Solution for Truck Driver Shortage

Solution for Truck Driver Shortage -18-21 Year Olds Driving Heavy Trucks

In recent years several ideas have been discussed to encourage more people to become Over The Road (OTR) truck drivers. Raising pay. Increasing mileage rates. Scheduling more time at home. But despite these efforts to broaden the labor pool, there remains a significant shortage of drivers, some 160,000 according to consulting firm Deloitte. The latest strategy is to allow 18-21 year olds to drive heavy trucks across state lines.

Current Truck Driver Laws

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, “A person must be at least 21 years old to drive a CMV in interstate commerce.” There is a precedent for younger drivers though, in the military. The Military Commercial Driver Pilot Program allows drivers as young as 18 to drive in long-haul trucking. But civilian truck driving is now limited to those 21-plus.

Size of the US Trucking Industry

Driving a truck is the largest source of employment in 29 states of the United States. There are some 7.7 million people employed in the trucking industry, which includes 3.5 million drivers. Heavy and tractor-trailer drivers number around 1.7 million.

Over the years efforts have been made to pass national legislation which would legalize truck drivers under the age of 21, the current starting age for drivers in interstate commerce. 49 states and the District of Columbia allow 18-year-olds to obtain CDL (Commercial Driver’s License), but they cannot drive across state lines.

New Law to Allow Younger Fleet Truck Drivers

This summer a new law has been proposed to allow younger fleet truck drivers. In the Senate – the Developing Responsible Individuals for a Vibrant Economy, or DRIVE-Safe Act – has had some success. The DRIVE-Safe Act provisions are included in the current Senate infrastructure bill – the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act – despite reported criticism.

Sponsored by Indiana Senator Todd Young (R-Indiana) and Jon Tester (D-Montana) in March 2021, the “DRIVE Safe Act” requests that “… the Secretary of Transportation to promulgate regulations relating to commercial motor vehicle drivers under the age of 21, and for other purposes.”

The bill has had additional support from U.S. Senators Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), Angus King (I-Maine), Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia), Jerry Moran (R-Kansas), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona.) U.S. Representative Trey Hollingsworth (R-Indiana) has introduced a companion bill in the House.
“DRIVE-Safe creates more career opportunities for hard-working Hoosiers to get involved in a growing, 21st century economy workforce,” said Rep. Hollingsworth in a press release. “This bill also breaks down barriers for small businesses who want to grow and hire qualified employees.”

“Today, 18-year-olds can drive more than 200 miles from New Albany to Gary and back, but they aren’t allowed to drive two miles from New Albany to Louisville,” says Senator Young. “The DRIVE-Safe Act will eliminate this ridiculous regulation and in doing so address the driver shortage while providing new career opportunities for young Hoosiers.”

New Driver Apprentice Program Proposed

The bill also requires that an apprenticeship program of 120 hours of instruction be established by trucking companies to train 18-21 year olds as heavy truck drivers. An additional 280 probationary period supervises the new drivers while on the road. The bill forbids any under-21 year old from driving a truck across state lines unless in an apprenticeship program.

“After completing the 120-hour probationary period under paragraph (1), an apprentice shall complete 280 hours of on-duty time, of which not fewer than 160 hours shall be driving time in a commercial motor vehicle.” The apprentice must be accompanied in the cab of the commercial motor vehicle by an experienced driver.
During the training benchmarks would be established for the young drivers requiring “Interstate, city traffic, rural 2-lane, and evening driving”. The Act also requires that, “… all commercial motor vehicles used in the program for training to be equipped with safety technology such as active braking collision mitigation systems and video event capturing systems.”

Referring to a previous House bill, American Trucking Associations President Chris Spear told Transport Topics, “This is a common-sense proposal that will open enormous opportunities for the 18- to 21 year-old population, giving them access to a high-paying profession free of the debt burden that comes with a four-year degree,” he said. “Moreover, this bill would strengthen training programs beyond current requirements to ensure safety and that drivers are best prepared.”

“The industry is vital to our everyday life, but driver shortages threaten its future,” says Senator King. “The DRIVE Safe Act addresses these challenges by creating an apprenticeship program that works across state lines, enhances the skills of our workforce, and helps train the next generation of safe drivers.”

