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Monday, September 29, 2008

Aging CDL driver population

It's interesting to see the History Channel's hit serise:
"Ice Road Truckers".

In case you've not seen it, the show is about the trials and tribulations of a small independent trucking company located in Canada.

In winter (not winter as we experience it in the lower 48) but in the ARTIC winter, the rivers and even the ocean is frozen enough for large tractor trailers to drive over it.

In the artic, in summer, the ground isn't ground... it's 'permafrost', and well, that means it melts in summer turning it into a muddy mess. NO WAY can a tractor trailer get traction on that crap.

There are diamond mines and oil drilling rigs etc that absoultely cannot operate without some how, some way vital supplies geting to them.

Enter the Ice Road Truckers.

The stars of this serise are:

  • Hugh

  • Rick

  • Drew

  • Alex

  • Hugh owns four tractors and leases them to the company hired to manage the frieght across the ice.

    Rick is a hot tempered, hot shot driver who: gets a lot done, but tears up some of the equipment.

    Drew is a aprehensive, rather codependent (emotionally) but suitable driver.

    From the History Channel website:
    "Last year, Drew Sherwood quit early in his rookie season on the Yellowknife ice roads, because he felt that Hugh, his employer, wasn't treating him fairly or respectfully."

    Many people viewing the show might come away thinking that Drew is kind of a "Wussie".
    The reality is: Hugh really IS an ass... he's still stuck in the no longer applicable paradigm of "Employees ought to be lucky they even HAVE a job"

    What's reality NOW?

    Employers need us a LOT MORE than we need them.

    Hugh's management style reminds me of MOST of the old school construction outfits I've driven for.
    An excerpt from the History Channel website:
    "Hugh is a big kid and has a reputation for being sarcastic"

    They operate on the concept of: They are the KEEPERS Of the GATE, you wanna work, you tow the line.

    Only problem with this scenario is:

    They need US MORE than we need them!!!

    What's Hugh's situation now that the season is over?

    Hugh "the Polar Bear" is now completely without drivers.

    ...both Rick and Drew have jobs!

    There is an unescapable FACT of LIFE in the CDL truck driving industry:

    There just aren't enough 25 year olds coming up to replace the ranks of Baby Boomers that are retiring.

    There's another History Channel show that's not about CDL truck drivers but DOES feature bad management, errouneous attitudes that some 'Old School' bosses/ managers/ company owners have that are going to put them out of business.

    Especially in this new/ changing/ status quo busting economy.

    Keep your customers happy or you simply won't have any customers

    Keep your EMPLOYEES happy or you simply won't have any employees.

    This site is not responsible for libel, any driver who ever worked for a truck company is welcome to rate any company they worked for, of course if they got fired, they might not give an accurate description of what it was like to work there.

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