Millennials are now the largest demographic segment of the workforce. This generation, which consists of those born from 1981-1996, is primarily defined as the first generation to grow up with access to modern technology, particularly the internet. This, along with other factors, has caused them to have different requirements, expectations and desires as they search for jobs. And with booming industries like tech and engineering tempting millennials with large salaries and room for growth, many have never considered a career in commercial truck driving.
However, with the trucking shortage leaving many driving jobs unfilled each year, companies are willing to make truck driving worth a job hunter’s time. Here are a few reasons why millennials should consider becoming truck drivers.
Stereotypes are Changing
The truck driving industry has a lingering reputation of only being suitable for brawny men with long beards who practically live in their trucks. However, this stereotype is long overdue for a makeover. The days of heavy lifting and hard to maneuver big-rigs are in the past. You don’t need extra muscle to be a truck driver, which is one reason why trucking is now a career enjoyed by women all over the country. Trucks now have more luxurious cabs with power steering, state-of-the-art technology, and everything from hood releases to dollies are now hydraulic. Everything works with the push of a button, which means the world of trucking is more accessible than ever before.
Because more and more women are becoming truck drivers, new safety priorities are being established, which are changing the way trucks are designed and the trucking culture as a whole. Trucks can now come with their own private bathroom units and security systems, and truck stops are no longer exclusively full of male truckers.
The Trucking Demand Means Competitive Wages
According to Jon Gilbert of PLG Consulting, “The average age of commercial truck drivers is 55 and rising rapidly. The concern is that older, qualified truck drivers are retiring, and we are not getting adequate replacement drivers.”
As the age of truckers rises, more and more trucking jobs are becoming available. This increased need for truckers is only making starting salaries increase as well. In 2017, the average starting wage for a trucker was around $40,000 per year. Truckers are also typically offered excellent benefits including 401Ks and healthcare. And while $40,000 may be the starting salary, there is plenty of growth in the industry. Some truckers even make upwards of $80,000 based on experience and mileage.
Advancements in Autonomous Vehicles
While many people have feared that autonomous vehicles may cause truckers to lose their jobs, the opposite is actually the case. In fact, advancement in AI in the trucking industry would only make truckers’ lives easier by solving any problems they may currently be facing.
Autonomous vehicles will still require drivers to be alert and present in the vehicle at all times. However, with advancements such as platooning, which links trucks together via WIFI to reduce fuel consumption and accidents, drivers would not have to be as active in controlling the vehicle. This would allow drivers to not become mentally exhausted after long hours behind the wheel, and most importantly, it would mean their jobs were safer.
Truck Driving Requires Minimal Requirements
Unlike most jobs that have starting salaries around $40,000, commercial truck driving does not require an expensive college degree. To become a trucker, one only needs to complete an accredited training course. These trucking schools typically cost between $3,000 and $7,000, which is far less than a four year degree. Additionally, it does not take long to become a qualified driver. The average school will only take seven weeks to complete, meaning a new trucker can be out on the road within a few months of making a career change.
One concern the trucking industry faces when it tries to recruit young people right out of high school is current law against interstate travel. Currently, truckers must be at least 21 years old to travel over state lines. This means that people hoping to become truckers out of high school must only drive within their state for a few years before getting to take the higher paying, cross country trips.
However, lawmakers have recently started taking steps to reduce the interstate age to 18. This change is a direct response to the shortage of truckers. If this new law passes, many trucking companies, restaurants, and retailers believe it would put more truckers on the road and increase the efficiency of goods being delivered across the country.
Now is a great time to start a career in trucking. If you are considering becoming a commercial truck driver but need a first-time buyer loan, contact Mission Financial today.
Throughout 2018, the heated trade war between the U.S. and China has been full of twists and turns. The changes in taxes is an effort to boost the American economy by encouraging less outsourcing and bringing more manufacturing to the U.S. However, some new policies put into place earlier this year have caused difficulty for multiple industries. But what does this all mean for the trucking industry? Could the new tariffs mean less trade and an end to the demand for truckers across the U.S.? Here is what you need to know regarding the new tariffs against China.
Trade War with China
The trade war between China and the U.S. has been a roller coaster, especially throughout 2018. Not only has the U.S been levying tariffs on over $250 billion of imported goods out of China, but China is fighting back with $110 billion on the U.S.
Now, as 2018 comes to a close, the nation awaits the $267 billion in tariffs against China taking effect on Jan. 1. This round of tariffs is expected to hit far closer to home, as businesses of all sizes and industries, as well as consumers, feel a direct effect. Prices on consumer goods including tires, furniture and especially technology are expected to be the first to rise dramatically.
An Argument for Tariffs
Over time, those in favor of the tariffs are hoping the new taxes will boost the American economy. Because of the new tariffs, businesses will be able to charge higher prices for consumer goods. Additionally, domestic producers will profit more by investing in factories on U.S. soil. In theory, this will create millions of new jobs in the U.S. and improve the economy exponentially.
However, the higher taxes mean higher prices for the American people as well as businesses big and small. This could potentially cause the U.S. economy more harm than good, as business struggle to stay afloat while adjusting to the new costs.
New Tariffs Already Affecting the Automotive Industry
The industry in the U.S. already feeling the effects of tariffs includes the automotive industry, which is having to dig deep to afford the new taxes on vital materials like steel and aluminum. In fact, because of the rise of cost in imported goods, some American-based factories are considering taking their business overseas to avoid the taxes.
This is the case for Harley-Davidson. Their chief financial officer, John Olin, projected the new tariffs would cost them an extra $40 million in 2018, due to the increased cost to import materials. This economic hit has left the motorcycle company to consider moving production out of the U.S. entirely.
