You can feel it in every maintenance shop across the nation. Vacancies in truck and trailer maintenance shops remain open, as more and more great technicians retire. Where and how is the industry to survive without the needed youth, skilled and ready to work?
The reality is that there are over 10,000 students produced annually out of technical schools but these students aren’t turning to the traditional jobs of the trucking industry. According to Wheeltime’s George Arrants, these students are turning to “Industries like wind [power] generation”. These jobs require more technology skills than what the students would expect from truck and especially trailer maintenance.
The millennial generation has grown up with technology everywhere. It is natural that they will want to work in an environment that employs the tools that they are accustomed to. However, many maintenance shops are still using paper files and book systems for maintenance.
Incorporating and using new technologies — cloud-based data record keeping systems, tablet-based/app-based preventative maintenance inspection systems, and fully electronic testing systems — in the maintenance and repair processes of truck and trailer fleets will connect millennials with the technologies they have become so accustomed to in their daily lives. Once included, advertising the job as more technical, introducing the students to the shop through partnerships with the local technical school, and even apprenticeships become easier since the new recruits will be more adapted to the tools in the industry.