Speaking of the driver shortage, it seems clear that to attract and retain those drivers, we’re going to need to make truck driving not just a job, but a profession. In a recent issue of trucks.com, we shared some thoughts about how we might achieve that transformation.

Why aren’t young people lining up to become truck drivers? One answer may be the term “truck driver,” which describes a job of yesteryear. They need to know that truck driving is technically demanding; trucks increasingly employ high-end technology. Drivers must master that technology. Then to become licensed, they must take and pass a curriculum prescribed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which requires the mastery of federal regulations governing electronic logging devices, hours of service, and out-of-service rules. They must pass a drug test and medical exam. And they must be familiar with the traffic and safety regulations of every state they pass through.

It’s here in the area of training that we may find the best bridge between the nation’s need for long-haul truckers (aka transportation managers) and young people’s need for a worthwhile, well-paid occupation. What’s new—and, increasingly, essential—in training drivers is the use of a simulator. To provide accurate, spot-on training, such simulators must provide up-to-date, superior technology to accurately replicate the dynamics of the truck, the road, the environment, motion and actual interaction with visual surroundings.

Learning to drive a big modern truck is a lot like learning to fly a plane: there’s a lot of technology involved, the job requires both judgment and experience, and public safety is an important consideration. With a simulator, you can teach the skills to deal with, say, a patch of black ice or a drive wheel blowout. You can’t do that with conventional behind-the-wheel training.

For More Information

Advanced Training Systems has revolutionized the design and manufacture of high-tech simulators to improve driver training and create both better drivers and a safer world. In addition to hundreds of driving schools, we provide equipment and support for major shippers who do their own training, as well as customized solutions for those with particular training needs. For more information or to schedule a demo, please contact us here.