Team Owner Operators – Part of the Baby Boomers Generation – Leisure Time may be Key Factor for Longevity in Trucking Industry

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Tri-State Motor Transit Co., TSMT, a nationwide specialized trucking company, announced they are modifying parts of their business and future growth around the leisure needs of their team owner operators. The company found the vast majority of their team owner operators are baby boomers and that leisure time may be a key factor for driver longevity.

We make good money driving for TSMT but we also want a quality of life that includes more leisure time for Ken and me.

The next time you see a couple driving a big rig down the highway they may not be picking up freight from a shipper-customer – they could be on their way to their next leisure destination to go fishing, hunting, or just spend more time with family.    

Tri-State Motor Transit Co., TSMT, a nationwide specialized trucking company, announced they are modifying parts of their business and future growth around the leisure needs of their team owner operators. The company found the vast majority of their team owner operators are baby boomers. Baby boomers are individuals born between 1946 and 1964.

In a recent “white paper” published by Randall Reilly publishing, "Overdrive 2014 Connectivity Study," it found that almost 70% of the owner operators they surveyed were age 51 and over. These figures seem to substantiate TSMT’s findings that the majority of owner operators that drive today in the truckload sector are baby boomers.

How do these figures impact the trucking industry with respect to baby boomers? In March of 2014, Merrill Lynch, along with their partner Age Wave, concluded a national study, "Work in Retirement: Myths and Motivations." The study found that 72% of pre-retirees age 50 and over want to keep working after retirement. In an earlier survey, Age Wave, Merrill Lynch and Harris Interactive found that 42 percent of Baby boomers want to cycle between periods of work and leisure during retirement.

According to Maddy Dychtwald, author and co-founder of Age Wave, trucking companies that employ drivers that are baby boomers and those close to retirement age, may see huge benefits if programs were developed allowing drivers more freely to cycle between work and leisure. “Trucking companies could find this type of program may also be beneficial for those drivers that are part of the Generation Xers and the Millennials generation,” said Dychtwald.

Generation Xers are those individuals that fall in the age group of 38-49 years of age whereas the Millennials generation falls in the age group of 25-37 years of age.

This year, TSMT began addressing the team drivers baby boomer phenomenon head on when they started gathering leisure activity information during the driver hiring process. “We now want to know if drivers are NASCAR fans, hunters, like to fish, go on cruises, ride motorcycles, or just want to spend more time with their children and grandchildren,” said Theresa Porter, driver recruiting supervisor for TSMT.

“My children are grown and I now have grandchildren. I want to spend more time with my grandchildren and enjoy the simple things of life”, says Ken Murray, a TSMT Team Owner Operator.

Ken’s co-driver, his wife, Kathy, said they drive for three to four weeks and then take 7-10 days off. “We make good money driving for TSMT but we also want a quality of life that includes more leisure time for Ken and me. TSMT allows Ken and me to control how we run our business with respect to how long we are out on the road and our personal leisure time – it is truly a win-win situation,” she says.

Drivers are a major topic each year at the Truckload Carriers Association with trucking company executives. “Not only do we need more drivers in the industry but it is imperative to find ways to keep the drivers we currently have in the industry longer. If that means we have to develop programs around the leisure needs of our drivers that are part of the baby boomer generation and younger -- then we must seek ways to achieve that goal,” says David Bennett, executive vice president of TSMT.

To help achieve that goal, TSMT is now incorporating the leisure message into all their public relations, print, video, the web and social media. Evidence of this can be seen at drivetsmt.com, a new Team Owner Operators landing page that features a video and highlights “more leisure time”.

“Over-the-road-truckers drive trucks for a living and there are plenty of sites out there that push that kind of trucking industry content out,” Porter said. “We, on the other hand, want to develop and bring our drivers new, fresh content, content that deals with them on a personal level focusing on their needs and leisure interests when they are not driving.”

TSMT is well on its way to better understand their team owner operators and their needs for cycling between work and leisure. Finding that perfect mix of work and leisure for truck drivers could very well be part of a solution to many carriers’ woes. Only time will tell.

For more information, contact, Theresa Porter, 800-782-8768, or visit their website, http://tsmtco.com.

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Theresa Porter
TSMT
+1 417-621-2385
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