Opinion: ‘This is the single biggest reason we have a truck driver shortage’


By Epick Webb, NT truckie

It’s amazing how as drivers we keep hearing that there is now a truck driver shortage.

The lack of people wanting to drive trucks is not a new phenomenon as its been a problem for 20 years or more.

We also keep hearing about the lack of driver training being the cause of the problem.

Well, I don’t believe that’s the biggest cause, or problem with the shortage of truck drivers.

The biggest factor in the truck driver shortage that we have here in Australia is the way truck drivers are treated in general, and in a lot of cases it’s badly.

Drivers are treated as cash cows by governments, scape goats by government agencies and various motoring bodies and other self-interest groups.

Many employers treat them as a necessary evil and most of the general public have absolutely no idea that just about everything they need for everyday life depends on the services of road transport and its drivers.

And as for most of the mainstream media, bad stories about trucks and their drivers are a great filler for slow news days.

To those people in Australia’s various governments and agencies, and those whom run the various industry groups, you really need to ask yourselves what’s wrong, because it seems that many of you have either forgotten what it is actually like to be on the road, or have never been on the road.

There are far to many things that I can list to do it here, but here’s a few:

  • The poor pay for doing the most dangerous job in the country bar none.
  • Poor facilities for truck drivers including the poor or lack of things like clean toilets, showers and meal rooms.
  • Not nearly enough parking anywhere, from our capital cities, our towns, in industrial areas or along our roads and highways right across Australia.
  • Way too much blame shifting to truck drivers for the actions of others that have a cascading effect that inevitably gets dumped on the driver.
  • Insurance is a major problem in the road transport industry and their actions have a big affect on everyone.

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