As the trucking industry continues to grapple with a nationwide driver shortage, most fleets are focusing their hiring efforts on young truck-driving school graduates. But a Fort Worth, Texas, carrier is taking the opposite tack, launching a program that’s designed to attract older, more experienced over-the-road (OTR) professionals.
Specialized heavy-haul carrier Lone Star Transportation LLC recently unveiled its “Flextime Driving Program” for OTR drivers who are 50 years or older and want a more flexible schedule—one suited to the lifestyle of a driver ready to cycle between periods of work and leisure. The program allows company drivers to work three or more consecutive months and then take up to six months off. Drivers participating in the Flextime program can customize their schedules, choosing which months to drive each year and when to take long breaks.
The carrier says the first goal of the Flextime program is to bring older, more experienced professional drivers out of retirement and back into the field. The second goal is to help extend the careers of drivers who leave for personal or lifestyle reasons, Lone Star said in a release. “There is no comparable program in the industry that offers drivers this much flexibility,” noted Doug Miller, president of Lone Star Transportation, in the release.
The announcement met with praise from Ellen Voie, president and CEO of the drivers group Women In Trucking, who called the idea a huge move forward for the trucking industry. “This is a major development for our industry, particularly because it allows OTR drivers to work seasonally,” Voie said in the release. “I am confident this program, or those like it, will prompt drivers to consider extending their careers—and even convince many who left the industry to return.”