Laid-off Yellow drivers will have a tough time finding good jobs
The now-defunct Yellow transportation company laid off 30,000 workers, including Mark Roper, a truck driver for 32 years.
Roper, who turns 59 in October, said he isn’t ready to retire and has already begun applying for jobs elsewhere. However, the kind of trucking job he held at Yellow’s regional carriers — the kind that allowed him to see his family every night — is hard to find in the trucking industry, and is much less common than jobs that keep drivers on the road for weeks, moving full trailers.
He hasn’t heard anything about severance from the company. Holland Freight, which Yellow purchased in 2005, has been his employer for 28 years.
According to him, his severance is the unemployment he just applied for. We haven’t heard anything from them.”
She has already applied for jobs at other unionized trucking companies, including part-time work at UPS and driving jobs at ABF Freight and TForce. However, there are some companies he would rather not apply to.
There is a difference in the particular sector of the trucking industry. LTL carriers, such as Yellow, ABF and TForce, are known as less-than-truckload carriers. Through a network of terminals, they handle pallet-sized shipments of freight. Therefore, drivers are on specific routes during the day, and most of them get home every night.
Compared with LTL carriers, truckload carriers move full trailers of freight at least five times as much. A trucking industry consultant, Satish Jindel, says nearly all truckload companies are hiring, if only because annual driver turnover averages between 55% and 60% and can reach 100%.
It’s partly because truckload drivers are often on the road for weeks at a time, moving one trailer full of freight from point A to point B, then picking up the next load at a nearby point C, and so on. In truck stops, drivers usually shower – when they can – and sleep in beds in the back of their cabs.
According to Jindel, less-than-truckload carriers have relatively low driver turnover, about 18% to 20% on average, which means that fewer jobs are available than for truckload carriers.