Trucker Tools recently got the chance to talk with Aaron Dunn, co-host of PDQ America’s Trucking For Millennials podcast. We chatted with Aaron about how Millennial truckers are different from other generations of truckers and what Millennial truckers are doing to adapt to changes in the market. Aaron also shared what it’s like to be preparing for the Certified Transportation Broker (CTB) exam and why communication is the key in the ongoing debate over rates.
Aaron, can you tell us about how you came to be working in the transportation industry and what you do?
“I started in the transportation industry just about a year ago when I joined PDQ America. I’m currently a co-host of Trucking for Millennials. I never really had an interest or much awareness about the transportation industry before I got introduced to Michael Clements, Jr., the president of our company and my co-host. I got introduced to Michael through LinkedIn. We had a couple of meetings about what his vision was for PDQ America and the podcast. I bought in to the concept of Trucking for Millennials as a podcast. I thought it was a great idea. As a marketer and media content creator, it was really interesting to me. I hadn’t heard much about podcasts in the trucking industry. I was really interested in the project from the beginning and said yes.”
Can you tell us more about Trucking for Millennials and its audience?
“Trucking for Millennials is a weekly podcast that comes out on Mondays. Our tagline is ‘The Future of Freight Happening Now’. We chose that tagline because we wanted to highlight younger people in the industry who have some hustle, passion and ambition for the industry. We’re focusing on younger people in the trucking industry because we’re a young company. We’re mostly 20 or 30-somethings.
As much as the podcast is for us, it’s also by us for other younger people. But we don’t discriminate based on age. We’re young people who are willing to learn from the best and brightest in the industry, no matter what age or background. The podcast is a mix of different voices from around the industry — men, women, veterans of the industry with a lot of experience and also people who are just starting out.
We want to be a place where the freight broker, the freight agent, the executive, the truck driver and really anyone in the supply chain can find some value and pull some insight to grow and learn more about the industry that we enjoy and call our place of work. We’ve been really thankful that we’ve been able to interview and meet some great people all along the way.”
How are Millennial truckers different from other generations of truckers?
“Millennials are going to be different because they grew up in a different era. I think Millennial truck drivers are more likely to be willing to listen to a podcast. I think young drivers are ambitious and they’re trying to chart their path. As much as they’re committed to their careers, their heads are on a swivel as to what that the next steps in their careers will be, whereas an older driver may be on cruise control. A lot of veteran drivers are hopeful for a younger person, but a lot of times the veteran drivers we are speaking with say that younger drivers are not getting enough education and that they’re not getting trained properly. They don’t know those rules of the road that a veteran does, which makes sense since they haven’t been in the cab as long.
I’m not a driver and don’t pretend to be one, but one thing that I think the podcast can do is highlight some of that trucker wisdom that only comes with experience. Our podcast provides a vehicle for that generational crossover, where an older driver can impart wisdom and expertise to a younger driver in a way that’s easy to consume.”
We heard a rumor that you’re currently studying to take the Certified Transportation Broker (CTB) exam. What are you doing to prepare? What kind of knowledge is required to become a broker?
“I am! I’m using TIA’s prep program. Preparing to take the exam has helped me understand the legal side of brokerage business. It’s given me insight into how trucking has evolved in the last 40 years or so. It gives you insight into the history of freight brokerage and the regulatory history of freight brokering. It preps you for real-world situations.
Things can move very quickly in the freight brokerage business and if you don’t have that backbone of education — knowing what the regulatory environment is, knowing what the laws are, knowing what to avoid or be aware of — you’re going to be at a disadvantage. That disadvantage affects not just the broker, but everyone involved. We’re doing something serious and important and it can cost people their lives if it’s done wrong. It’s really important to do it right. Preparing for the exam has been valuable.”
On a recent podcast “Load It or Leave It,” you discussed the friction between carriers and brokers on rates. Why is important to hear what both carriers and brokers have to say about rates?
“It can be heated and passionate because everyone has their own take and interest to keep in mind. It’s an age-old story in the trucking industry, as I’m finding out. I think it’s important to have those strong opinions come to light. We’ve had carriers hit pause on one of our podcasts so that they can immediately call the show to give us their thoughts on the subject. We’re thankful for it. The more conversations that we can have like that, the better. We can be passionate, strong and have that energy, as long as we can at the end of the day come to the table together and get aligned on what needs to happen.”
Tune into Trucking for Millennials at https://www.pdqamerica.com/trucking-for-millennials.
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