Solving the Truck Driver Shortage, Whether It Exists or Not.

Solving the Truck Driver Shortage, Whether It Exists or Not.

Guest writer Bob Rutherford brings us to a new vision with “Solving the Truck Driver Shortage, Whether It Exists or Not.” 

Solving the truck driver shortage, whether it exists or not.

A Paper by Bob Rutherford

The truck driver shortage is the Loch Ness Monster of the logistics world. Some swear it exists. Others think it’s a myth. The rest are just trying to make a dollar off the spectacle.

On one side is the American Trucking Association (ATA), which represents big trucking companies and claim there’s a shortage of 79,893 drivers in the U.S. Conversely, we have the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), who says not only do we have all the drivers we need, but we might also have too many.

My plan to solve this so-called driver shortage? It’s as simple as it is fantastic. Let’s start with Dwight D. Eisenhower, who warned us about the military-industrial complex. You remember Ike, right? The president told us to beware of the monster under the bed, only for us to respond, “What bed?”

Here’s the deal.

America has always been a military-industrial complex. It’s in our DNA. We churn out war machines and warriors like McDonald’s churns out Big Macs, and anyone who says “Make America Great Again” needs a history lesson and a reality check. Even on our worst day we’re still the best house in a bad neighborhood.

The machine needs to be fed. And what does it need? People. Healthy, educated, patriotic people. One key ingredient for this human smoothie? 18-year-olds.

Back in my day, when we turned eighteen it was straight into the meat grinder of Vietnam. June 1966: Career Day in the gymnasium, where defense contractors, community colleges, private enterprises and military recruiters outnumbered the kids. The Marines sweet talked us into becoming Marine recruits with promises of camaraderie and delayed entry buddy programs. My friends and I signed up faster than you can say, “Semper Fi.”

That formative experience gave me a lightbulb moment: why not solve the truck driver shortage and the immigration conundrum in one fell swoop?

Brace yourselves for my ingenious plan.

Let’s set up permanent career day centers at strategic locations. Think of them as the DMV, but with less soul-crushing bureaucracy. Eighteen-year-olds and immigrants seeking asylum walk in and they don’t leave until they’re a cog in the great American machine. Dr. W. Edwards Deming said, “It is not enough to do your best; you must know what to do and then do your best.” So, we’ll train them to do precisely what the machine needs: Warfighters. And what do Warfighters need? Supplies.

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