Since the beginning of the 21st century, technology has allowed us to vastly improve our lives as humans in ways our ancestors could never imagine. This form of innovation takes many shapes: a hearing aid, a cell phone, a curated digital music playlist, or surfing the internet—whatever it is, we enjoy the benefits of a hi-tech life every day.
With new technology, we can gain more knowledge as we research and learn about the world around us. This knowledge can be used to improve problems such as pollution with better diesel technology and tires that create less friction on the road or it can be used to connect and communicate with people from all over on an interpersonal level. Namely, social media is the cause for us to become so intertwined and allows for the flow of ideas to be shared instantaneously.
A New Digital Age
For years, truck driving has served as the backbone of the economy, but because Baby Boomers and Generation X are into or reaching retirement age, driver shortages are at an all time high. By circulating more information about trucking on social media, we might find the answer to settling this shortage and closing the gap for good.
Though Facebook, Instagram, and other various social media platforms have existed for a while, one that has been taking the world by storm is TikTok. This app strictly uses video based content less than a minute long that has an endless scroll. The “For You” Page on TikTok uses an algorithm to target videos users might find interesting and encourages users to make their own videos with fun effects and easy editing. Once a video is posted, it can be viewed by anyone that falls into the algorithm where it can be shared, liked, and where users can gain followers. Because of the simplicity of the app, the learning curve is small in order to use it—which makes it an app anyone can watch or make videos on. TikTok’s accessibility makes it far-reaching, meaning the audience is wide and users come from all over the world.
This app has brought to light a few users who document their experiences as truck drivers. For example, Clarissa Rankin, who has just over 1.1 million followers on TikTok shares her tips for the road, talks about what she struggles with and what she loves about her job, and answers questions from her fans. Tierra Allen shares daily video logs of herself working on her truck, staying healthy while on the job, and advocating for mental health. Asmin De Loa is another female truck driver who has a large following sharing similar videos. All these women are excited to share their lives, give tours of their trucks, and show support for one another. By having these platforms, these women are influencing and interacting with a population that is needed to fill vacancies in the industry.
The driver shortage has increased recruitment efforts for women and other underrepresented groups. Now with videos on TikTok, more individuals are interacting and becoming curious about trucking. The women online are a visual representation that it is possible to break down barriers for people who might not have ever considered it something they could do before.
With a new wave of fresh ideas in tow, there is an effort for new solutions of age-old problems that have weighed the industry down for a while. Candace Rivers, a fitness instructor, started Fit’s Possible Trucking which is dedicated to educating and helping drivers maintain a healthier lifestyle on the road. She also got the word out about “Losing Weight and Moving Freight” on her TikTok and wants to change the health statistics for long haul drivers for the better.
According to the Pew Research Center, Millennials are the largest generation in the U.S labor force and with the number of younger populations on social media being so high, these influencers are the link that can connect a younger generation to a career in trucking.
At NTB, we strive to break down barriers of entry for drivers and have tuition reimbursements, health insurance, and a whole slew of other great benefits in order to make the transition to a career in trucking smooth. We welcome anyone to apply to our company and encourage the younger generation to work with us as we also move forward into a digital world. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn and ask us anything! We are here for you.