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Old 11th October 2012, 20:22   #16
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Default Re: Shortage of drivers for highway Trucks

It would be interesting to know about the Sardarji truck drivers who once ruled the highways. I was always fascinated by them coupled with the dhabas en-route. I had traveled in trucks driven by Sardarjis in Punjab and Nagpur though only for very short distances.. .
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Old 11th October 2012, 22:28   #17
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Default Re: Shortage of drivers for highway Trucks

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Originally Posted by Carrera555 View Post
There are a lot of reasons affecting the shortage of Drivers of Trucking companies. We own few trucks & we have experienced this. And tell you, its getting worse with every passing day.

enjoy with the family. This scenario is quite common in Gujarat.
[] Owner drivers --> While a few do start out on this route, out of this a majority end up in trouble mismanaging their money. This is my observation from my limited experience. A few do succeed but a very miniscule number.

[] Land values --> Well this is again not applicable to the majority of the drivers. But to the sub-set who do own land, yes this is also one of the reasons.

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Originally Posted by rajeev k View Post
It would be interesting to know about the Sardarji truck drivers who once ruled the highways. I was always fascinated by them coupled with the dhabas en-route. I had traveled in trucks driven by Sardarjis in Punjab and Nagpur though only for very short distances.. .
Ah! Quite a few of them are sitting retired in their villages and their offspring are running prosperous businesses in the North American continent and some in Europe.
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Old 13th October 2012, 08:07   #18
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Default Re: Shortage of drivers for highway Trucks

This really is an interesting thread. My take on this is that the Trucking industry is facing the same challenges and changes that the other industries including manufacturing are facing. Thanks to the phenomenal growth of the BPO and the ITES sector we have overnight transformed from an industrial economy to a service based one. And this growth has percolated down to support services as well. For example in Bangalore there is an acute shortage of drivers for BPO cabs.

Unfortunately for the trucking industry to transform to this new paradigm a lot of the infrastructure would need to change as well. In the US they turn around trucks after unloading in 15 minutes. Our trucks can spend days in a checkpost waiting for clearance.

On the other side we have a rapidly developing road network and the trucking companies would have to upgrade to more efficient long haul rigs to take advantage of this. This means that the industry has to transform from the current model of small operators to professional outfits with large fleets. And the most important task for them would be to attract top talent, train them and retain them.

I grew up in Sion Koliwada along with the Sardarji truck drivers and tractor-trailer rigs with 1616 turbos. Over the years there have been a lot of events that have made people disgruntled with the Indian system and made them move out to other professions/countries. I know a Sardar who drives road trains in Australia and makes more money than most MBAs.

my two cents
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Old 13th October 2012, 08:32   #19
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Default Re: Shortage of drivers for highway Trucks

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This really is an interesting thread. My take on this is that the Trucking industry is facing the same challenges and changes that the other industries including manufacturing are facing. Thanks to the Over the years there have been a lot of events that have made people disgruntled with the Indian system and made them move out to other professions/countries. I know a Sardar who drives road trains in Australia and makes more money than most MBAs.

my two cents

Well said. There is a need for a paradigm shift in the mindset in the industry. What is not discussed here is why the industry is not willing to change it's modus operandi as that is outside the scope of this thread's subject.

The large fleet operators were a part and parcel of the tax evasion by manufacturers. I am not clued in on the exact mechanics of how this racket worked. However from whatever little I know, all along the route we worked on i.e. Del-Mum , vehicles of the big name fleet owners were never stopped for any thng be it RTO checks , excise checks etc etc. These big shots were on a first name basis with the top revenue, law enforcement and transport officials of each of the states on the route.

It is only when everything is above board that professional outfits will step in and working conditions for the workmen will become attractive enough for them to look for work here.
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Old 14th October 2012, 16:19   #20
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Default Re: Shortage of drivers for highway Trucks

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Originally Posted by rajeev k View Post
It would be interesting to know about the Sardarji truck drivers who once ruled the highways. I was always fascinated by them coupled with the dhabas en-route. I had traveled in trucks driven by Sardarjis in Punjab and Nagpur though only for very short distances.. .
To be specific, that was the Jatt Sikh community who have traditionally taken to driving like fish to water There are umpteen songs and cultural references which give an idea how this profession was widely accepted in Jatt sikhs. Like others mentioned, its the same folks who are an integral part of the truck driving community of US, Canada, Australia etc.

