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National Truck Driver Shortage… Who Wants to Be a Truck Driver?
Midwest, United States. – The US unemployment rate is below 4% right now. In many states, that number is considerably lower. Low unemployment is great for the economy, but wreaks havoc on the trucking industry looking for truck drivers and jobs that require a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License).
Trucking industry expert James Walker says a low unemployment rate opens up more job opportunities for those looking for work. Unfortunately, this also hurts the number of CDL drivers on the road.
“Boomers are all retiring or pushing grandstands. Since this industry requires a lot of travel, that’s stopping a lot of people from wanting to be truck drivers,” Walker said.
In the Midwest, a waste management company was recently fined by the city for falling behind in garbage collection. The company said it needed more drivers to run its routes and started offering signing bonuses. As the global economy has strengthened, the demand for trucks to transport goods has exceeded the supply of drivers, causing freight carriers to set higher rates and businesses to raise product prices. , in some cases up to 20%.
Other companies in the country are facing delivery delays. The shortage of drivers has been deepening for some time, less interest in the industry among younger generations has been demonstrated and salaries were not comparable for hours spent away from home. Driver burnout is also a problem seen in large fleets, with turnover hitting an annual percentage rate of 95% last year, according to the latest figures.
According to the American Trucking Associations, the country is facing a record shortage and needs 50,000 drivers to meet current demand.
Many companies are now offering large signing bonuses as an incentive. However, instead of solving the shortage, most drivers simply hop from company to company.
Darren Hawkins, managing director of one of the nation’s largest freight carriers, YRC Trucking, said the severity of the shortage means we need to make it easier for women, young people and minorities to access CDL. “There is a problem in the industry, and that is that we need to do a better job of bringing new people into the driving profession, from previous audiences that we haven’t reached,” Hawkins said. . “Right now the American Trucking Associations says we’re short tens of thousands of drivers, and those numbers will continue to rise. So we need to open more rooms.”
Faced with record driver shortages, trucking companies are “making the necessary adjustments,” said Kevin Reid, the founder of the National Minority Trucking Association. “The industry hasn’t focused on recruiting and retaining the next generation,” Reid said. “Trucking is an industry that needs to rebrand. There was a cool factor in trucking in the 1970s and 1980s. We don’t have that now, so the question is how are we going to reach the next generation truckers?
Kristina Jackson, a 22-year-old African-American truck driver based in Raleigh, North Carolina, is exactly the type of person the trucking industry wants to attract. After graduating from college, she wanted a job that would allow her to travel and be financially independent. She never considered trucking until her boyfriend’s father, a trucker himself, encouraged her to give it a try.
After a year of driving, she is constantly reminded that she is an exception in the industry.
“When people found out I was in trucking, they were shocked because of my gender and my age,” she said. “The first thing you think of is an old white man. People say to me, ‘You don’t look like a trucker.’ I say, ‘What does a trucker look like?'”
Ms Jackson thinks more young people could easily be persuaded to join the industry, adding that she has personally recruited 10 of her friends in their twenties. But she thinks recruiters have so far failed to highlight young truckers in the industry.
“When people think of truck drivers, they don’t see our faces,” Ms Jackson said of young drivers.
According to a 2017 report by the American Trucking Associations, women and minorities make up only a fraction of the total trucking population: 94% of drivers are male and two-thirds of all drivers are white.
There are solutions to the CDL shortage.
One solution to address the shortage would be to allow drivers between the ages of 18 and 21 to cross state lines. Currently, drivers between the ages of 18 and 21 are not permitted to cross state lines under CDL law. The US DOT has now launched a military driver program allowing military personnel between the ages of 18 and 21 to drive interstate.
The Trump administration and industry are also trying to alleviate the problem by relaxing federal rules and encouraging non-traditional drivers like women, teens and minorities to operate large machines. By passing your CDL test and driving commercial vehicles and trucks that require a CDL, you will end up with a well-paying job with benefits. The first step is to pass your CDL test which allows you to obtain your CDL license (CLP) using this CDL test questions resource.
Even for jobs in your city that don’t require travel. You can start at $50,000.00 with benefits and up to $100,000.00.
Local opportunities are endless and include: dump trucks, garbage trucks, concrete trucks, side dumps and even a job as a school bus driver.
The current CDL testing app and software offers all the approvals needed to obtain any class of commercial driver’s license. This CDL preparation has a 98.5% success rate over the past 10 years. The tests included are: general knowledge, air brake, combination, hazardous materials. Tank, double/triple, passenger and school bus
Check it out: https://cdltest.info
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