Disrupting Trucking by Roadmaster’s Brad Ball
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.
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.
- Accessibility is the most important ingredient. You need to make your company available for people to find.
- 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.
- Today’s trucks are much more comfortable and easier to operate than previous models.
- The trucking industry does not have pay gaps attributed to gender or race.
- There are excellent opportunities in vocational professions. In about 4 weeks one can how to drive a truck, opening up great career prospects.
- 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.
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Quote of the show:
9:54 “We can take people that are unemployed or underemployed, regardless of your education status and introduce a career opportunity where there is no pay gap tied to race or gender. So, essentially the opportunity is there for anyone that walks in our door, regardless of what your background is or your education history, because this industry is not looking for degrees. This is an industry that is looking for people that have a great desire to work and are looking for an opportunity to improve their life. It’s really accessible again to just about every aspect of society.”
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 www.roadmaster.com.
- 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.
- “US Ecommerce Grows 44.0% in 2020.” Digital Commerce 360, 1 Mar. 2021, digitalcommerce360.com/article/us-ecommerce-sales/.
- 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.
And lastly, if you’re a disruptor…
I would like to chat with Karla Jo about maximizing my Disruptive Thought Leadership — contact KJ Helms.
I’d like to learn about the ROI of Anti-PR — download this ROI eBook.
I would like to apply to be a guest on Disruption Interruption.