July 12, 2019

#onetruckfamily Campaign Majors on Industry Wide Challenges

The #onetruckfamily campaign founded by ETRA reached Slovakiaring last weekend

The Slovakiaring paddock was alive with discussion and debate as the #onetruckfamily campaign hit eastern Europe last weekend.

The latest drive to highlight some of the key challenges in the truck and haulage transportation industry was outlined and discussed via the FIA European Truck Racing Championship paddock and the selected Road Heroes invited to the Slovakiaring.

The big discussion started on Saturday with the Road Heroes representing IVECO, Mercedes-Benz, GRAMMER and Goodyear being asked for their opinions on the short and long-term future of their profession.

The consistent thread running through the answers was that the Road Heroes were “proud” and “motivated” to represent their vocations, but that the challenges for future generations of drivers were “uncertain” and “challenging”.

It is estimated that over the next 10-15 years around 40% of German truck drivers will retire, which, given current trends, will create a shortfall of 150,000 drivers. The average age of drivers in Germany has increased recently to 47 years of age.

The topics of how the industry can ensure it thrives for future challenges was not lost on the Road Heroes that attended last weekends event.

“I became a truck driver because it was an early passion and a lifestyle I wanted to get in to because of the variety of places and people that I would meet,” said Road Hero Miroslav

“But we have seen increasing issues that make the job difficult and there is a problem with attracting new blood to our world which needs to be looked at closely.”

“Some of the issues are just the structure of the work we do and how the companies can be maybe more flexible.”

These were opinions and summaries that were largely echoed by some familiar faces in the FIA ETRC paddock, among them one of our own ‘Track Heroes’ Rene Reinert.

When not going wheel-to-wheel with his competitors and compatriots around the circuits of Europe, Reinert owns and runs a successful logistic company in Europe running a fleet of 750 vehicles.

The company employs 1200 people and among them has 25 apprentices on its books.

Reinert believes that changes need to be made to the industry in which he has made his name and that new models of driver engagement and organisation can be worked in to more traditional structures.

“We need to develop new models – the old ways of being three weeks straight in the truck won’t help in the future,” said Reinert.

“There will have to be different solutions. In the meantime, we have a “2+1” model – which means that the drivers are on the road for two weeks and get one week off at home.

“For example, three drivers would share two trucks. This has been the latest trend, which we are operating for about half a year now. This is one of the most pressured topics.”

“Regulated working hours are very important for the industry – enabling the driver to have a normal life with hobbies and a family.

The #onetruckfamily initiative aims to emotionalise and transfer the positive image of truck racing and its pilots to the road, at the same time celebrating the importance and the professionalism shown by those working in the industry.

At Slovakiaring the Road Heroes were given insights into the FIA ETRC paddock, race control and other aspects of the organisation such the way in which the races are timed via a dedicated time keeping squad.

Additionally, the guests were interviewed by ETRA TV about their experiences before they were introduced to the large Slovakian crowd during a special start ceremony on the grid.

To learn more about the #onetruckfamily campaign and why some of the questions about the industry are so important please click HERE.

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