In an October 29 op-ed in trucknews.com, industry “insider” Al Goodhall expressed his concern that those in the trucking industry “don’t talk a lot about climate change or climate science . . . which is at odds with the fact the transportation industry is a massive consumer of fossil fuels.” Goodhall believes that this lack of concern deters young people from wanting to be a part of the industry. His solution?
When it comes to the issues of climate change action and improved fuel efficiency, I believe the driver is the key. This is also where the solution to the driver shortage can be found.
For this to happen we need to first realize that driver training goes far beyond skills training and implementing rules and systems that govern individual actions.
Over the years I’ve learned that in order to enhance my performance, I need to have autonomy and be empowered with the responsibility to make decisions out here on the road. When treated with trust and respect, most of us respond with commitment and loyalty. That has been my experience. I have been fortunate in that respect.
Somehow we need to pull all of these things together. We need to take a leading role in reducing carbon emissions and sing that from the rooftops. We need to open up our industry to new blood by letting people know that they can be the change they want to see in the future, that their personal contributions in the trucking industry can have significant and immediate impacts. We need to treat people well. We need national training programs that are universally available to drivers and carriers that support the full trucking experience.