We have discussed this on several threads before. The sad fact is every person over 17 has the basic training to become a truck driver.
Those who wish to upgrade to a truck licence can do so for a few hundred dollars and a few days' training. Around the town can be a steady career job on fixed hours and home most nights. If you are a conscientious worker you can have a job for life but must accept entry level wages because there is a mob of people ready to step into your seat. In other words you have no leverage or hard earned years of education or skill/trade training to force the issue apart from doing such a good job you will get extra to retain your services.
Upgrading further to more sophisticated machinery or moving to long haul certainly will command better pay (once again if you are conscientious and reliable) but it comes with severe social and family impediments. Again sadly your advancement is still mainly due to experience like any form of employment advancement and does not have a sound foundation of a profession or trade. That mob are still snapping at your heels so unless he values your work above the pack, the boss has no reason to pay extra.
It is a very difficult situation but the world operates on supply and demand. There are a million truck drivers and potential truck drivers out there causing a situation where low wages do not stop the flow of recruits. We now appear to have a situation where Australians are not willing to work for those wages and it is reported foreign drivers are being looked at.
The Australian average wage is $84,000. The Bureau of Statistics says 90% of Truck Drivers earn between $68,000 and $100,000 making them receiving pretty much the same as most Australian workers.
Very difficult to argue that an on-the-job trained driver should get wages similar to a bloke who has done 4 years apprenticeship or college degree and who has also been getting more on-the-job skills since qualification.
I do not know the answer but do know that as long as they can find people to take what is offered to sit in the seat, be it locally or from overseas, truck drivers will never be highly paid. It can be a hard job as we all know but there are thousands of other hard jobs out there returning lousy pay as well. We should really be encouraging our kids to do "something" in the way of education, formal training or trade qualifications to give them a kick start and the potential to go as far as they wish.
Probably like a lot of members/writers to this forum, I'm one of those with mixed feelings about the importing of forign workers whatever their calling. Having been retired for a bit more than ten years after working all my adult life in either transport or plant. I myself think that a lot of the problem can be directed at the way employer/employee relationship has taken a severe downturn in the preceding ten to twenty years. Why would you even consider a career in transport (or plant) when it appears that more and more responsibility seems to be handballed to the driver, the last link in the chain. I personally wouldn't consider taking it up under the avalanch of restrictions, rules, regulations not to mention OH&S. You also have to take on board that a lot of the younger brigade are at best, a bit work shy, they mostly seem to want to drive computers, from home and earn top dollar whilst doing so. You could also chuck in the mix, that a lot of blue collar trades, for varying reasons, are rapidly pricing themselves out of the game. Can't speak of city dwellers, but here in the bush, tradies tend to quote on any job on offer just to get it and then ruin their standing by being unreliable! In one way, competition from overseas applicants may well smarten the workforce up a bit, but with unemployment around 10% I'd reckon myself that there has to be a way to get new blood into industry in general. Not sure how thats going to be achieved, maybe relaxation of the chain of responsibility, a more attractive pay for hire component, dunno. Until we get a turnaround in attitudes towards employment and stop the never ending handouts to some who just dont want to work, can't see much improvement on the horizon. Dave
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I am a industrial Construction Electrician by trade, same as any other Electrician really, just I will only work in industrial construction by choice , simple choice for me, the rest of the work there is 10 percent profit and one in ten will not pay so bugger that, I just drop in and out of Transport industry between construction jobs mainly on the interstate job, at times as a employed driver sometimes in my own truck, in my view the job's gone down hill a bit, due to the fact that early on, you would be working for someone who had came up thought the industry, these days you are more likely to be working for some clueless shiny bum, or some one who has had it drop in his lap when dad dropped into the grave, don't get me wrong there are still a lot of great people in the transport game.
My last stint as a employed was for a never satisfied, thieving crook, who thought everyone owed him some thing, I stuck it out for five years because I enjoyed the job, and I was in a position were I could dig in and give a bit back, but I did feel for the young blokes on the job, and I think these type of blokes are the problem with getting good people into the industry and keeping them there, had that been anyone of the other people I had work for over the years, I would most likely would have stayed another five years until retirement.
I am back in construction at present but a degenerative bone problem in my foot will put me back in trucks in the next 12 to 18 months. and it will be drag a truck out of the shed and buy a late model trailer, I am not going thought that crap again, and I would not expect any young person to either, so if the movers and shakers in the transport industry have to get drivers from third work countries and then deal with all the problems that go with that then so be it, to me it is quite clear were the problem lies.
A lot of people say the problem lies with the younger generation, I don't go with that at all, my kids are now in the late thirties, they and all the young ones that grew up around them were all hard working and focused and for the most part are doing well and in their own homes, on the job I am on at present there is a dozen or so young blokes and a couple of girls, in the under thirty age group, tradies and apprentices, who put in a big effort and commitment building a multi million dollar factory, a lot more commitment than I had at that age, the construction is like the transport industry, there is no where to hide, if you don't get of your backside and build it it don't get done.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Dave_64, husky, Tacho, JohnKelly
I am sure there are plenty of blokes outside those parameters in both directions, just going on what the Bureau of Statistics said about the vast bulk of the industry.
Your specialist crew obviously have greater skills and responsibilities than the average steerer. No doubt they have a bunch of extra tickets as well, showing the value of both formal training and demonstrated ability as precursors to advancement.
I would guess that the positions for driving are open to anyone with the correct licenses. The fact that they may come from overseas might be because there are too many sitting on their bums being overpaid by the Government. I see a few Indian drivers, with the turbos on the heads stopped and walking around the truck doing all kinds of stretches and waving the arms around each week.
Neighbour across the road said the Company he drives for hired an Indian. They gave hime the worse looking truck in the yard and within 3 weeks it was all cleaned up and looking loved again. Initailly he was given a run that got him back home each day and he liked it. Another driver got sick and they sent him to Adelaide and back and he said no so they said go or leave the Company, he left.
Cheers Cobba & Cobbarette
Coopernook, The Centre of our Universe.
Cobbdog, Good on the Indian driver. He sounds like one in a million. My Grandfather was a Steam Railway Engine driver and he and his workmates always had the locos looking all shiny and immaculate. They took a pride in their job.
I have my shoulder to the wheel,
my nose to the grindstone,
I've put my best foot forward,
I've put my back into it,
I'm gritting my teeth,
One of the issues is that companies won;t hire you unless you have professional experience but how do you get professional experience without driving for a living?
And driving our old girls around doesn't count even though they are harder to drive than the modern gizmos with their automatic gearboxes, power steering and power everything else too!
Hiding in the shed covered in grease and muck - want a coffee?