Driver Shortage Solutions for Hauling Services

Truck driver in cab to illustrate driver shortages in hauling services

Reliable hauling services are crucial for the successful completion of your construction and infrastructure projects in Texas and beyond. Yet, a persistent truck driver shortage is one of many challenges for general contractors. It threatens all the projects currently funded and ready to kickoff.

According to the American Trucking Association, the driver shortage could surpass 160,000 by 2030, further hindering general contractors’ ability to complete projects timely and efficiently.

Several solutions are available. Read on to discover how you can overcome potential driver shortages in your own projects.

But first, let’s look at some reasons for truck driver shortages.

Understanding Driver Shortages in Hauling Services

Driver shortage in construction hauling has become a growing national problem that expands beyond Texas. Key reasons include:

New Funding for Infrastructure

New infrastructure funding requires more general contractors, hauling services, and drivers.

The provision gap is widening in Texas due to projects like the 635 SE Connector, the Dallas North Tollway extension, and the $521 million allocated for improving and expanding transportation infrastructure in the City of Dallas.

Aging Workforce in Hauling Services

  • The average age of truck drivers in construction hauling companies is around 55 years old. This results in a large number of drivers retiring before enough young drivers enter the industry to replace them.
  • Additionally, the current age restriction for interstate transport –a minimum of 21 years old –limits the recruitment of younger drivers.

Work Conditions and Lifestyle in Hauling Services

  • The demanding nature of the job – including long hours, extended periods away from home, and a generally tough lifestyle – makes it a challenging career for many potential drivers.
  • On the one hand, efforts have been made to make the job safer and more appealing – such as offering routes that allow drivers to return home more frequently. On the other hand, tech improvements have led to some older drivers leaving rather than adapt to new systems.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Emission Standards

Starting with model year 2027, the EPA will introduce stricter emission standards for heavy-duty trucks. These standards aim to reduce emissions by 80% compared to previous limits but will probably add significant costs to new trucks – and approximately $15,000 per new sleeper cab. Indirectly, this may lead to driver shortages as smaller companies fold.

Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse Regulations

From November 18, 2024, new regulations will mandate that drivers with a “prohibited” status in the FMCSA’s Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse will lose or be denied their commercial driving privileges until they complete the return-to-duty process.

This regulation aims to enhance safety. However, it also imposes additional compliance costs on trucking companies without offering driver shortage solutions.

So – these are some of the challenges to finding enough drivers in hauling services. Let’s turn to look at some solutions.

Driver Shortage Solutions for General Contractors Needing Hauling Services

The headlines surrounding the driver shortage and increasing costs in construction hauling services is grim. But here are some viable solutions to ensure your projects complete on time.

1 Partner with Hauling Services That Offer Comprehensive Recruitment and Training

Look for construction hauling services with the following attributes:

Target Younger Drivers

  • Choose trucking companies with strong recruitment programs or other ways of enlisting young drivers, such as family involvement.
  • Ensure your trucking company has links with educational institutions to provide training and certification programs.

Evaluate Training Quality

  • Ensure the trucking company invests in state-of-the-art training, using the best technology available.
  • Look for trucking companies that offer continuous education and skill development for their drivers, to ensure continual job satisfaction and growing experience, leading to improved remuneration.

Which leads to the next point…

2 Assess Work Conditions and Driver Benefits

Competitive Compensation Packages

  • Select trucking companies that offer competitive salaries and performance-based incentives to attract the best drivers.
  • Check the company provides additional benefits to enhance driver retention, such as health insurance and retirement plans.

Work-Life Balance Initiatives

  • Choose providers of trucking and hauling services that offer flexible schedules and routes that allow drivers to return home frequently.
  • Look for trucking companies that make driver well-being and satisfaction a priority. Family businesses often inherently understand life-work balance and the importance of family.

3 Evaluate Technological Advancements and Fleet Management

Fleet Management Software

  • Ensure the hauling services company utilizes advanced fleet management software for route optimization and real-time tracking – to prevent driver shortages due to safety issues.
  • Verify the company uses telematics to monitor driver performance and vehicle health, ensuring timely maintenance and safety. This gives drivers the confidence to remain in post.

4 Understand Regulatory Compliance and Advocacy in Hauling Services

Fair Detention Pay Policies

  • Select trucking companies that actively advocate for fair detention pay reforms, to ensure that drivers are compensated for waiting times.
  • Ensure your trucking company is compliant with the latest FMCSA regulations regarding driver compensation and detention time.

Streamlined Licensing and Certification

  • Choose companies with efficient processes for obtaining and maintaining commercial driver’s licenses (CDL).
  • Verify your trucking company supports policies simplifying the licensing process and recognizing CDLs across states – an important time-saver.

5 Prioritize Hauling Services That Have Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives

Encouragement of Women and Minorities

  • Choose companies with targeted recruitment campaigns for women and minority drivers to ensure compliance with any diversity-related regulations. Women are under-represented in hauling services, so this is a pool of driver talent waiting to be discovered.
  • Look for trucking services that offer mentorship programs and support networks for diverse drivers. Dump truck companies and construction hauling operatives who have certification in MBE are likely very open to widening their pool of drivers, leading to fewer or no shortages.

While these tips do not solve the overall driver shortage in themselves, they offer you a competitive way to make sure your projects have sufficient qualified drivers.

Cowboy Trucking’s Hauling Services Can Help

With a modern fleet of 100+ trucks, Cowboy Trucking has no driver shortage and is backed by cutting-edge tech resources to give you best-in-class services. Operating in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and beyond, we’re proud to provide services for heavy highway contractors on federal, state, or city projects.

No need to search on “hauling services near me”: If you want to maintain project timelines and quality – with no delays, no driver shortages, no hassle – book a discovery call with us today and let’s discuss your truck and driver needs!

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Driver Shortage Solutions for Hauling Services
Hauling services face a persistent and growing shortage of drivers. Learn why, and discover solutions to ensure your projects are successful.

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