While most schools in the nation are still on their winter break, the driving schools at Schneider National are taking a permanent vacation.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that the company is shutting the doors on the Schneider Training Academy and will now fill its driver positions exclusively with veteran drivers. That’s something the company has not done since the mid-1980s.
Don Osterberg, vice president of safety and driver training for the Green Bay, WI-based trucking company, told the Journal Sentinel that it costs the company about $8,000 dollars and 45 days to train an inexperienced driver. An experienced driver can go to work for the company in about four days at a cost of $1,500 dollars.
Joe Rajkovacz, regulatory affairs specialist for OOIDA and himself a former trainer for Schneider, says that this move is just another sign of the tough economic times we face.
“For years, the motor carrier industry has propagated the myth of a driver shortage,” said Rajkovacz. “This move demonstrates that a driver shortage does not exist in this economy and that motor carriers can readily meet their staffing requirements with experienced and veteran drivers without expending considerable financial resources training new drivers.”
The Milwaukee Business Journal reports that the 52 driver trainers currently employed with the training school will be reassigned to truck driving duties by Jan. 5, though there is a possibility that some of them could be laid off.
– By Terry Scruton, staff writer