Millennials are entering the trucking industry in greater numbers, this will create an even wider age divide between older truckers and fleet owners and new hires. But as much as millennials have been stereotyped on social media and in the press, this new workforce has a lot to offer the trucking industry.
Every generation since the Second World War has been categorized unfairly by their elders. The Baby Boomers were supposed to have it easy, with all the affluence and advantages their parents fought for in the war. Generation X – now in their forties and fifties – were categorized as slackers with no direction or work ethic. Well, now the Baby Boomers are entering retirement age, and those Generation X kids are now the ones holding down long-term careers in trucking and even running entire fleets. Saying Millennials are entitled is nothing more than a rehashing of the words used for every generation prior to them, so let’s put aside the stereotypes and look at what Millennials actually have to offer.
Technology Doesn’t Bother Millennials
With all the new technology that truckers have to use and deal with on a regular basis, a typical cab looks like the interior of a flight simulator. Trucking companies need to realize that many Millennials grew up with the internet and other gadgets. They learned how to navigate technology in school as well as in their personal lives. Millennials do not resist new technology, and can quickly figure out how things work and utilize everything from GPS tracking to ELDs to get the most out of their work days.
Change Is Good
By and large, the trucking industry is resistant to change, and with good reason. Between technology and legislation, fleet owners and truckers alike often feel as if their ability to get things done is being restricted. Millennials are adaptable, and can keep up with changes because they see the end game. They will also think out of the box to make things more efficient. Many millennials are more likely to research information and alternative solutions online instead of going through the same materials that have been used for decades. In some cases, Millennials will learn about market changes and new legislation before they make the news, because they are more “plugged in” than older generations.
Millennials may be young, but they are just as hard-working as previous generations, and can offer a lot to bolster the talent pool in the trucking industry if they are given a chance.