or why. It doesn’t capture the power—power that delivers meaningful and far-reaching impact through our association and the industry in Arkansas.
Whether issues of public interest, advancing our image, or addressing an arcane, stealth regulatory change—the power of association can make the difference.