The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) released its Critical Issues in the Trucking Industry for 2015 last month, which lists the top 10 concerns voiced by the trucking industry. Respondents included industry stakeholders, carriers, and drivers. Here are the top 10 issues highlighted in the report:
1. Hours of Service
2015 marks the third year in a row that hours of service rules have been ranked as the industry’s top concern.
Questions still surround the seven Behavioral Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories under which carriers and drivers are scored and many industry experts believe that they are not a good predictor of carrier crash risk.
3. Driver Shortage
4. Driver Retention
5. Truck Parking
The growing scarcity of available truck parking creates a dangerous situation for truck drivers who are often forced to drive beyond allowable HOS rules or park in undesignated and unsafe locations. One of their latest surveys, ATRI asked drivers if and how much they would be willing to pay for reserved truck parking. The answer was revealing:
• 48% of drivers said they would never willingly pay for truck parking
• 20% said they would pay $1.00 to $5.00
• 19.8 said they would pay $6.00 to $10.00
• 9% said they would pay $11.00 to $15.00
• 2% said they would pay $16.00 to 20.00
• 0.9% said they would pay $21.00 or more
With the final rule set to be published by the end of this year, Electronic Logging Devices (ELD’s) will soon become the law of the land. With the right equipment and operational commitment, an ELD can be a very viable answer to the time, expense, and frustration involved with being in compliance with hours of service regulations. Without the right equipment and operational commitment, you can be placing your company at serious risk.
7. Driver Health
According to Overdrive Magazine, many in the industry recognize the critical connection between improved driver health & wellness and the industry’s ability to retain qualified drivers, such as an improvement in driver health may have positive implications for industry safety as research has identified a positive correlation between driver health and driver safety.
9. Transportation/Infrastructure Funding
ATRI research documented that in 2013, interstate congestion cost the trucking industry $9.2 billion. The negative impacts of congestion, failing infrastructure, and the need for a long-term transportation funding solution all combined to keep this issue in the top ten in 2015.
10. Distracted Driving
Increased concern about the rising use of technology in vehicles by all drivers will likely result in this issue continuing as a top concern in the coming years.