As the capacity crunch becomes more intense there will be changes in the trucking industry that will turn the public perception into a more positive image.
- The value of the driver as a professional will be enhanced. Shippers and receivers will start treating drivers with more respect as carriers start scoring their customers. From shorter loading times, more flexibility and better driver facilities on-site, shippers will learn to be a better customer or their rates will increase and the carrier availability will decrease.
- As their grocery prices increase, the non-trucking public will begin to see finally begin to understand the importance of that eighteen-wheeler on the road beside them. Instead of pointing at trucks as smoke spewing, pavement-wrecking behemoths operated by overtired and over stimulated drivers, maybe they will start to understand how that gallon of milk actually gets to the store shelves.
- As more technology is added to the role of both the driver and the equipment, the job will become less labor intensive and more skilled. This will help expand the pool of drivers by including older, possibly younger, and more diverse (gender, ethnicity, disabilities) operators. Reducing physical barriers (cranking, chaining, thumping, coupling) through the use of technology will not only reduce injuries, it will require more technology adaptable drivers.