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration created a similar program in 2016 that has been slowed down by bureaucratic delays. The plan proposes a test program of a few hundred young drivers. They would be accompanied by trainers and monitored by video telematics and GPS tracking.

Do Younger Fleet Truck Drivers Have the Maturity to Drive Safely?

Robert L. Sumwalt, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, believes that the design of the program is flawed, “The NTSB does not believe that allowing an age group of drivers who are consistently overrepresented in crash involvement and who might not yet have the cognitive maturity to safely operate commercial vehicles on the interstate is the right solution to these problems.”

4 Reasons Why Allowing 18-21 Year Olds To Drive Heavy Trucks Is Beneficial

1) With the on-going serious shortage of truck drivers in the United States, allowing 18-21 year olds to drive heavy trucks across state lines would help.

2) Young drivers are easily trained in today’s modern trucks with new technology here and on the way.

3) The average trucker in America is 42-45 years old. Retirements are hurting the trucking industry’s ability to move goods across the country. Younger truck drivers can easily be hired to replace the retirees.

4) According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study male drivers from age 16-20 have a lower fatal accident rate than drivers from 21-24.

4 Reasons Why Allowing 18-21 Year Olds To Drive Heavy Trucks Is Not Beneficial

1.   Insurance rates are already high for 18-21 year olds who drive cars. Allowing them to  
    drive heavy truck could possibly increase insurance rates for trucking companies  
    employing them.

2.   The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports  
     18-20 year olds have a 2.3 times higher incidence of  
     fatal crashes. A 1998 Georgia study found the  
     accident rate to be twice as high as drivers older than

3.  Mental and emotional immaturity can interfere with  
    the discipline needed for the complex job of driving a  
    heavy truck for long hours.

4. Can a generation weaned on the near-constant exposure
   to mobile phones, Instagram, and video games maintain
   the attention needed in truck driving?

Comments from Reddit truck drivers regarding 18-21 year olds driving heavy trucks vary:

“This isn’t going to solve the driver shortage. Even if you do find 18-year-olds who are perfectly capable of doing this work (and they do exist) they’re not going to want to do it because of the regulations. And besides that, most of these folks are more interested in socializing and getting laid than they are at driving a truck, even if it appeals to them. You can legalize it to hell and back, but it isn’t gonna change a thing.”

“The company I work for trains and hires “kids” to drive their tomato trucks. … We haul tomatoes from the fields to the plant, we drop and hook about 12 trailers in a 12-16 hour shift and 90% of these young drivers (18-25) don’t do any inspection on the trailers before pulling 85k-90k pounds down back country roads. It’s to the point that I don’t even wanna finish the season (1-2 more months) because somebody is going to get killed, passing you on the right shoulder, trying to drift loaded doubles around corners, doing donuts in the fields, 45-50 MPH down curvy washboard dirt roads…”

With all of the disagreements over what is in the 2,700-page Biden infrastructure bill, the DRIVE-Safe Act may not have a chance. It is all up to Congress.

Senate Bill 659

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Truckers & In-Cab Cameras

Truckers Dealing with In-Cab Cameras

Video monitoring is changing the way truckers do their jobs. In 2020 alone the use of video cameras to monitor more than 3.6 million heavy trucks and many smaller delivery vehicles increased some 80%. Hundreds of thousands of video systems have been installed in American trucks over the last ten years. This kind of in-cab surveillance technology is a growing trend, with trucking companies seeing decreasing accident rates and insurance costs as a benefit. Research shows that dash cam systems can reduce the main causes of large-truck accidents such as speeding and distracted driving.

Accelerometers, gyroscopes and GPS equipment monitor nearly every function of the truck. Machine learning algorithms analyze drivers’ behavior, which is used for training. Companies see video systems as a natural complement to other active safety technologies such as stability control systems or reactive cruise-control. But the technology is a hard sell with drivers. Despite the compelling safety and financial benefits of dash cams, they can still be a source of stress and frustration for commercial fleet drivers. This sentiment is found frequently online and especially on social media. One anonymous American trucker named Josh says, “If the truck I’m in ever gets a camera installed in it facing me, facing inside this truck, this home where I live in, I will stop the truck and quit on the spot.”

Some big-rig drivers resent being electronically tethered to a machine that not only records traffic around the truck from different angles, but also their every move inside the cab. The Teamsters union and drivers say driver-facing cameras micromanage the driver, invades their privacy, and adds stress to the job. Newer systems allow drivers to log out during non-driving private time and only record video when triggered by an unusual event, such as a crash or sudden lane change.

