Over-the-road trucking is considered the backbone of the USA trucking industry, as it provides employment opportunities to a large number of drivers across the country. Most experienced truck drivers prefer over-the-road trucking because it helps them spend more time on the road, which translates into a higher income. However, statistics show that young drivers (especially Generation Z drivers) are not inclined towards over-the-road trucking. There are many reasons today's young drivers are not inclined towards starting their career as OTR drivers that we will discuss in this article.
Reasons why are young drivers not attracted to over-the-road driving
Being away from home for longer periods
Over-the-road driving requires truck drivers to stay on the roads for many days to weeks as it involves long-haul deliveries. Generation Z young drivers lack interest in such jobs where they have to stay away from home for extended periods. That's why they prefer local driving, where they can go home in the evening after driving for 4 to 8 hours.
The modern lifestyle of young drivers is another reason for their lack of attraction to over-the-road driving. Being on the road for many days disturbs their social and personal life, strains the relationships in young families , Generation Z youngsters want optimum work-life balance, which is practically impossible in over-the-road trucking. They simply don't want to spend days behind the wheel with the feeling of loneliness.
Lack of career advancement opportunities
Over-the-road trucking is more like a static field with little margin for advancement. It hardly offers advancement opportunities to young drivers. Today's young folks do not like to be complacent in any situation. If they're working as truck drivers, there's not a single moment in their working days when they are not aspiring for fleet manager positions. They always look for advancement, which is something challenging to achieve in over-the-road driving.
Young drivers don’t want to remain truck drivers until the day they retire. They want to flourish, progress and excel in their careers. That's why most of them prefer office jobs where they can expect to be promoted to higher positions as their service moves on.
Lack of modern accommodations and healthy food
Driving long distances presents the challenge of of often spending the night at an unknown location .Finding parking, clean shower and good food is not always a guarantee .
Lack of modern technology
Although the USA trucking industry is striving to adopt modern technologies in its operations, many trucking fleets are still working on conventional systems, causing frustration, stress, and exhaustion among young drivers who are a digital generation. Young drivers want to use digital tools and modern technology-based logistics systems that can increase their productivity and make driving easier. That's why trucking companies that want to attract young talent must incorporate technology into their systems.
The lack of interest of young folks in OTR trucking is causing the driver shortage to rise at a faster pace because the trucking industry is consistently failing to attract young talent in this situation. Young drivers are meant to take the place of retiring drivers, and when they don't, it creates a huge gap between the demand and availability of truck drivers. The trucking industry must take serious initiatives to make over-the-road driving an attractive sector for young drivers.