As far as the reason for the change are concerned, it might have something to do with agriculture becoming a sustainable profession thanks to introduction of MSP by the government, coupled with migration of people abroad.

I have heard a lot of people comment on how ever since Jatt Sikhs exited, the overall standard of truck driving in India has gone into a decline (Although this might be mere hearsay).
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Old 16th October 2012, 09:55   #21
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Default Re: Shortage of drivers for highway Trucks

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To be specific, that was the Jatt Sikh community who have traditionally taken to driving like fish to water
As far as the reason for the change are concerned, it might have something to do with agriculture becoming a sustainable profession thanks to introduction of MSP by the government, coupled with migration of people abroad.

I have heard a lot of people comment on how ever since Jatt Sikhs exited, the overall standard of truck driving in India has gone into a decline (Although this might be mere hearsay).
From which part of India do majority of truckers come from today? I also have seen very few 'Sardars' driving trucks today. What I have seen is in South India the majority of truckers are south Indians, mostly from Tamil Nadu and AP. Most of them do drive well. Only issue I have with trucks/truckers from South India is, they are habituated to hogging the right most lane no matter what.
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Old 16th October 2012, 11:30   #22
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Default Re: Shortage of drivers for highway Trucks

This is slightly off-topic.

I was at this retail industry conference a few weeks back and I learnt that only 2% of India's meat and dairy industry is supported with the most basic necessity of this industry - cold storage. this includes both warehouses and trucks. The reasons given by the speaker were

1. You can't fit a cold storage unit on a normal truck.
2. Such trucks have to be equipped with modern electronics and most such trucks in the west come with advanced cabins - air conditioned, comfortable and ergonomically designed.
3. Most retail distributors do not believe in spending on such "modern" trucks. Rather, they don't believe in driver comfort. They would rather spend on getting more sales done at the point of customer interaction.

I do see certain flaws in these arguments. But one thing that I can't really argue with is that we Indians generally don't believe in driver/servant comfort. We just don't think they deserve it.
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Old 16th October 2012, 11:45   #23
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Default Re: Shortage of drivers for highway Trucks

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This is slightly off-topic.

I was at this retail industry conference a few weeks back and I learnt that only 2% of India's meat and dairy industry is supported with the most basic necessity of this industry - cold storage. this includes both warehouses and trucks. The reasons given by the speaker were

1. You can't fit a cold storage unit on a normal truck.
2. Such trucks have to be equipped with modern electronics and most such trucks in the west come with advanced cabins - air conditioned, comfortable and ergonomically designed.
3. Most retail distributors do not believe in spending on such "modern" trucks. Rather, they don't believe in driver comfort. They would rather spend on getting more sales done at the point of customer interaction.

I do see certain flaws in these arguments. But one thing that I can't really argue with is that we Indians generally don't believe in driver/servant comfort. We just don't think they deserve it.
We stupid Indians remain as ever penny wise pound foolish. I am sure no one knows or cares for the fact that if the human body is provided adequate comfort he/she will perform to his/her optimum. A driver in a A/C ergonomic cab will drive a safer, fatigue free, say 800km/day compared to him driving 600km in a rickety, hot, uncomfortable jalopy.

Right from the time of Vivekanand, Tilak etc intellectuals have been trying to erase this stupid caste/class divide, but we turn out to be the most moronic, class/caste divided third class society as ever. Disgusting!!!
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Old 16th October 2012, 18:30   #24
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Default Re: Shortage of drivers for highway Trucks

A shortage for truck drivers is merely one of the examples of shortage in skilled labour in the industrial / mechanical sector, be it truck drivers, industrial workers, road contractors, the works. Unfortunately India has gone global only when it comes to the tertiary sector, and there is hardly a shift in perception about cost of a skilled labour job or service.

In the case (transportation) freight charges have failed to escalate over say 20% from what they were 5 or in some cases 10 years ago, whilst input costs like fuel, tires, oil, etc have shot up almost 100% in the same period.
There is not much a small player can really do because the transportation sector really is huge and if one company decides to exit a rate contract, there are atleast a 1000 companies willing to take it up at even 5 - 7% cheaper rack rate! So basically the organisation chugs along until the skilled labour finds a better placement (usually 10 - 15%) higher salary at another organisation and then the same organisation employes a lesser skilled candidate at the same or lesser remuneration and life continues until the new candidate steps up into the next league.