A Canadian OTR trucker named Alecia says: “I don’t understand why you guys need to be in here watching my privacy. This is my time. Me time. Yes, I get that I am still on duty. I drive in my bra, sometimes. I’d like some privacy. I really would.”

Amazon has been rolling out a new AI-based (Artificial Intelligence) four-lens cameras in its branded delivery vans. Drivers are concerned about privacy and wonder who has control of their data. One driver named Vic doesn’t like the “Mentor” software which constantly monitors his driving, location, and mobile phone use. “If we went over a bump, the phone would rattle, the Mentor app would log that I used the phone … and boom, I’d get docked,” he said. Amazon drivers have to sign a release allowing the company to collect and save their biometric information.

Sharp Transport has also faced driver backlash against driver-facing cameras. Keith Wilson, Sharp’s director of safety and recruitment, says that drivers were calmed when they were told that the cameras did not record the sleeper area or what happened after the key was removed from the ignition. Three drivers out of 150 at Sharp resigned. Wilson says that the in-cab cameras paid off in 8 months.

In California, the Attorney General decided in 2014 that trucking companies can use driver-facing camera video to monitor and train their drivers, and Federal courts across the United States have ruled in recent years that most employees have few rights to privacy while on the job.

At Simco Logistics, according to VP Alan Drazen, “Harsh events” such as sudden braking have been reduced significantly, as have the company’s insurance premiums. Drivers use personal electronics in the cab about 90% less often now.

Drivers are being listened to, though, especially during the current driver shortage that is plaguing the industry. Some companies are opting to use only forward-facing cameras, eliminating driver-facing cameras. Others such as Illinois-based GP Transco pay drivers a two-cent-per-mile pay incentive to drive with in-cab video watching them.


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GPS Trackit Acquires TSO Mobile, InTouch GPS, and FleetTrax, picture of 5 white semi trucks

GPS Trackit Acquires TSO Mobile, InTouch GPS, and FleetTrax


GPS Trackit joins forces to offer innovative, customer sensitive, and cost-effective fleet telematics and videomatics software solutions.

ATLANTA, February 6, 2019 – GPS Trackit, award-winning provider of fleet management software solutions, is proud to announce the acquisition of TSO Mobile, InTouch GPS, and FleetTrax.

Headquartered in Roswell, GA, GPS Trackit has been an innovator in the telematics and fleet management software industry for nearly 20 years. With the acquisition of complementary telematics brands TSO Mobile, InTouch GPS, and FleetTrax, completed during 2018, GPS Trackit aims to expand its already extensive suite of fleet management and asset tracking solutions.

“In an industry that moves as fast as ours, stagnation is the enemy of success,” says GPS Trackit CEO Keith Schneider. “With the advantages of the combined service platforms together with the additional scale from tripling our customer base, and the talented personnel in each of the acquired companies, these acquisitions represent a big step forward for GPS Trackit. I am confident we will fully realize, and our customers will benefit from, the full potential of our product and service offering.”

With the completion of this series of acquisitions, GPS Trackit will advance its strong telematics offerings with a continued commitment to customer satisfaction and product quality. With a competitive landscape shaped by enormous, diversified corporations, GPS Trackit aims to stand out based on their expertise and ability to focus on fleet-specific solutions.

“We’re not yet as big as some of our competitors, which we believe gives our clients the advantage,” says Schneider. “It means we’ll fight for their business and do whatever it takes to ensure they have the absolute best service, solution, and support.”

Schneider adds, “Employees from the four companies are committed to coming together as one to integrate our operations such that the ‘whole is greater than the sum of the parts’ with respect to the service quality, competitive offering and value we offer to our customers.”

Current Customers: Click here to learn more.

Tri Brand Logo, InTouch GPS, GPS Trackit, TSO Mobile

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4 Advantages of Using GPS for Roadside Assistance Services

Why Roadside Assistance Services Need GPS Tracking

Anyone who’s been on the road has most likely had some degree of a car-related emergency. That’s why roadside assistance companies like AAA, Allstate, and Safelite are in such high demand. The public frequently relies on their services.

