Truck, highway, generic, heavy vehicle, file photo
Truck, highway, generic, heavy vehicle, file photo Kirstin Payne

What will make truck driving 'attractive'?

WHEN Big Rigs editor James Graham tackled the issue of driver shortage in a recent edition, readers were quick to throw in their two cents.

Ethan Cooley: It's a number of things: 1: Who wants to work in such a heavily regulated industry. 2: Who wants to work for the fairly average wage we get. 3: What incentives are there for young drivers? 4: The age old issues, can't get a job without experience, can't get experience without a job. 5: A lot of older drivers really dislike younger drivers. Hey, you was a young driver once "back in the day" 6: Social media, You make one mistake and your a Australia wide sensation. #windowseathomebro. I'm not trying to whinge, but it's not easy for young drivers. Not to mention licensing is bloody expensive, so most make the jump from HR to MC and then get roasted for doing so. I love driving, without a doubt it's the best thing I've ever done, but it's getting hard just to do your job.

Peter Anderson: Drivers wages don't pay enough . Plain and simple . Who the hell wants to work for $27 per hour on a ABN for no holiday or sick pay . Pass !

Natalie Albury: How about stop letting the big companies who try to monopolise the industry yet wont give anyone a start undercut all the smaller family owned businesses with freight costs. Maybe we could afford the insurances to have a younger driver in the seat.

Colin Andrew: OH&S (allthough highly needed), killed off an entire generation of kids riding along with dad (like I did) and learning the ropes, chains and tarps. Yes it's a dangerous industry, but where are the traineeships / apprenticeships for 16-18 year old school leavers to learn the industry? As recently discovered by all in the industry, any person can drive a truck forwards. That's why the wages are low. We need to be, and train transport professionals this needs to be supported by repratable companies and appropriate wages for professionals. It would also help the industry if the authorities would work with drivers and show some respect (both ways) to work together instead of throwing the book at guys for minor instances where education and respect for the job would have a far greater and longer lasting result.

Demi Flynn: I would find the following "attractive": 1. Three year apprenticeship - employer pays for HR and or HC than progress to MC at the end of the three years. I reakon in the three years of learning it should include computers, booking freight, forklift and loading, basic mechanical skills etc. 2. A good $$ km rate and penalties. 3. No log books, BFM, RMS or speed limiter. 4. A 24hr once a week. 5. An automatic truck and reverse camera. But seriously I take my hat off to any truck driver today it's a hard industry from what I see behind a computer side of transport.
 

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