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lorry driver shortage.

Aug 12, 2010
South Wales
Thought I would pass this on, not written by me but taken from elsewhere and worthy of a read.

"This is the truth about HGV driving
So, you are running out of food on the shelves, fuel in the garages, you can’t buy things you need, because the shops can’t get their supplies.
Why is that?
A shortage of goods? No
A shortage of money? No
A shortage of drivers to deliver the goods? Well, sort of.
There isn’t actually a shortage of drivers, what we have, is a shortage of people who can drive, that are willing to drive any more. You might wonder why that is. I can’t answer for all drivers, but I can give you the reason I no longer drive. Driving was something I always yearned to do as a young boy, and as soon as I could, I managed to get my driving licence, I even joined the army to get my HGV licence faster, I held my licence at the age of 17. It was all I ever wanted to do, drive trucks, I had that vision of being a knight of the roads, bringing the goods to everyone, providing a service everyone needed. What I didn’t take into account was the absolute abuse my profession would get over the years.
I have seen a massive decline in the respect this trade has, first, it was the erosion of truck parking and transport café’s, then it was the massive increase in restricting where I could stop, timed weight limits in just about every city and town, but not all the time, you can get there to do your delivery, but you can’t stay there, nobody wants an empty truck, nobody wants you there once they have what they did want.
Compare France to the UK. I can park in nearly every town or village, they have marked truck parking bays, and somewhere nearby, will be a small routier, where I can get a meal and a shower, the locals respect me, and have no problems with me or my truck being there for the night.
Go out onto the motorway services, and I can park for no cost, go into the service area, and get a shower for a minimal cost, and have freshly cooked food, I even get to jump the queues, because others know that my time is limited, and respect I am there because it is my job. Add to that, I even get a 20% discount of all I purchase. Compare that to the UK £25-£40 just to park overnight, dirty showers, and expensive, dried (under heat lamps) food that is overpriced, and I have no choice but to park there, because you don’t want me in your towns and cities.
Ask yourself how you would feel, if doing your job actually cost you money at the end of the day, just so you could rest.
But that isn’t the half of it. Not only have we been rejected from our towns and cities, but we have also suffered massive pay cuts, because of the influx of foreign drivers willing to work for a wage that is high where they come from, companies eagerly recruited from the eastern bloc, who can blame them, why pay good money when you can get cheap labour, and a never ending supply of it as well. Never mind that their own countries would suffer from a shortage themselves, that was never our problem, they could always get people from further afield if they needed drivers.
We were once seen as knights of the road, now we are seen as the lepers of society. Why would anyone want to go back to that?
If you are worried about not getting supplies on your supermarket shelves, ask your local council just how well they cater for trucks in your district.
I know Canterbury has the grand total of zero truck parking facilities, but does have a lot of restrictions, making it difficult for trucks to stop anywhere.
Do you want me to go back to driving trucks? Give me a good reason to do so. Give anyone a good reason to take it up as a profession.
Perhaps once you work out why you can’t, you will understand why your shelves are not as full as they could be.
I tried it for over 30 years, but will never go back, you just couldn't pay me enough.

Thank you to all those people who have shared this post. I never expected such a massive response, but am glad that this message is getting out there. I really hope that some people who are in a position to change just how bad it is for some drivers, can influence the powers that be to make changes for the better. Perhaps some city and town councillors have seen this, and are willing to bring up these issues at their council meetings. It surely cannot be too much to ask of a town/city to provide facilities for those who are doing so much to make sure their economies run and their shops and businesses are stocked with supplies. I never wanted any luxuries, just somewhere safe to park, and some basic ablutions that are maintained to a reasonable standard. I spent my nights away from my home and family for you, how much is it to ask that you at least give me access to some basic services.
There are tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of licence holders just like me, who will no longer tolerate the conditions. So the ball is firmly in the court of the councils to solve this problem."
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Site Owner
Nov 29, 2012
Nope, nothing to do with Brexit.

I was a Senior Manager in Logistics for about 30 years.

I attended a Cobra type meeting with all the big hitters about 2 years before I retired (so about 6 years now) and the OP is bang on.

We knew it was coming, but after leaving the industry, I was amazed to hear that it was all talk and no action.

I worked in the Temperature Controlled game and believe you me, the problems mentioned by the OP are x 10 in that field.
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Aug 12, 2010
South Wales

Kirsten Tisdale is principal of logistics consultancy Aricia Ltd. Prior to establishing the consultancy in 2001, she held senior positions as a consultant or manager with Marks & Spencer Logistics Group, TNT, NFC and others.

Concerned at reports of a demographic ‘ticking timebomb’ in the driving workforce from trade associations, she made freedom of information requests of the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) for the numbers of all Category C and C + E licence holders with and without the Driver CPC qualification, and asked that these be provided in five-year age bands.

From the linked article.....

The results are startling. There are 80,000 individuals with a Category C or C + E LGV licence and a current Driver CPC in the crucial 25-44 age group (the most attractive to employers for insurance and medical reasons) who are not currently working as truck drivers.

What’s more, there are 90,000 individuals in the 25-34 age band holding C or C + E licences, but without a current Driver CPC.
All they would require would be a week in a classroom without any test or examination, and they too could get behind the wheel of a truck.

Seperately from the article I note......

according to the Labour Party’s Labour Research Department, the median increase for basic rates of pay in the transport and communication sector last year was two per cent, down from 2.7 per cent the previous year. The respected independent journal Commercial Vehicle Engineer has forecast a driver pay increase of 2.5 per cent for the coming year.

In contrast, the ONS reports average pay increases across the whole UK workforce of 2.7 per cent for 2014-15, with pay increases of 2.9 per cent in the service sector, 3.6 per cent in finance and banking and (most significantly for the transport industry) 4.0 per cent in construction.

......I have to conclude wages and conditons have been artificially supressed for years by importing workers willing to accept whatever they are offered. Not only the transport sector either.
Remember we still have 5 million settled EU'ers but now even they clearly don't want to drive trucks for whats on offer any more.
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Aug 5, 2015
No it’s got nothing to do with Brexit that’s why the government has issued 5000 visas for foreign lorry drivers! Why don’t they do something positive like imposing a monetary limit on how much fuel you can take and banning the use of petrol cans and other items. I’ve seen on FB today footage of some idiot putting petrol in a plastic bag!