The trucking industry has been on a campaign to hire new drivers to fill in the current gaps and to prepare for those who are embracing retirement. However, in addition to salary and incentives, training drivers places a big burden on the trucking industry. Fortunately, there may be a way to reduce the cost, increase training efficiency, and fill existing driver vacancies through VR technology.
The High Cost of Hiring Drivers
Current training methods can cost upwards of $7,000 per prospective driver, and that doesn’t include accidents. Even with comprehensive training, trucking companies cannot guarantee drivers will stay in the industry. The high turnover among new drivers has been a point of frustration for trucking companies. In fact, many trucking companies consider the cost of training alone to be too big of a gamble for the hiring process unless potential drivers are committed to long-term careers in the industry. In order to stay competitive, the trucking industry needs to replace over 90,000 drivers every year for the next decade. That means the trucking industry is looking, conservatively, at a total cost of over $600 million. There has to be a way to reduce this cost without losing any quality of the training drivers receive.
VR Technology to the Rescue
Larger trucking companies have been using virtual reality (VR) technology for quite some time. VR technology has also come a long way in visual simulation and responsiveness. It is no longer the stuff of bad science-fiction movies and video games. Trucking companies that utilize VR technology to train drivers see a rapid decrease in overall costs and insurance. VR technology provides an environment which is very realistic, but without the cost of fuel, wear and tear on vehicles, or insurance premiums associated with real-world accidents. VR technology can also simulate specific road conditions, hazardous environments, and allow for more repetitions without drawing on a lot of human and mechanical resources.
The initial cash outlay for a simulation system with VR technology can cost between $60,000 and $100,000. Most trucking schools only have one or two of these for students to use. As with most technology, as popularity and proliferation increase, the cost will go down. Yet even with the price of VR training simulators, the long-term cost provides big savings when compared to doing things the old-fashioned way.
Express Freight Finance offers working capital solutions to the trucking industry. If you need to free up working capital for new equipment, contact our offices.