On the road with

Jeff Clark

Jeff Clark is the owner of Clark Trucking based in Kewaunee, WI. Jeff has owned a 2000 Century Class Freightliner and a 2006 Volvo 670 prior to joining Team Runsmart. Currently, Jeff is running primarily southeast and midwest. He has been a trucker since 1988. Jeff worked his way through school in the warehouse industry. He has a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration, but prefers driving a truck.

Contact Jeff: Jeff.Clark@teamrunsmart.com

An Economist and a Driver Recruiter

+500 MILES

E: So what do you do for a living?
R: I am a recruiter.
E: Where is you uniform?
R: I am not that type of recruiter. I recruit truck drivers for ABC Trucking. We have trouble finding enough quality drivers because of the shortage. So, my job is very important.
E: My colleague Professor Albert has done some work in the trucking industry. He tells me that the only other industry that spends as much on recruiting involves dodging bullets.
R: Very funny but probably true-We consider the driver shortage to be a serious problem.
E: Tell me, if you paid the drivers $1,000,000 a year would you have enough drivers?
R: We would have a surplus. This is the real world and we could never do that. It is absurd. If we paid every driver $1,000,000 we would have to raise our rates so high that we would lose all of our customers. So, all of you $1,000,000 drivers would be unemployed.
E: Driving a truck is a skill set and there are other people in the work force that are capable,with training of driving a truck, but are doing something else for a living. It isn't like finding a left hander who can throw a baseball 98 mph into an 8 inch box 60 feet way.
R: That is true. But, again this is the real world and there is a limit to what we can pay to attract drivers, you must live in an altenative universe or something.
E: I live in a world where I am NEVER wrong. We Economists like to use the phrase "all things being equal". Of course all things are never equal so we are never wrong. But, let me try another example. You walk into a Cadillac dealer with $30,000 in cash and ask to buy a new Escalade. The dealer turns down your offer. Do you walk out of the dealer telling everyone who will listen that there is a shortage of Escalades?
R: Of course not, a new Cadillac Escalade would be worth way more that $30,000.
E: Now, apply that same principle to truck drivers. Do quality truck drivers make more that $30,000 per year?
R: Yes, a quality driver does make more than that and if I offered one $30,000 they would turn down my offer.
E: So-just like the Cadillac dealer if you paid enough you could have all the Escalades you want.
R: OK-now I am beginning to see your point.

+500 MILES

Jeff Clark

Jeff Clark of Kewaunee, WI has been driving a truck for 24 years. He has been an owner operator for 11 years.

RATE IT+50 miles

Was this article helpful?
Current rating: 4.9 (17 ratings)
Signup or Logon and comment now.

COMMENTS +300 miles

Jeff Clark
thx-Tim-I really believe that the industry needs to look inward before importing foreign drivers.
3/8/2013 4:10:40 AM

Timothy Weber
Really enjoyed your post Jeff
3/7/2013 7:53:49 PM

Jeff Clark
I do believe that the laws of supply and demand as well as the 14 hour rule are pushing us towards hourly pay for dock time from minute 1
3/5/2013 9:05:45 AM

Jeff Clark
rs. The 14 hour rule is putting pressure on companies-and so is the supply/demand rule.
3/5/2013 9:02:14 AM

James Wilkinson
I work for a company based in the Green Bay, Wisconsin, area, and read the article with interest. I came out of a career in aviation where costs and payments were clearly articulated beforehand. An airline passenger knows what the cost will be (even considering the ridiculous 'extras' charges we all pay), the airline owners know how much their fuel will cost and the flight crews know what they will be paid for every mile they fly and every minute they are 'on duty' but not in the air.

Truck drivers don't. I started with my company because I thought I understood what they would pay me, but even now I have no idea what my paycheck should be. There are detention pay issues, stage-length mileage pay differences, late-arrival penalties, early-arrival penalties, and none of that takes into consideration the legal ramifications of being overweight or out of duty time.

Drivers come, stay a while, and leave, hoping to find a "better" place to work, but they're all the same. Why don't companies just pay drivers an hourly wage? They are exempt employees under the Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA) so a company can be as creative as they want. And it won't change; they know that hiring/training a new driver is less expensive than putting extra money into driver retention.

Until the trucking companies are given a reason to change, they won't. That does not bode well for drivers of any kind, company, lease, or owner. They've had it god for so long; change will be hard to make and may be impossible.
3/4/2013 6:09:35 PM

Jeff Clark
Thanks-We talk an awful lot about the driver shortage. We should try to understand what the problem is. We can't fix it until we do.
3/4/2013 9:56:02 AM

Jeff Clark
Thanks-We talk an awful lot about the driver shortage. We should try to understand what the problem is. We can't fix it until we do.
3/4/2013 9:55:57 AM

Chris Thomas
I get sick every time I read one of the journal of commerce or similar source publish an article on "The Driver Shortage". Great piece.
3/3/2013 6:38:05 PM

Craig McCue

You hit the nail on the head with that one!
3/1/2013 5:00:45 PM

Follow Team Run Smart
In Your Language

Team Run Smart is happy to announce the addition of Google Translate. Click the Translate button to translate the website into your preferred language.