While reading an article online from CCJ about recruiting drivers who are in their 20's and all of the difficulties companies are encountering I wondered why waste your time, efforts, and money.
We keep hearing and reading about the driver shortage in trucking.  There are some creative ways to recruit drivers and entice them into becoming a commercial driver.  We don’t read much about the companies that have figured out it is a lot less expensive to keep their drivers then it is to spend money recruiting.
We see ads recruiting military veterans and the age of driver that is now legal to apply for a commercial drivers license.  The twenty something's that I know are trying to figure out what they want to do for the rest of their life.  They are into a lot of friends, going to parties, and figuring out where they fit in and do not seem interested in a job that could take them away from friends and family for months at a time.   They are also often looking at starting a family, finding a home, and advancement where they work.  We were the same way in our twenties.
While our kids were young the idea of trucking did not appeal to us, but once we saw their backsides heading off to college we were ready to start on a new adventure.  Our story is a very common among the empty nesters as we were ready to do something we have always dreamed of.  Lets get paid to see the country.
Many of the people we meet and talk to at truck shows, in parking lots, at truck stops, or who know we are truck drivers have a lot of very good questions. These people are typically over the age of fifty, business and life smart, and they are ready to make an informed educated decision to become truck drivers. 
This age group is mature and they are the people that typically do not make rash uneducated decisions.  First they start learning more about trucking by reading and talking with drivers.  They attend trucking shows, attend seminars, and asking a lot of questions about income, home time, hours of service, and about companies.
This age group of potential drivers knows the value of a dollar and how expensive it can be to tear up equipment.  The over fifties knows how important a first impression is and easily grasps the idea that they are the face of the company they are leased to or drive for.  They also are smart enough to see through the smoke and mirrors that is often seen in recruiting ads.
The mature audience will research a company till they find the right fit and they also know the value of retention versus the cost of changing companies.  As the median age of drivers escalates recruiters need to be attending RV shows to find those couples looking for a challenge and are ready to start a new career and life adventure.

This age group of drivers could easily become a companies core group to educate new drivers, to network to others of the same age, and also to put a smiling face on a companies website.

Comments (8)

Linda Caffee

Bob and Linda started their driver careers after their children left home for college in 2000. Bob started as a driver for a large motor carrier with Linda as a rider. They decided to enter the Expedite industry as team drivers in 2005 and purchased their first Freightliner. Both, Bob and Linda have had their Class A licenses since the early 80's starting out driving in the oil field and hauling grain as fill in drivers where Bob worked as a diesel mechanic. Linda worked at the local country courthouse in data processing.

Read These Next...


ACT Expo 2019 is coming!

April 17, 2019


Another Trucking Boom?

June 16, 2017


Shelby I think that is part of the point pay well and work on retention. Move the recruiters to retention and pay the drivers.

May 16, 2015 11:36:55 AM

I think older workers generally do have it figured out and make good employees in almost any business, the problem is they also generally demand adequate compensation. The rates that are so prevalent in the new hire category aren't going to fly with us old folks, just saying we won't stick around either unless the pay scale changes. May last even less time than a single youngster who may not have that many expenses. At 57, I certainly would NOT go to work for the rates I hear from young guys working at one of the driver mills.

May 16, 2015 11:33:17 AM

I have also heard of trucking companies using drivers who do not want to work full time to fill in for when one of their regular drivers go on vacation. I thought that sounded like a very interesting concept.

May 15, 2015 6:17:48 AM

If I decide to semi-retire one day that is probably what I will do. Work for somebody like Roehl who has a 7 on / 7 off or 14 on 7 off program. Great article and spot on in my opinion.

May 14, 2015 19:09:26 PM

If anyone is interested in reading that editorial I wrote, here's the link. For the next while, I've deactivated my Facebook account as it took up too much of my time.

May 14, 2015 14:22:52 PM

Actually, that is a great suggestion and if I may, lets drop that recruitment age late thirties or early forties. Most adults change careers every seven to ten years. By their late thirties, they and their families are established and by now they have a general inkling of what they want to do with their lives. I just published an article in the May issue of Today's Trucking titled Meet the Snowtrucker (editors title), but I originally called it Another Wrinkle on the Aging Dilemma. The industry better do something fast because the drivers are 'older' than the industry realizes.

May 14, 2015 14:06:19 PM

You have a point. Sometimes, I don't know if the industry leaders "just" don't get it, or if they like it that way. Our problem is not that we don't recruit enough drivers of any age - We don't keep them. Maybe we would do better by focusing on the over 50 crowd and get 10 year careers out of them then recruiting the 20 somethings and getting 3 year careers.

May 13, 2015 8:47:49 AM

The real problem is in the fact we need recruiters . When I started my career in the trucking industry everyone wanted you to be a least 23 years old and have 3 years experience before they would even talk to you about employment . This sure has changed since the beginning of my start in the industry .

May 13, 2015 7:11:46 AM