Federal government will allow teenagers to drive 80,000-lb big rigs

Originally published at: Federal government will allow teenagers to drive 80,000-lb big rigs | Boing Boing

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What could possibly go wrong?

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A lot of mental maturation can happen between 18 & 21… some people haven’t even gotten their first speeding ticket at 18.

But, if they’re going through training, and getting certified, I guess it’s fine.

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Well, there’s another reason to avoid driving on the nation’s highways. If the economy requires that we let hastily trained teenagers barrel down the road in 40 tonnes of metal then the U.S. will let it happen.

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Personally I’d get more 30something truck driving immigrants over 18 year olds. :confused:

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It’s a senator from my state pushing this through. He considers it the most important issue facing Americans right now. (Insert eye roll and head-desk here.)

The reason there is a shortage of truck drivers is because the supply chain issues are actually due to bottlenecks at the ports and railway access, which means experienced drivers are leaving the profession in droves out of frustration at working longer hours for less pay due to sitting in long lines every day waiting for their turn. 18-year-olds don’t have the experience, and new, young drivers aren’t getting union protection, so they are what the trucking industry want.

That’s the reason no one making these decisions is worried about teenagers driving 18-wheelers across the country: they’ll be spending at least 8 hours a day waiting in line for their cargo to be loaded or unloaded, not driving.

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mad max fury road GIF

Mad Max GIF

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Making me gladder every day that I am working from home, since my commute used to pass the ports.

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Oh things like this…

(this kid was 20 and only had his CDL for about 6 months and was speeding down a mountain pass with a fully loaded 18 wheeler)

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That may be one part of the problem but the industry has been having retention problems for many years that are unrelated to recent bottlenecks. As this article explains there’s no shortage of licensed drivers out there, there’s a shortage of good jobs that have the salary and working conditions that are worth sticking around for, especially when similar salaries can be earned doing warehouse work, etc that’s more conducive to having a stable family life.

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Not sure how your post is a correction to mine.

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It isn’t clear what happened there. Supposedly there was equipment failure. So their experience may not have been a factor.

But even experienced truckers who don’t drive in the mountains can fuck up in the mountains. I have driven in the Rockies once and there are some steep roads and lots of these crash lanes for out of control vehicles.

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I was referring to your statement

One reason, yes, but as I said it’s definitely not just about bottlenecks. My brother-in-law was a trucker who quit the industry years ago because of working conditions and exploitive employers unrelated to bottlenecks.

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Yes, individual truck drivers like your BIL have left the industry over the years. Trucking companies have been trying to get rid of union workers in favor of at-will workers for…(waves hands about wildly).

But the added strain of the bottlenecks is causing a much larger cascade of experienced drivers saying ‘I’m done with this’.

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What surprises me is that the US didn’t follows Ireland’s, stupid, example to “solve” this “problem”: Same number, just work them longer hours.

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It could be worse.

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I’m sure that made it worse and didn’t really dispute that it was an important factor. (Among many.)

Also, for what it’s worth there’s actually been a lot of hiring in 2021 and we’re not too far off from our past peak employment in 2019, according to the BLS.

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Twenty years ago, the buzzz was that self-driving vehicles were going to remove the need for human drivers of trucks, what happened with that? /s

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we allow 17 yr olds to join the armed forces…

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