In the U.S. and Canada, trucks hauling freight are so common that people tend to overlook them. These 18-wheelers cruise along the highways and interstates every day and despite their size and presence, most people pay little attention to them. Yet products people use all the time, including the food on their table, their kids’ school supplies, the clothes on their backs and their electronic devices, are transported via freight.
Will Transportation Financing Improve Trucking’s Reputation?
The trucking and transportation industry is facing a bit of a crisis. Fewer people are applying for jobs as truck drivers and the industry is slowing down as a result. Leadership in the industry is addressing the problem head on and has already raised more than $1 million in transportation funding to address its reputation problem. In addition, more than $4 million of in-kind donations (through advertising, sponsorships, trade shows, and more) has been earmarked to boost the image of trucking across the country.
How Is Transportation Funding Being Used to Promote Trucking?
Leaders in the transportation sector believe the general public has an outdated view of the industry. As such it is using this transportation funding to promote a modern view of trucking:
- Trucking today makes use of advanced technologies to make truck driving and logistics more efficient. Today’s 18-wheelers are different from the ones your grandfather drove. Trucking companies use technology equipment financing to obtain more modern and efficient devices for their trucks.
- Truck drivers don’t necessarily work longer hours than anyone else. New government regulations put to rest the notion that truckers work obscenely long hours. Though hard work and dedication continue to be requirements for truck drivers, these new regulations prohibit truck drivers from working say 20-hour-long days. Like other employees, truck drivers can and do have a work-life balance.
- Improving government transportation funding for commercial trucking schools. Trucking companies are asking for government assistance in funding part of the tuition costs of qualified drivers. This way, the cost of attending trucking school is significantly reduced.
With the funding recently secured, it remains to be seen how effective the new campaign will be.