Body shot of mechanic in blue coveralls holding wrenches.

The demand for experienced coach and truck technicians is on the rise. In fact, it is by far surpassing the arrival of new talent in the industry. Shops are swamped with work, technicians are constantly on the run, and yet work keeps piling up.

One shop in Aberfoyle, Ont. says over half the technicians in their shop are over 50 years in age. Employers are starting to worry that once the baby boomers have retired they are going to be in serious trouble. This fear has them randomly calling younger technicians they know are working for competitors and trying to poach them away.

Bison Transport in Calgary is also looking at this shortage; but they are also looking into the future to develop new talent. Their philosophy is to not only hire new truck technicians for today; but to create new ones for tomorrow. They have launched a campaign to recruit new talent.

Where ever Bison Transport has a terminal, they reach out to high school students, technical schools and other post-secondary schools. They appear in job fairs and offer scholarships as well as approaching ex-military men and women transitioning back to civilian life. Their goal is to find recruits who display a good attitude from there they will train for skill.

Part of the battle for these companies is finding young truck technicians; what is more important is keeping them. They invest in a new recruit to become licensed and then those recruits start getting calls to move to another company for better money is very frustrating. So by looking to the future, they have to develop a positive culture for their recruits that offer lots of opportunities and encourage them to stay.

Bison offers gym time at most of their facilities, flexible work shifts and award their truck technicians for their good work ethnics through banquets and facility barbecues. They are seeing such initiatives are important perks and even include boot and tool allowances.

Truck technician recruits appreciate the incentives and say a good job isn’t always about the money. Respect in the work place and recognition for doing a good job are as important as the money you are paid to perform. More companies will have to start looking at their hiring techniques if they don’t want to find themselves short on quality truck technicians.