At NationaLease, our members and customers have always valued the job their technicians perform. Now there’s a special week for them. All I can say is, it’s about time.
Although the driver shortage seems to take up the most editorial space for the trucking industry, a shortage of technicians also keeps those in our industry up at night. The median age of diesel techs is a bit over 40, thus many are nearing retirement age. And here’s the bad news: from 2018 to 2028, it is expected that the demand for diesel techs in the U.S. could top 28,000 but the available men and women to fill that goal will only reach just under 13,000, less than half of what is needed. And with the ever-changing technology in these advanced trucks, the need for qualified people is more important than ever.
These valued employees play such an essential role in our industry, ensuring that the vehicles we have on the road are safe and efficient. That’s why I was so pleased to see that the American Trucking Association’ Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) has announced National Technician Appreciation Week and wrote about it in my IdeaXchange blog. The first event took place September 21 through the 25 and was intended to celebrate the hard work and commitment of professional technicians.
At NationaLease, we have an annual Tech Challenge competition, where members have their top technicians take a written exam. The winners selected from that first step of the competition then compete in a Hands-On competition and the three winners from that go on to represent NationaLease at the TMC’s SuperTech competition. This is one of the ways that we have long shown appreciation for these hard-working team members.
As I recommended in my IdeaXchange blog, it would be a good idea for every company to show their appreciation for their techs by setting up a tech recognition program. Having a program like that in place may actually help in your recruitment efforts in a highly competitive environment. Why is this so important? Because despite COVID-19, which has devastated so many industries, trucks remain critical to the economy. That means keeping your trucks road-ready is essential to the success of your business. And keeping your trucks road-ready is exactly what your technicians do.
Read my IdeaXchange blog to see how TMC is showing appreciation for truck technicians.