In the meanwhile, the padha likha Graduate / MBA employed junta with fancy designation titles cribs about how their contractor's quality of service has taken a back seat but they would do nothing to really improve the situation.

Last edited by manson : 16th October 2012 at 18:33.
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Old 16th October 2012, 22:03   #25
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Default Re: Shortage of drivers for highway Trucks

I want to highlight a small nuance of the plight of truckers being discussed in this thread, which I continue to be perplexed about.

I have never, and I mean, NOT ONCE, seen a truck driver wearing spectacles in India.

With the number of truck drivers on the road (and I stay on one of the busiest freight corridors around), the eye-straining conditions in which they drive, the age spans that we see and the crucial nature of their eyesight to their own and everyone's safety on the road... this fact remains MIND-BOGGLING to me.

The only conclusion I can draw is.. that to at least a third, if not more than half of the truck drivers on the road - your car or bike is not just another a hazy blob! And if you're a pedestrian, God save you!
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Old 26th February 2017, 09:08   #26
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Default Re: Shortage of drivers for highway Trucks

Came across an interesting read on this topic . Link

Quote:
Garg has replaced this with a relay system. Each driver drives 4.5 hours to a company pit stop, and hands over to another driver who again drives 4.5 hours to the next pit stop. The relay continues till destination. This cuts delivery time for Delhi-Chennai from 96 hours to 48, and for Bengaluru-Kolkata from 110 hours to 44. This is twice the speed of some courier companies, and maximises truck utilisation.
From a pit stop, each driver catches a truck in the return direction to get home by night.
Not sure how practical the idea is, but it sure sounds interesting.
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Old 26th February 2017, 16:18   #27
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Default Re: Shortage of drivers for highway Trucks

Here is why truck driving is one of the worst jobs in India.

• Low salaries combined with high costs of staying on-road weeks at a time. If a driver has to eat 3 basic meals at the cheapest of the roadside shacks, he would still be left with nothing to take home for his family
• Lack of basic hygiene facilities on the road, no showers, not easily accessible toilets when on roads, etc
• Horrible local roads
• Headache of driving through city roads, like of by-passes in almost all towns and cities
• Horrible treatment by one and all including, police, transport departments, general public, etc
• There is no such thing as ergonomics in our average trucks in a bid to keep the capital cost of trucks as low as possible. This can only be improved in short term by government taking regulatory measures to make things such as air conditioning, etc mandatory in trucks or else the trend to manufacture cheapest possible trucks will continue for a long time
• Lack of social security benefits, proper personal insurance coverage, health care facilities on the road, etc
• Complex procedures in the event of even a minor accident if you want to be sincere to the rule of law
• No organized parking facilities in most places
• Overloading of underpowered trucks to make a quick buck
• The list will go on ........

I pity the souls who have to go for these jobs, although I have a fascination for trucks.
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Old 26th February 2017, 16:20   #28
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Default Re: Shortage of drivers for highway Trucks

Please delete this post moderators. Double post.

Last edited by Theyota : 26th February 2017 at 16:37. Reason: double post, sorry
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Old 27th February 2017, 19:16   #29
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Default Re: Shortage of drivers for highway Trucks

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Originally Posted by mpksuhas View Post
Came across an interesting read on this topic . Link



Not sure how practical the idea is, but it sure sounds interesting.
This is what the roadways, railways and even the airlines do, but this requires a large scale of operations. For smaller players, esp. owner-drivers, this is unfortunately not a feasible alternative.
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Old 1st March 2017, 11:48   #30
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Default Re: Shortage of drivers for highway Trucks

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Originally Posted by mpksuhas View Post
Came across an interesting read on this topic . Link



Not sure how practical the idea is, but it sure sounds interesting.
So I had given some thought to this idea 3 years back when I was with Tata Motors.
The biggest reason why shortage is there because families don't allow their children in the trucking line as they will be away from home and also the marriage prospects drop when a person is not going to be around
To make things more easy, I had thought that if a relay system is developed, the "baton" (truck) should be passed at the check points where the state boundary ends. That way, a local driver will drive through the state and he knows the road conditions, the language (needed to navigate, talk to policemen etc).
That way the driver can always reach home.
In case of large states, 2 baton passes should be organized.
Hope these thoughts are also put in this business model and it succeeds.
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