You’ve seen the ad … the Bee Gees ‘To Love Somebody’ up full blast … a big red truck makes its journey across the expansive Australian countryside. An Aussie trucker hits the road with his best friend ‘Louis’ the dog who goes nuts every time he sees ‘the golden arches’ because he thinks he’s about to pull into Maccas and be reunited with his loving family. “Not yet mate!” says our haulage hero.
So, is this just a clever way to sell Big Macs or is this what life on the road is like for our truckers out there and more importantly … is it really worth being a truckie?
At MacTrack, as leading experts in GPS tracking for vehicles, we care deeply about the haulage industry and so we’ve taken a good look at how our transport workers feel about the industry they’re in and can tell you this:
TRUCK DRIVERS WANTED
It’s fair to say that truck drivers are in demand. Almost like never before. So much so it is fast becoming a Federal Government issue. Indeed, only recently NatRoad CEO Warren Clark told Federal Transport Minister Catherine King “the current shortage of qualified drivers is one of the transport industry’s most pressing problems – not only in terms of quantity, but also in quality.”
There’s no doubt that attracting, developing, training and retaining truck drivers is essential to the future security of the supply chain and viability of regional and metropolitan communities right around the country, and as a result major incentives are being put in place by governments and companies to attract the right people to the right jobs.
Naturally, the biggest incentive in a supply and demand scenario is cold hard cash and it’s unsurprising that some businesses are offering big salaries to get the right people. According to a recent report, there are around 2,000 driver vacancies in Queensland alone.
One Northern Territory business has offered up to $150,000 for the right driver. As you might imagine the job advert went viral. It should be pointed out that the average salary for truck drivers is more like $75,000. So, the chance to double your money or get in on a six-figure salary isn’t bad at all.
GREAT SOUTHERN LAND
“So, you look into the land, and it will tell you a story …” Oh yes, there’s no doubt about it, we are blessed in Australia with some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world. As a truck driver you get to experience it all and get paid for it at the same time. There really is nothing like it.
LISTEN TO MUSIC ALL DAY LONG
As well as taking in the scenery you can crank up the tunes and listen to your favourite songs all day every day. Do I need to say any more than this?!
YOU RULE THE ROAD
Ok, we probably shouldn’t say this because you DO NOT rule the road. You are NOT more important than anyone else and you SHOULD NOT behave like you are … BUT when you sit up in your cab looking down on everyone else – even on bus drivers and those posh people in their fancy Range Rovers – you do sort of feel like you rule the road. It’s a buzz.
SAFETY IS IMPROVING
Another plus point for those considering a life on the road is the focus on safety.
This is an area in which MacTrack proudly makes a major contribution by providing sophisticated GPS tracking systems. Our work helps to prevents truckies from spending too much time behind the wheel and subsequently makes both the drivers and other road users safer.
Tracking for vehicles is helping to reduce the number of crashes on our roads involving trucks. The numbers are falling significantly and the Australian Trucking Association has an aspirational target of reducing accidents involving trucks by 25%.
The industry body also advocates a 10-year $5bn truck roads and rest area program to provide more safe places for drivers to stop and is calling for the government to continue the full expensing of trucks and trailers to increase the use of newer and safer trucks.
All good things, and we are pleased to see that in Queensland they are not only establishing truck driving apprenticeships they are also introducing training for crash scene management and first aid.
ATA also recommends taking an air crash investigation approach to each and every truck crash to find out precisely what happened and what lessons can be learned for the future. Naturally, the technology provided by MacTrack and its range of flexible and scalable GPS tracking solutions is particularly helpful in this field.
GPS TRACKING IMPROVES SAFETY AND RELIABILITY
There was a time when truckers felt uncomfortable with the advent of such technology. Now, in 2022 this view has changed and perceptions towards the tech has shifted.
The benefits of GPS tracking enable companies to assign the right drivers to the right jobs.
It can track driver speed and identify dangerous driving behaviour. It also helps schedule vehicle maintenance and optimise road routes.
Drivers feel protected by the transparency the technology provides. For example, in the event of an accident or theft the company can recover that vehicle quickly and make sure that their drivers have not been hurt in the process.
Vehicle tracking systems help businesses that run fleets to boost productivity, reduce costs and keep track of both their employees and their fleet.
OK, I’M SOLD – WHAT NEXT?
Great to see that you’re still with us!
In order to go to progress, here’s what you need:
- You need a driver’s licence
- Establish a good driving record
- Complete a Certificate III in Driving Operations through TAFE
The incentives are there, so is the lifestyle, but ultimately, you need to be a responsible person. An adult who exercises good judgement and is more than capable of an independent life on your own. Because you will spend A LOT of time on the road alone.
Of course, you can have a family – just like old mate in the Maccas ad. But if you have five kids under seven years old, this might not be the career path for you. Hang on a minute … if you have five kids under seven years old – this could be EXACTLY the right move for you …. But we’ll let you be the judge of that!!