How will the study be conducted?
Dr. Steve Viscelli of the University of Pennsylvania will lead a team of researchers conducting surveys and in-depth interviews with more than 500 truck drivers, including Spanish-speaking drivers, along with agricultural shippers, trucking carriers and other stakeholders. They will also observe workers hauling a variety of crops and visit processing and packing facilities that handle multiple crops to understand the unique characteristics of the job.
The driver survey is a critical research instrument in this study, as the view of truck drivers themselves is deeply lacking in the current discussion. In fact, the last representative survey of long-haul truck drivers’ attitudes on their work was conducted in 1997. The last survey data on agricultural drivers (collected in Florida) was also collected in the 1990s. Since that time, the industry has experienced tremendous changes.
The study will profile the work of inbound and outbound drivers holding a Class A Commercial Drivers License, which is the license most commonly required by employers. We will focus on drivers hauling dairy, lettuce, citrus, strawberries, tomatoes, carrots, and almonds, which will provide us with a wide range of trucking services used by California’s agricultural shippers. Drivers hauling other crops will also be included in the survey at processing and packing facilities that handle multiple crops.
Finally, we will place the survey results within the broader industry and national truck driver labor market and provide policy recommendations and best practices to improve recruitment, reduce turnover, and stabilize the industry.