ATA President and CEO Bill Graves called upon the country’s policymakers, schools and trucking industry to do more to address the nation’s large and growing shortage of truck technicians.
“In our industry, we often talk about the impact of the shortage of truck drivers,” Graves said, “but we mustn’t forget trucking’s need to have many skilled technicians and mechanics to keep their rigs in working order and their wheels moving.”
Meanwhile, 145 truck technicians began their quest to be named Grand Champion at the 11th annual TMCSuperTech, which finishes up today at Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in Orlando, Fla., held in conjunction with ATA’s Technology & Maintenance Council 2015 Fall Meeting.
TMCSuperTech 2015 began Monday morning with written tests and qualifying tasks, before moving to today’s full battery of hands-on challenges. A student competition — TMCFutureTech featuring 38 students from around the country — also takes place today. Top competitors at each skill station and a grand champion will be announced Wednesday.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, trucking will need to recruit 67,000 new technicians by 2022 due to growth or to replace men and women currently working in the industry. This does not include the more than 75,000 new diesel engine specialists BLS anticipates the country needing by 2022.
“Trucking moves America forward and technicians keeps those trucks moving,” said Carl Kirk, ATA vice president of maintenance, information technology & logistics and executive director of ATA’s Technology and Maintenance Council. “We’re encouraged that ATA, as the industry leader, is urging people who can make a difference to focus on ways to address the looming technician shortage.”
“ATA hopes that TMC’s efforts, including events like TMCSuperTech and TMCFutureTech competitions, can highlight professional excellence and serve as a recruiting tool to bring more qualified individuals into this important career,” Graves said.