Each of these companies specializes in roadside assistance for flat tires, fuel deficiency, towing, or even windshield replacement. So how do service companies like these provide incredible service so quickly and efficiently? Through the use of GPS telematics.

GPS tracking technology enables roadside assistance providers to operate to their utmost potential and provide services efficiently for their customers. Here are just a few benefits associated with the use of this technology:

1. Enhanced Safety Measures with Instant Vehicle Location

Unfortunately, drivers don’t get to choose where their vehicles break down. Best case scenario, they reach a relatively safe area and comfortably call an on-call mechanic or tow truck. Worst case, they’re left stranded on the side of the road, with nowhere safe to wait for help.

Either way, a breakdown is rarely a part of a great day. However, the response time and care of the roadside service vehicle can certainly turn things around.  

A speedy response to emergency calls such as these is crucial for establishing a positive customer-care reputation. This is why having access to a GPS tracking system is so beneficial for your business.

With GPS data, dispatchers can pinpoint exactly where each vehicle in the fleet is located, and direct the closest available driver to assist the stranded vehicle. This information saves time and increases productivity. 

5 Advantages of Using GPS for Roadside Assistance Services

2. Improved Customer Service with Estimated Time of Arrival Data

There is nothing worse than being stranded on a deserted highway, with no knowledge of if or when help will arrive. Or at least that’s what it feels like when you’re in that situation.

Waiting can be an excruciatingly long and stressful experience when unexpected car troubles occur. If your customer has real-time tracking data of their rescuer’s ETA removes just a bit of the anxiety that comes with mechanical failure. 

Providing an accurate ETA allows customers to feel more in control of their circumstances. There is even a benefit for those customers who don’t use the various apps and technologies available to track your trucks themselves. As long as the dispatchers have access to the GPS tracking data, these customers can call in and get real-time updates on the status of their assigned driver.

Rear quarter view of a nondescript tow truck traveling on a highway.

3. Increase Your Company’s Bottom Line by Monitoring Vehicle Use

Aside from providing telematic location tracking data, GPS units are also able to calculate the various ways in which vehicles are used by your fleet drivers.

Use each vehicle’s GPS system to monitor how your vehicles are being used. Gather information on whether they’re driven after hours, if the vehicle has been idling for too long, or are near to reaching their maximum number of stops.

By keeping track of these aspects of vehicle use, you can protect your employees from overwork. In doing so you also protect your vehicles from accidental damage outside of company time. This helps your fleet stay in good repair and assist more people with their car troubles, which in turn positively affects your bottom line.

4. Prepared for Roadside Assistance in Real-Time

Modern fleet management systems with GPS technology allows managers to send pertinent information directly to dispatched vehicles, addressing any changes or delays in real-time.

Roadside assistance companies enabled with this technology can give their drivers updates on what is specifically needed for any job. This can include towing needs, delivery of emergency fuel, new tires to replace a flat, a jumpstart for a worn out battery, winching, and even locksmith services.

With access to this information, drivers can plan ahead and prepare for any job given to them quickly and efficiently. Preparation is key when it comes to handling emergency situations in the most effective way. If given the right information your team will be empowered to provide the best service to your customers.

Use your GPS system to maximize your services, and work better than ever before. By going this extra mile for your customers, you can rest assured that your business will profit in the roadside assistance industry, giving your company a reputation that people trust.

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GPS tracking for food trucks

Why Your Food Truck Needs GPS Tracking

With the food truck industry’s rapid expansion, mobile restaurateurs have made creative use of several modern technologies, incorporating new devices and equipment into their business plans. One such device is the GPS unit. Here are 4 reasons why your food truck should include GPS technology in your business endeavors.

Security of Investments

As an expensive and necessary aspect of your business, your kitchen-on-wheels vehicle needs constant protection. GPS telematics technology allows you to monitor where your vehicle is at all times and make sure your vehicle stays where it is supposed to be. If you fall victim to car theft, vehicle tracking can alert the police to the location of the miscreants, increasing the chances of getting your truck back to you in one piece. Should your truck be involved in an accident, local authorities can access data collected by your GPS that may be used to correctly assign liability, securing your reputation and insurance rates.

Improved Customer Service

Incorrect information is frustrating and can be a showstopper, especially in relation to comestibles.That’s why having access to accurate information is so crucial in a customer-focused business. By knowing precisely where your vehicle is located and at exactly what time it will arrive at the designated destination, your customers can plan their visits accordingly. Through the use of social media and food truck location apps, you can maintain an excellent customer-oriented reputation for punctuality and accuracy.

