Trucking Companies Squeezed by Lack of Qualified Drivers
Everything you eat comes from a farm, and it gets to you on a truck. So not only do we need to be supporting our state’s farmers, but also its truckers.
TJ Mehta is the owns Intrade Industries in Fresno which hauls produce and other refrigerated products around the country. He tells California Ag Today’s Patrick Cavanaugh that keeping good people behind the wheel is a real challenge.
Mehta … “The biggest problem that we are facing now is the shortage of drivers. Extreme shortage of drivers. Or, even if we get drivers that not quantified enough to take the challenge and also to handle the safety regulations and to end-all the timely deliveries. So that is the biggest issue right now we have, that's one.”
Something that hasn’t helped Mehta’s business is AB-5, which limits their ability to outsource extra work to independent contractors.
Mehta ... “Because earlier what was happening is these small operators, they could be hired by midsize fleet companies for outsourcing some freight jobs. So AB-5 is putting a big restriction to this. What will happen is in the given situation, we cannot add onto more trucks on of our own. To finance is a big problem. There's not much freight available also. There is not drivers, alternative drivers. So it's because of the shortage of drivers is a big, big problem.”
Mehta also sites regulations related to electronic logging devices as making it further difficult to retain drivers and keep our nations produce moving.