Trucking Industry Recruitment:  Hiring Technicians in 2023

Everyone knows that there is a shortage of technicians to work on semi-trucks these days, right?  Of course!  The trucking industry has been sounding the alarm that there are more techs retiring than there are joining the profession.  However, is it a surprise to learn this situation has been written and spoken about for over twenty years?  That’s right, according to archives, there is an article about how the tech shortage is already affecting many fleets.  It was written and published in 2001, and it hasn’t stopped since that time. 

Now, in 2023, the issue has been discussed by everyone from trucking trade websites to think tank industry reports to consultants and industry insiders.  After over twenty years, the lack of students pursuing technician jobs has put the industry in a bind like it has never seen, and it is one that will take complex and well-thought out solutions to solve.  Today, this blog explores the problems surrounding the trucking industry’s lack of technicians and the intricate solutions being delved into by those needing techs for the future.

“Baby, you can drive my car…”

But can you maintain that vehicle?  Schneider, one of the top carriers, has made it clear that, without trained diesel technicians, their trucks would break down on the side of the road, making it impossible for truckers to complete their tasks.  This very quickly trickles down to stores not being able to stock their goods, and consumers having to do without the products that they need and want.  As long as trucking is the way that most shops receive their wares, technicians will be necessary for keeping truck fleets operational and on the road.  It is important to remember that without technicians, the trucks will not continue to run, and everyone’s bottom line will be in serious jeopardy.

Many industry professionals believe that the problem of “too few” techs is actually a problem of “too few QUALIFIED” technicians.  For some, the issue is that not enough high schools and community colleges invest in the right tools to show potential truck technicians the ropes of the job.  The equipment being used in schools is already “museum-quality,” with some of the parts used as educational tools being over thirty years old; needless to say, the technology being shown to students is already outdated and won’t help them achieve any real world experience.  Many schools also either can’t afford trucks or parts to train with, or don’t have the experience to buy the correct, up-to-date equipment.  With electrical systems being more intricate now than ever before, the training for these integral pieces must evolve alongside the actual equipment, and many professionals in trucking do not believe that this has happened in the schools and training facilities educating the newest techs today.

Training Tomorrow’s Technicians

There are many different approaches to how to solve the problem of not having enough technicians for the future.  As stated above, many trucking and technician professionals believe that starting with secondary education programs and giving high school students the tools and knowledge to pursue a career as a technician is key.  While that idea has a great deal of merit, trucking and mechanic professionals should understand that they must work closely with educators to formulate a strategy that will work best for younger students.  If they want a better crop of students to pursue tech careers, industry professionals will have to lend a helping hand in creating curriculum and making it attractive to younger generations.  In a way, this strategy could allow for trucking companies to “grow” their own techs, from finding interesting students, to giving them a clear view of what the job entails and the benefits it brings.  For now, while education methods are being discussed and tested, there are ways of attracting both experienced and newly graduated technicians to shops where they are needed today.

As with other industries, recruiting techs requires good employer branding and recruitment marketing.  One of the best places to start is with benefits.  While paychecks are extremely important, they are not always the top priority.  Experienced technicians already supposedly make enough money, and newer, younger techs are most likely millennials who want more out of their job.  Since many companies offer similar benefits, including health, dental, and vision insurance, paid sick and holiday time, and a 401(k), employers of truck technicians are going to have look deeper to find what their candidates want.  Other technicians have indicated that there are other, less prevalent benefits that they find attractive, such as a tool or tuition reimbursement program, pension plans, or even profit sharing.   

A business’s brand and culture also play an important role in which shops technicians will choose for employment.  Particularly with millennial or younger workers, a company’s culture is extremely important.  Workers want to feel comfortable in their work areas, so stocked break rooms, comfortable seating areas, and keeping shop towels available are just a few small things that can attract techs and keep them.  Don’t forget that providing breakfast or lunch for techs is just a small act of kindness that can go a long way to keeping morale high as well.

Shops looking for technicians can and should start to look in unexpected places too.  The military has been recommended by several industry companies, such as Truckinginfo.  Since mechanics in the military are usually trained to maintain diesel engines, their experience cannot be utilized enough.  When it comes to veterans, employing them is both the right thing to do and would take advantage of skills they have already received from the military.  There is also a portion of the population, about half, that is not being recruited from for new technicians:  women.  High school shop teachers see most of their classes are being taken by young men; sometimes there are no young women taking these classes at all.  A stereotype of women not wanting to or not being able to keep up with men in shops has persisted forever, but that doesn’t make it an accurate depiction of the situation.  Ellen Voie of Women in Trucking says that women can be very useful in the shop.  From having smaller and nimbler hands and fingers, to being able to handle detailed work well, there is room to bring women into shops as technicians.  The trucking industry, as a whole, has come a long way from the sexism of the past, but they’re going to have start hiring more women as time moves forward.  


The shortage of technicians has been spoken of for years, but it has not been fully dealt with yet.  To rectify this situation, shops are going to have to change the way they hire and retain techs.  One of the things that every company employing technicians will need to do is keep those techs motivated and comfortable.  Most in the profession use word of mouth to look into potential places of employment; therefore, ensuring they are happy in their shop is key to making sure they are spreading good news about the company culture; this will help in creating a great employer brand and retaining the technicians you already have.


Meaghan Goldberg covers recruitment and digital marketing for Lionzone.  A Patterson, GA native, after graduating from both Valdosta State University and Middle Tennessee State University, Meaghan joined Lionzone in 2018 as a digital recruitment strategist before becoming the social media manager.



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