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How can we make truck driving a desirable job?

Image credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/hands-holding-yellow-miniature-toy-truck-7541983/

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J
Juranium Oct 27, 2021
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Necessity

Is the problem still unsolved?

Conciseness

Is it concisely described?

How can we make the truck driver jobs healthier and more interesting for young people, without significantly increasing salary?

The problem
Currently, American supply chains lack 80 000 truck drivers which is probably the reason why most of the kids will get their Christmas presents late. Truck drivers currently move 71% of the US economy, which could be in big trouble until 2030, when the total shortage could surpass 160 000.
  • Demographic data says the average truck driver's age is 55 and only 6% of them are females.
  • Truck drivers often spend days or even weeks on the road, coming home a few times a month.
  • They need to adapt to living in a truck, sitting all day, showering in the rest places, eating non-nutritious food, sleeping less, etc.
What could help?
Questionnaires gave insight into few solutions that could help the increase in the number of truck drivers. The first one is, of course, the increase in driver pay, which would attract many, but would still not make the job a desired one. Decrease time on the road would make life of a driver much more comfortable, but would negatively affect the shipping and would create higher expenses for the business owners. Autonomous trucking is the future, but could reduce the number of truck drivers long term.
The brainstorming task
Let's not focus on salaries, but think of a solutions to common truck driver's problems and how to solve them. Feel free to solve the uncommon ones, too :)
Inspiration questions:
  • How can we make the truck driver's life healthier, more fun, respectable and/or desirable?
  • Do you know any specific thing that should be changed in order to create better truck driving job?
  • If you were the truck driver, what would you like to see upgraded?

[1]https://www.chainstoreage.com/truck-driver-shortage-hits-all-time-high-could-double-2030

5
Creative contributions

Truck driver YouTuber

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic Oct 27, 2021
A youtube channel where a charismatic truck driver takes us along on his adventures.
  • he lives in his truck full time
  • sleeps in the truck or sometimes stealth camps nearby
  • cooking meals in the truck or stoping areas
  • picking up hitchhikers and listening to their stories
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Spook Louw
Spook Louwa month ago
There seems to be a genre like this already, I found a couple of videos like this one.
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Darko Savic
Darko Savica month ago
Spook Louw 15 million views, wow
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Make the trucks family-friendly

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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni Oct 28, 2021
Being on the road away from the family was suggested as one of the reasons (in the session text) for the job not being desirable. To overcome that, trucks could be made family-friendly. A small compartment could be reserved in the truck and converted into a home for an additional two or three people. Designers have cleverly engineered entire homes in vans. Here are some examples - 1, 2, 3. The same methods could be used to make trucks more livable for a family. [Divergence - if more and more trucks drivers start converting their trucks into homes, this could open a whole new business space for van interior designers and craftsmen]. The spouses could work online from the truck and the kids could attend the schools online. For socializing, the kids could attend schools actually throughout the country or the regions where the truck usually travels. Schooling is free (or close to free) in most places, which is advantageous. Being with the family may solve most of the problems the drivers deal with.
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Juraniuma month ago
Very clever idea! Although it could be tough to accomplish that all family members can work, study or attend school online, it could, from time to time, be a chance for the family to do the road trip.
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Cycling during the break

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J
Juranium Oct 27, 2021
When a driver stops for a break, they can eat, sleep or walk around. What if it could also rent a bike for an hour and cycle around?
Why?
  • The driver could get his daily exercise and reduce the chance of health issues later in life
  • It could also get to know the surroundings by cycling through the nature
  • If nothing from above, it would be entertaining for the driver to do something else than just sit around
The idea is to put rent-a-bike stations on the resting points and create markings and trails for truck drivers to cycle around. It should be free for the ones with loyalty cards since they spend a lot of time and money on gas, food, and goods.
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Gyms on the highway resting points

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Juranium Oct 27, 2021
Since truck drivers also need to sleep and eat, I think they should exercise, too. We have seen the rise in the number of 24/7 gyms, so my idea is to open a few of them along the roads/highways. They do not need to be big or have many installations. Few cardio machines and flexing equipment could work just fine. If the complex is bigger, it could have saunas or pools, for those who want to relax a bit.
All this could be covered by the employer. For example, each driver could have free access to 24/7 gyms three times a week.
This could work similarly to the Multisport Card. The Multisport company has contracts with many fitness studios, tennis, badminton, swimming and other clubs and offers you a chance to visit one (of your choice) each day. The price is around 35 euros per month and is deducted from your salary.
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Cycling while driving

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J
Juranium Oct 27, 2021
The idea is to make cycling an option while driving. Yes, I know what you mean, it's dangerous, but with progress in autonomous driving, this could become possible.
I imagine an in-door cycling bike being installed next to the driver's seat. It could also have basic steering functions integrated, to allow a driver to control the truck while cycling. Of course, it should be approved by the authorities, but could be possible in the near future.
What do you think?
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General comments

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Spook Louw
Spook Louwa month ago
What a strange problem to have, I believe your stats on the shortages of truck drivers are correct, it's just interesting because being a truck driver is considered to be a great opportunity in Africa. The working hours are rough, but they get compensated quite well and have little expenses. I also happen to know of some people who actually left for America and specifically Canada to become truckers there.
I'm sure that the shortage would simply be filled by foreigners before they allow it to have a real impact on the economy.
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Darko Savic
Darko Savica month ago
In the UK this seems to be a problem despite the fact that they have no shortage of foreigners
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