Jim Park, writing for Heavy Duty Trucking, suggests that the trucking industry should have seen today's driver demographic roadblocks from a mile away.
For decades after World War 2, Baby Boomers pushed their kids away from trades and hands-on vocational training into more academic-minded pursuits. The shift away from blue-collar work was well documented (check out the Boom, Bust & Echo reference!) but widely ignored:
Armed with that knowledge, we might have begun 10 years ago to reduce the lifestyle costs of over-the-road driving, or tailored the job to suit the next generation's work ethic.
As well, because of the demographic shifts, we might have been able to convince regulators to lower the minimum age for holding a CDL and working in interstate trucking. We might have been able to make a convincing case for maintaining vocational streams in schools, or developed trade and apprenticeship programs to nurture and train future diesel technicians and drivers.
Park has a few ideas about what the industry and lawmakers can do today—ideas that hearken back to a paper Park wrote 15 years ago. And they don't involve another ATRI study.
As usual, Park is well worth the read..