New Tariffs Could Directly Affect Consumers
While most other tax changes have not directly affected American consumers, these new tariffs against China could result in price increases on things people purchase every day. From canned goods to technology, large retailers like Target and Walmart have expressed concern about being forced to raise prices on their imported products.
In September, the director of global government affairs for Walmart wrote a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer discussing the impact the new tariffs could have on the American people. The message listed everything from clothing to dog leashes that would see a raised price after the new tax took effect. However, the letter stated that the worrisome increases could be on electronics, cosmetics and products for children. Walmart’s representative said she feared, “Increased costs associated with new tariffs could lead families to turn to cheaper, but less safe options to offset new financial burdens.”
What it Could Mean for Truckers
So, what does this mean for truckers across America? If less goods are entering the country and Americans are buying less due to price increase, it seems that truckers could also see a decline in job security. However, while these new tariffs could mean a lot of adjustments for businesses big and small, the chief economist for Freightwaves, Ibrahiim Bayaan, believes the demand for truckers will continue to increase.
He projects that these new tariffs will inspire businesses across the country to stock up on goods before the new tax comes into play. This would mean, in the short term, even more work for truckers as the surplus of goods flow in. Bayaan states that this extra backup of goods will give businesses time to come up with a plan to stay ahead of the tariffs and not allow it to affect their business or their prices for long.
This means that business will remain consistent and even increase for truckers. As more factories and manufacturers become a part of the U.S. economy, the transportation of goods will only grow in demand. Into the foreseeable future, despite any tariffs or AI advancements, there will still be a large need for commercial truck drivers all around the country.
Do you need help with your commercial vehicle loan? Contact Mission Financial for all of your financing needs.
This holiday season is off to a record-breaking start; from Black Friday, to Cyber Monday and beyond, sales have skyrocketed in store and online. In fact, a record-breaking $6.22 billion was reported from online sales alone this Black Friday, which is a 24 percent increase from last year. And not only are there more sales this year, but the average order value has increased to $146, an 8.5 percent increase from 2017. Cyber Monday also had its most-ever sales at $7.9 billion, a 19.4 percent increase from last year’s $6.6 billion.
According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), November and December make up nearly 20 percent of annual retail sales, and this number is only expected to rise. These increased sales mean big things for the U.S. economy and businesses everywhere. They also force consumers to reflect on how important truck drivers and the freight industry are during the holiday season.
Communities Rely on the Trucking Industry
Studies show that 80 percent of communities across the U.S. receive all of their goods by truck. That means that without truck drivers, the large majority of the U.S. would not have access to food, clothes or supplies all year-round. This becomes even more prevalent during the holiday season, as families around the country rely on truckers to deliver the food, decorations, and gifts to help fulfill their family traditions.
Without truck drivers, packages would not arrive at people’s homes in time for Christmas or other days of celebration, office shelves and storage closets would remain empty year-round, and retail establishments would have no products to sell. Especially in areas that have no alternative means of delivery, businesses rely on weekly or monthly shipments from reliable truck drivers in order to make a profit throughout the season.
Truckers Help Keep Holiday Roads Safe
During Thanksgiving alone, an estimated 54.3 million Americans traveled at least 50 miles away from their homes; a 4.8 percent increase from last year. As more and more people start traveling for the holidays, the risk of accidents also increases. However, each year, truckers are doing their part to keep the roads as safe as possible through extensive training, innovative technology and safety communication campaigns. In fact, the American Trucking Association invests over $9 billion annually into these facets. This is to ensure truckers are well-trained and given the best, most up-to-date vehicles possible, so that everyone can arrive safely during the holidays and year-round.
Rise of Online Shopping and the Freight Industry
Because of the rise in Amazon’s frictionless shopping experiences, low prices, and same-day / two-day deliveries, consumers now have heightened expectations when it comes to shopping. People want a personalized experience, the lowest price, and as little social interaction as possible. Most importantly, they want their merchandise immediately. This phenomenon called “The Amazon Effect,” has left traditional online and retail stores to alter their business models to keep up. However, for many businesses across America, competing with Amazon will be impossible. In fact, industry analysts project that 20 percent of retail stores will be permanently closing their doors in the next 5-7 years.
For the businesses that wish to stay afloat, fast shipping is a must. This has inspired solo truckers to pair up, so they can alternate shifts and keep the truck moving all day and night. One trucker will sleep while the other drives, usually switching every 10 hours. Fast shipping is especially important during the holidays because the percentage of online shoppers increases dramatically during this time. Last year, for example, there was a 16.9 percent increase in online shopping during the fourth quarter. Truck drivers have to work tirelessly to make sure every gift, package and holiday parcel arrives at its destination on time.
The Demand for Truckers is Increasing
As time goes by, despite concerns about new AI, the need for truck drivers is only going to increase. According to the American Trucking Association’s “U.S. Freight Forecast to 2024,” there will need to be a 20 percent increase in freight volumes of all kinds to keep up with demand by 2024. This report, originally published in 2013, has proven prophetic in the increase we have already seen within the trucking industry, and the numbers are only getting higher. Additionally, due to the new tariffs rolling out against overseas trade, U.S. trucker demand will skyrocket again as more and more goods are manufactured and distributed in the U.S.
Tis the season to be grateful for truckers everywhere, and if you are considering becoming a commercial truck driver yourself, there is no better time to get started. Jumpstart the process and get yourself behind the wheel of a big rig as soon as possible and leave your financing needs in the capable hands of Mission Financial.