The trainee truck.
Transport Magazine

The trainee truck.

What one logistics company is doing to combat the lack of drivers.

When the L.I.T. Group goes looking for young drivers, it likes to put its best foot forward with the Actros Edition 1. But the current Mercedes‑Benz flagship is more than just a figurehead for the logistics company from the north of Germany.

It becomes increasingly difficult each year to recruit good drivers. It is a long-running topic in the industry these days. The L.I.T. Group, from the town of Brake in Lower Saxony, has also known for some time that new drivers generally no longer turn up at your doorstep. “We have to make professional truck driving as attractive as possible. And make it clear to the trainees that we trust them to take on responsibility early on,” says Dietmar Graeber.

According to the L.I.T. spokesman, structural reasons are also responsible for the lack of drivers. “Even just the people who got their driving licence for trucks during their required military service are a large group that is practically gone now.” There is quite a lot that can be done to excite young people for careers in the logistics field – specifically as drivers. “Adding the Actros Edition 1 to the fleet as a trainee truck is just one of many measures in this regard,” says Graeber.

Content trainee truck lit 01

L.I.T. spokesman Dietmar Graeber: “To make it clear to the trainees that we trust them early on and allow them to take on responsibility.”

The limited-edition model has a special role in the 1.100‑strong fleet of the L.I.T. Group. Be they drivers, dispatchers and mechanics – the trainees are the ones responsible for the Actros 1851. “It started when I got to come along to pick up the truck from the factory in Wörth,” says Alexander Thon, driver‑to‑be in his third year of training, who quickly became a fan of the Edition 1.

This was meant to show potential trainees that the company has a lot to offer and, in particular after their training is over, there are plenty of opportunities at the company. “We want to provide young people with technical training and personal development for their careers. It is our ambition to teach the trainees what they need to know to be able to practise qualified occupations during and after their training phase,” says Carsten Harms, head of the technology department and driver trainer at the L.I.T. Group. Jumbo truck with central-axle trailer or as a swap‑body trailer, ultralight truck, low‑line tractor unit, deep‑bed articulated trailer or long truck – there are plenty of ways to use it for the drivers of the L.I.T. Group.

Content trainee truck lit 02

Driver trainee Alexander Thon was on hand for the vehicle handover in Wörth.

Content trainee truck lit 09

More than just an eye-catcher: As the trainee truck, the Actros Edition 1 plays a special role in the L.I.T. fleet – but the truck still takes to the roads in daily operations.

Content trainee truck lit 10

More than just an eye-catcher: As the trainee truck, the Actros Edition 1 plays a special role in the L.I.T. fleet – but the truck still takes to the roads in daily operations.

Content trainee truck lit 06

More than just an eye-catcher: As the trainee truck, the Actros Edition 1 plays a special role in the L.I.T. fleet – but the truck still takes to the roads in daily operations.

Content trainee truck lit 03

The Edition 1 – number 6955 at L.I.T. – is not just driven be trainees, but also dispatched.

Content trainee truck lit 05

The Edition 1 – number 6955 at L.I.T. – is not just driven be trainees, but also dispatched.

Content trainee truck lit 08

The Edition 1 – number 6955 at L.I.T. – is not just driven be trainees, but also dispatched.

Content trainee truck lit 04

The trainees of the L.I.T. Group even were able to choose the design of the company branding on the truck. The result now contributes to an impressive appearance at the many training fairs, where L.I.T. likes to set up shop with the Actros. But the Edition 1 does not just drive from one training fair to another – it is also put to use by the trainees as part of daily operations.

They take to the roads with safety technologies which will be the standard in the future. Systems such as Sideguard Assist and Active Brake Assist 5 offer functions that provide drivers with perfect support in their work.

Photos & video: Sebastian Vollmert