It’s ironic that one of the most essential forces in the American economy is often given the least consideration by the public at large. It’s strange that an industry which accounted for $1.48 trillion in 2015 spending gets so little attention outside of that industry. And it’s baffling that truck drivers and fleet owners — who move more than 10 billion tons of freight every year — aren’t given the same support and respect as the people working in other industries.
Consider the sheer number of think pieces that are written every day on employee engagement in white collar offices. Look for the same kind of advice and support addressing engagement issues and opportunities in the trucking industry and you are met with a very limited response.
So much time and effort is spent trying to optimize the office experience, but the question of engagement is just as, if not more, difficult for the owner trying to keep their fleet intact. Every day, transportation leaders work to help their people succeed, but they are given far fewer tools to assist them with that job than in other industries — especially when it comes to engagement.
The wider world doesn’t always seem to realize that the trucking industry is evolving right along with everything else. It’s not some antiquated business with outdated standards and goals. People in trucking want all the same things as the people in every other industry. They want respect, they want people to understand that their job has purpose, and they want the tools and support to do their best work.
No one has a harder job facilitating all of that than the fleet owner. Every day, they juggle the demands of increasing regulation, employee relation challenges, and narrow profit margins. Compound that with the lack of respect and consideration from the outside world, and you have a very complicated equation that fleet owners deal with every single day.
And yet despite all that, the support often just isn’t there. Very few people and organizations are working to help transportation leaders solve the engagement problem in an industry that is already struggling with aggressive amounts of turnover and a frequent inability to fill key roles The advice is still firmly focused on other industries and their own struggles.
Imagine the strain that constant turnover and recruiting costs puts on a business. Now consider its impact on an industry that has to be up and running every single day — in order to keep the country running. Imagine how difficult it would be to deal with steady turnover when you have such strict training and compliance standards to contend with.
That’s the reality for the owners and other fleet executives working hard to manage their fleet. They do it without asking for the same kind of fanfare and attention as other business leaders, and they do it without all the support afforded to so many other industries.
With words and with deeds, our goal at Vnomics is to be a part of the solution to this problem. We want to provide the tools and the support that every truck driver and fleet owner and manager deserves. We’ve already built a product that we believe will help to solve the engagement problem and make the job of the driver and the owner that much easier. Now, we want to support that work by providing the kind of serious thinking and consideration that belongs in this industry just as much as any other.
This blog is a natural extension of our overall mission to make the lives of fleet owners and drivers easier. Leaders in this industry have enough on their plate as is. We want to be there to provide everything else we can to help them succeed.
Writing for Time.com, John Diez had this to say about just how much every single person in this country relies on trucking:
“Consider what would happen if every truck were pulled off the road: There would be a perishable goods shortage within three days; drinking water would disappear within two to four weeks. Food supplies in hospitals would be gone in 24 hours. ATMs would be empty in two to three days.”
The trucking industry keeps us alive — quite literally. It is essential in providing practically everything that we need on a daily basis. The food that we eat, the water we drink, the gas we put in our cars, and so much more.
It only makes sense that we do our best to help keep the trucking industry alive and well too.