Disrupting the Trucking Industry with Roadmaster’s Brad Ball

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Disruption Interruption podcast host and veteran communications disruptor, Karla Jo Helms, interviews Brad Ball, president of Roadmaster Drivers School—and discovers how his professional driver schools are training new truck drivers for rewarding new careers and at the same time helping alleviate the industry’s severe shortage of professional drivers.

The ongoing national truck driver shortage has gotten worse; the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a shortfall of 65,700 drivers for 2020.

The trucking industry started taking a big hit from the pandemic. Workers nearing retirement opted to retire sooner than originally planned. Others left their career; meanwhile the e-commerce boom called for more truckers.

In 2020, due to COVID’s damage to the labor market and the expiration of benefits from a government relief package, the percentage of U.S. citizens living at or below the poverty line surged from 9.3% in June to 11.7% in October—the largest increase in a single year since 1960.(1) During the crisis, ecommerce saw a sharp upward trajectory, growing 44% in the U.S. in 2020 above 2019.(2) While this has put tremendous demand on the trucking industry, the ongoing national truck driver shortage has gotten even worse; the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a shortfall of 65,700 drivers for 2020, compared with 2019.(3) Enter trucking disruptor Brad Ball, president of Roadmaster Drivers School, who explains to Karla Jo Helms, host of the Disruption Interruption podcast, that not only is his company opening new driver schools near smaller populations where is a need for drivers, they are also easily accessible to students, and no matter which school students attend, they will get the same quality and safety-focused education.

After being purchased by another company, Brad Ball realized that the biggest benefit Roadmaster gained was the improvement in communication between themselves and their parent company. Through much back and forth, they agreed that they were not going to train drivers to just pass the Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)—they were going to train their students to be safe, professional drivers, and change the very standard of the industry.

Brad explains:

1. Accessibility is the most important ingredient. You need to make your company available for people to find.
2. The trucking industry started taking a big hit from the pandemic. Workers nearing retirement opted to retire sooner than originally planned. Others left their career; meanwhile the e-commerce boom called for more truckers.
3. Today’s trucks are much more comfortable and easier to operate than previous models.
4. The trucking industry does not have pay gaps attributed to gender or race.
5. There are excellent opportunities in vocational professions. In about 4 weeks one can how to drive a truck, opening up great career prospects.
6. Trucking is both recession and pandemic-proof. COVID may have proved challenging to the industry, but it never had to shut down like so many others.

Disruption Interruption is the podcast where you’ll hear from today’s biggest Industry Disruptors. Learn what motivated them to bring about change and how they overcome opposition to adoption.

Disruption Interruption can be listened to via the Podbean app, and is available on Apple’s App Store and Google Play.

About Disruption Interruption:
Disruption is happening on an unprecedented scale, impacting all manner of industries— MedTech, Finance, IT, eCommerce, shipping and logistics, and more—and COVID has moved their timelines up a full decade or more. But WHO are these disruptors and when did they say, “THAT’S IT! I’VE HAD IT!”? Time to Disrupt and Interrupt with host Karla Jo “KJ” Helms, veteran communications disruptor. KJ interviews bad a**es who are disrupting their industries and altering economic networks that have become antiquated with an establishment resistant to progress. She delves into uncovering secrets from industry rebels and quiet revolutionaries that uncover common traits—and not-so-common—that are changing our economic markets… and lives. Visit the world’s key pioneers that persist to success, despite arrows in their backs at http://www.disruptioninterruption.com.

About Karla Jo Helms:
Karla Jo Helms is the Chief Evangelist and Anti-PR(TM) Strategist for JOTO PR Disruptors(TM).
Karla Jo learned firsthand how unforgiving business can be when millions of dollars are on the line—and how the control of public opinion often determines whether one company is happily chosen, or another is brutally rejected. Being an alumni of crisis management, Karla Jo has worked with litigation attorneys, private investigators and the media to help restore companies of goodwill back into the good graces of public opinion—Karla Jo operates on the ethic of getting it right the first time, not relying on second chances and doing what it takes to excel. Helms speaks globally on public relations, how the PR industry itself has lost its way and how, in the right hands, corporations can harness the power of Anti-PR to drive markets and impact market perception.

About Roadmaster Drivers School:
Roadmaster, headquartered in St. Petersburg, FL, is a nationwide training organization for truckers. They have nearly 30 years of experience training more than 150,000 graduates with 16 training locations nationwide. By focusing on giving students the best education and maintaining high job placement standards, Roadmaster has gained a national reputation in the trucking industry for quality training of entry-level commercial truck drivers—noted for their training practices to be the most hands-on and safety-focused training in the country. For more information, visit http://www.roadmaster.com.

1. Beer, Tommy. “Largest Increase In U.S. Poverty Recorded In 2020.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 29 June 2021, forbes.com/sites/tommybeer/2020/12/16/largest-increase-in-us-poverty-recorded-in-2020/?sh=3e64d27032bd.
2. “US Ecommerce Grows 44.0% in 2020.” Digital Commerce 360, 1 Mar. 2021, digitalcommerce360.com/article/us-ecommerce-sales/.
3. Cassidy, William B. “Outlook 2021: Latest US Driver Shortage Requires Long-Term Solutions,” Journal of Commerce, January 20, 2021, joc.com/trucking-logistics/labor/outlook-2021-latest-us-driver-shortage-requires-long-term-solutions_20210120.html.

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