July 28, 2022

Q&A with Sven Walter on #onetruckfamily

Read what Sven Walter has to say about the #onetruckfamily

Transportation and logistical company owner and Goodyear FIA ETRC entrant Sven Walter chose to back the #onetruckfamily campaign.

Here is why he feels the need to highlight key topics in the industry in an effort to improve the appreciation of workers and companies throughout Europe.

Q: Why did you support the campaign and get involved with #onetruckfamily?

“I decided to be part of the campaign because I believe that this is a way to really engage with the drivers and also increase our crews, as there has been a lack of drivers in recent years. Less and less people want to work in this profession and I believe that bringing motorsport and the job as truck driver together can be a good solution.”

Q: Why do less people want to become a truck driver?

“We have a poor lobby, people don’t appreciate us on the road, we only drive 90 kph, because we overtake with 91/81 kph – but you know what, if we didn’t have those 25 tones of beer with us, there wouldn’t be any at the store!

“When we arrive at the loading docks, it’s difficult too. Stores save money when it comes to loading personnel, they push the work to us. That’s why the profession of a truck driver isn’t the same as 25 years ago. Back then you drove to a loading dock, off-loading was handled differently. I believe today, as a truck driver you are simply not appreciated and are treated as a person of second class. And that’s a serious problem.”

Q: What are you and your company doing to increase the level of appreciation of the profession?

“Actually, we recently terminated a relationship with a customer because they didn’t appreciate our drivers and didn’t treat them well. We also have a lot of meetings with customers and deliverers in which we talk about the situation. There have been customers recognising the issue, that they need to treat all truck drivers better – not just their crew but also external ones too. And the driver himself/herself is very much appreciated by us! We recognise their hard work and make sure that they know it’s not just about doing a job but that we want to be a great team.”

Q: We also know that you are training young professionals also in the office area. What do you think needs to change in order for young people to not to want an office job but rather aim towards being a truck driver?

“I think that’s a problem of our society really. More and more parents are telling their kids to go to university. Manual work keeps getting less. Not just in truck driving, but in construction work, everything where you will get your hands dirty. They want their kids to finish school, study at university to get a good job but ‘normal handiwork jobs’, which we get less attractive. And that’s where the problem is, so we have a lot of people coming from university with a great idea, but there isn’t anyone actually putting those ideas into reality.”

Q:  Where are the problems when crossing borders. Where do you see the biggest issues?

“We’ve got the biggest issues when driving to the south towards Austria- due to the block dispatch. They are forcing us to brake to 10 km/h and that’s how long traffics jams start.

“Another problem is that every country has its own toll system. At some point, your window shield is full with the different toll stickers. One overarching system for Europe would be great! And in the meantime, in Germany and the rest of Europe, the parking situation is a very big issue! We can’t do our breaks, there aren’t enough sanitary facilities and that has become an increasing issue outside of Germany too.”

Q: How will the situation will become better over the next years?

“It needs to become better! But that’s a case for our politicians! We are on the road and politicians want to use more rail roads. But that’s of course also connected to problems, as you can’t drive into all of the cities with a train. So, for the pre- and post-work you still need trucks and you can’t avoid that. From this perspective, politicians are asked to come up with solutions, for example by creating more parking lots.”

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