‘Fun’ with a side order of filthy lies

April 16, 2018

Wendy Parker

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According to the American Trucking Associations, the trucking industry seeks 900 million short drivers.

No. Wait.

There are 900 million trucks without short people in them.

Hold on, that can’t be right.

(Is it even OK to refer to someone as “short” anymore? Should I be offended, as well as concerned we’re suddenly missing a huge swath of small-stature CDL holders?)

Oh wait, it’s all clear now. The ATA says we’re 900 million drivers short of being able to churn through them like diapers at a daycare on a daily basis. Pardon my confusion. I don’t math well when it comes to imaginary things.

Speaking of imagination, virtual reality truck driver training is becoming all the rage. Because it’s fun. It appeals to the younger generation. The sensation of freedom and fun-filled adventure on the road is no doubt enhanced by Borg-like VR goggles.

A truly whimsical virtual training experience might also include strapping a c-pap to their face and rocking them to sleep in something quiet and tranquil, like an industrial-sized rock tumbler full of angry wombats. You know, just so they can see how “fun” it is to drive teams through Indiana on I-70.

Here’s something that would be loads of fun. How about attracting new drivers to the industry with pay and training that correlates to all the “fun” they’ll have when their happy butts are on the line every single day in every single way? Owner-op or company driver, the point of contact is sitting in the truck. It doesn’t matter if contact is with a law enforcement officer or, heaven forbid, a bridge abutment. That person should be treated like they matter. Because they do.

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It can’t be said enough, and the ATA won’t say it. The industry is short, alright. It’s short of pay, training, and retention efforts. Lawmakers who understand the detrimental implications of adding regulation upon regulation are in very short supply. A shortage of common sense employment practices for hundreds of thousands of new CDL holders each year feeds the churn but doesn’t make their claims true.

It’s short of a lot of things, but drivers aren’t one of them. We are not short drivers.

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Wendy Parker

Wendy Parker has covered the trucking industry since 2012 after she says she “lost my mind and decided to climb inside my husband’s big truck to travel with him as an over-the road, long-haul trucker.” Her unique writing style that ranges from biting satire to investigative journalism coupled with her unbridled passion for fighting round out a wildly talented stable of writers.