These are some of the best times to be in the flatbed open deck market. With the new generation of flatbed truckers embracing the latest technologies that are unfolding in the flatbed heavy haul transporting industry we are seeing drivers that are a new breed.
In the past drivers were more hands on able to fix their trucks, secure cargo, working hands on. Their fathers and grandfathers were also truckers. The new breed brings the technology expertise that is evolving at a rapid pace in the flatbed trucking industry. This is a good thing, but they are less hands on and need to be mentored by older drivers to learn the hands-on details of maintaining their equipment and loads that they carry.
Shifting Dynamics in Flatbed Shipping
Revenue is scaling strong and upward at a steady growth rate month after month currently. Load availability and spot rates are continuing to gain in momentum with flatbed load to truck ratios reaching new highs. Flatbed load posts have increased to over ten percent. Since last year at this time the available loads increased from under thirty per available truck to over eighty.
Sign on bonuses are being offered by many companies to attract drivers. Once recruited these drivers are nurtured to stay and retire down the road from the same company. This currently is the best way to attract and keep these drivers while the demand is high. Value in these long-term relationships is key.
As a remedy to frequent driver turn over companies are pairing dispatchers to drivers with similar interests and limiting the number of drivers that one dispatcher is responsible for. Reinforcing these new norms with a solid mentoring program is really reaping benefits in retaining drivers. All these efforts are transforming new green drivers into seasoned experienced drivers that are embracing the industry more favorably than when they first started.
The interesting change with this new generation of trucking is the fact that they embrace the new technologies whole heartily. Electronic logging devices, GPS mapping, computer-controlled maintenance and other technologies are adapted to very quickly. How to use the technology is more important today than ever before and this new breed embraces it with ease.
These opportunities for advancing the flatbed trucking industry will need to be addressed in guidance counseling so that more students will consider the rewards of a career in transportation as one of their options. Many students would be willing if they completely understood the many opportunities for the current shifting in the dynamics of flatbed shipping.