RVIA, Transport Companies Team to Seek Drivers

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More than 30 people from about 20 Elkhart, Ind.-area transport companies gathered at the RV/MH Hall of Fame on Tuesday (April 15), to discuss transportation issues surrounding the RV industry.

This year, the annual backlog of shipments that the industry faces in the early months of the year was exacerbated by severe winter weather and a shortage of drivers.

The Employment Network has partnered with the RV Industry Association to help recruit more drivers to the transport companies that serve the industry.

“It started out a little slow,” said Jay Landers, senior director of government affairs for RVIA. “Once the question and answer session began, they began warming up to it and a lot of good questions were asked.”

Landers said people gathered at the meeting talked about the cost structure as well as the critical nature of working with The Employment Network to create a very specific job description in order to recruit the right kind of drivers.

He said an important dialog was begun among the transport companies, manufacturers and The Employment Network.

RVIA also is continuing lobbying efforts in Washington, D.C., to help transport companies seek relief from Commercial Driver’s License requirements in some cases. CDLs are required for transporting a vehicle if the combination of the weight of the towing vehicle and the trailer is more than 26,000 pounds.

“RVIA has submitted paperwork to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to use the actual dry weight of the trailer to determine when a CDL is used as opposed to going with just the gross vehicle weight rating,” Landers said. “Depending on the cargo-carrying capacity, you could have a 30,000-pound vehicle that you have to use a CDL for, but if you subtract the cargo-carrying capacity (it’s always going to be transported empty) then the actual weight is below 26,000.”

Landers said RVIA would like to see the weight of the towing vehicle taken out of the mix, as well.

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