The Oh-So-Fun Health Inspections

Working with, not against, the Department of Health is vital for maintaining a food-based business. In New York, health officials are working on plans to outfit every food truck and cart with a GPS tracking unit to make it easier to track them down for inspections, with the city footing the bill for equipment and installation. As food industry workers know, maintaining a good relationship with the Health Department is crucial, both for keeping your job and remaining in business. Be sure to clearly establish rules and regulations for data use to ensure that your information is secure and accurate.

Data Collection

There is so much GPS data can tell you about your business. Where your vehicles spend the most time, how far they travel on a given day, even how drivers use the vehicles. For your culinary business, GPS telematics can help you stay on a schedule, providing alternate routes to prearranged destinations so you arrive at prime mealtime. GPS units can also help fleet managers map out habitually profitable sites. Some telematics equipment can monitor the temperature of your vehicle, alerting staff to overheating or loss of refrigeration. With GPS, timetables become easier to establish, as data can tell you how much time you need to prep work areas, load the truck, and drive to your destination.

Human beings are notoriously clever when it comes to adapting new technology to suit their own needs. This list of methods outlines a small portion of what GPS technology can do to assist food trucks in their business practices, but every company is different. Experiment with what works best for your business and let your culinary creativity flow.

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Essential tech tools for microbreweries

5 Essential Tools for Growing Microbreweries

Starting your own brewing business is expensive, time consuming, and highly competitive, but—if you are following your passions—worth every effort. Even with all your metaphorical ducks in a row, microbrewing can be a difficult industry to break into, let alone nurture to its full growing potential. Here are five tools you can use to get your product and your name, into the lives of consumers across the country.

Social Media

Get involved in social media marketing so people know who you are and what makes your product special. Are you a local crafter? Do you use organic ingredients in your brews? Do you have creative and distinct flavors? Use your social media accounts to let your customers know how you are different from the generic brands. Be sure to provide information on where you sell your products, so your potential customers can sample your delectable brews.

A Solid Business Plan

You’ve set a reasonable budget, have your contingency plans in place, and your business is running along smoothly thanks to your initial business plan. Now it’s time to foster growth in your business. By now you have a clear understanding of your profit margins and can feel secure in purchasing enough products and materials to match your estimated projections. At this point you probably are familiar with the needs and wants of your region. Is there a craft drinking culture? Do you live in a college town? By examining your location and your profits, you can determine what aspects of your business work best for your location.

GPS Vehicle Tracking

Without GPS technology, many drivers would be lost, both literally and figuratively. By installing GPS tracking units into your delivery vehicles, you can track your shipments in real time and ensure timely deliveries. The more organized your deliveries, the more support you can give to your buyers and their business endeavors. Modern fleet telematics companies also frequently offer equipment that can monitor the temperature of your product, maintaining brew integrity in-transit. Consistency is key, so temperature control data equipment is vastly beneficial for keeping your brew flavors uniform. When GPS tech is paired with RFID technology, you can scan your kegs as they leave the distillery and monitor their location so you never lose a costly keg.

Strong Partnerships

Make sure to vet your suppliers carefully, and choose those that are reliable and share the same business goals as you. If your ingredient deliveries are late production can be delayed, costing your company both time and money. By checking the business reputation and quality of the supplier’s products before signing contracts, you ensure that your company will always receive the best ingredients in a timely manner.


Protecting your goods and equipment is essential for running a streamlined brewery business. Two years ago in Atlanta, Georgia, more than 3,000 cases of beer went missing when two loaded trucks were stolen from a brewery’s warehouse. Fortunately, the police were able to track the missing trucks down via the installed GPS. Commercial dash cams can provide an extra level of security and act both as a deterrent and definitive proof of the nefarious actions of thieves. Videomatics also provides protection from misplaced liability if any of your vehicles is involved in an automobile accident. With forward-facing dash cams and in-cab cams, insurance companies have access to data that provides evidence of the circumstances surrounding any particular incident.

With these five tools at your disposal, your microbrewery can reach beyond its original business goals. By utilizing modern technology, you can share your passion for crafting delicious brews across the country and watch your as your business grows.

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