LONG BEACH, CA, September 14, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- As the Vice President of Operations at Diversified Project Services International, Joseph R. Mathewson
has witnessed the explosive growth in the oil and gas industries over the last 8 years. At Diversified Project Services, Mathewson and his colleagues provide a variety of services to the energy industry--from planning, engineering, permitting, surveying and mechanical inspection to construction management. Through its professional services, DPSI assists its oil and gas customers to expand their oil & gas production and achieve new levels of success in an industry that is facing exceptional growth.
While this overall growth spurs optimism throughout the industry, Joe Mathewson highlights one area of concern--the current shortage of qualified truck drivers. This is a problem that needs to be addressed for oil and gas to continue its expansion, particularly in the more remote areas of Texas and North Dakota. A recent article
from NPR highlights this problem and states, "When goods arrive in Houston, they may come in containers stacked high on huge ships or strung out on long lines of rail cars. But to get to the customer, those goods need to be put on trucks and driven to their final destinations. Now with the oil and gas sectors booming, the demand for qualified drivers with a good safety record is soaring. The U.S. Energy Information Administration says oil delivered to refineries shot up 38 percent between 2011 and 2012. But while the need for experienced drivers is growing, the ranks of those well-trained, drug free, drivers with good safety records are shrinking as baby boomers hit retirement age." Many of the leading trucking companies are running advertisements on nationwide radio stations in unprecedented efforts to attract new drivers.
Joseph R. Mathewson responds, "While it is very encouraging to read continuous reports regarding the exceptional growth within the oil and gas industry, it is important to not disregard those related problems such as the rising need for more trucks and safe drivers due, in part, to the growing demand for increased over-the-road flatbed and tanker transportation. With the increase in oil production, particularly in remote areas not serviced by pipelines, oil is stored on site and can only be transported to market by trucks. Likewise, transporting not just crude oil but also large volumes of process water for disposal and clean water and heavy equipment to support 24 hour per day fracking operations creates tremendous demand for dependable, reliable and qualified drivers able to meet the stringent safety requirements of the oil companies.
According to NPR there are incredible incentives among trucking companies to recruit trained driving professionals. However, the high rates of competition have also led to a notable turnover rate. Specifically, the article reports, "The trade association's latest figures show competition for drivers has become ferocious, causing truckers to flip from one employer to another. The most recent report shows the annual turnover rate among truckers is 97 percent."
In addition to high turnover rate, trucking companies have found it increasingly difficult to recruit new drivers with good driving records who are able to pass required drug screens and background checks. Other government regulations have also made it more difficult to secure long-term employment for trucking companies. As NPR states, "To reduce accidents, the [Transportation Department] enacted new that took effect on July 1, 2013 that places limits on driving time allowed per day. These regulations may be better for the driver's health, but not necessarily for his wallet.".
"While these regulations may impact the stability of the trucking industry at the moment, it is essential that there are restrictions in place to ensure that drivers and the public are safe--especially when transporting oil and gas materials. For now, however, America's trucking companies will need to focus on finding new ways to appeal to young people, former military personnel and even early retired professionals, by helping them make trucking a career choice and by providing the relevant training and diving conditions to attract the driver force of the future. " Joseph R. Mathewson concludes.
Joseph R. Mathewson
is the vice president of operations at Diversified Project Services International. The company serves a variety of oil and gas industry needs including planning, permitting, inspection, energy management, mechanical and pipeline inspection and construction management. In addition to working in the oil and gas industry, Mr. Mathewson also owns and operates Solana Farms, a vineyard and olive ranch located near Paso Robles, California.