Jun 23, 2019
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Local Companies Running on Empty over a Truck Driving Shortage

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The president of JTL Truck Driver Training, Larry Marsh, says that the phone calls from the recruiters never stop. He receives these phone calls searching for new drivers every day, but unfortunately, he can’t do anything. Drivers at his school haven’t received enough training to get their CDL and start driving. The demand for truck drivers has only increased in recent years as the problem has grown from a small shortage to a larger one.

Growing Problem

The shortage of truckers is expected to continue growing in the coming years because of shifting attitudes about employment and a strong economy. What does the trucking industry plan to do about this oncoming problem?

They have chosen to change how they market themselves to the potential truckers. Today’s generation has different values from the last. They understand that they have to deal with a new generation with different beliefs, attitudes, and values. This means changing the script a little from what it was in the past.

For example, more flexible scheduling, health insurance benefits, and having a more understanding company to deal with.

Rapidly Expanding Occupation

One of the things that may have led to a truck driver shortage is due to the demand has continued to grow at a rapid pace, and this has led to some shortages. Even some of the smaller trucking companies have found that they had to take drivers from straight out of school to help fill their positions. Nevertheless, this has led to increased opportunities for students as they can get jobs right out of school. That has proven advantageous considering how many people who go to school for something often wind up working in a different field entirely.

A Constant Demand for Drivers

In schools, they get calls from recruiters every day, but unfortunately, they have to turn many people down because they haven’t trained the truckers far enough for their CDL. Many of these classes have full enrollment, and the problem comes more from how they can’t keep up with the growing demand in logistics. The market has been on the rise for a long time. The need for driving jobs has shot through the roof as plenty of people are searching for these driving jobs.

What Led to the Shortage?

You have a couple of different things that have led to the truck driver shortage. First, you have outdated stereotypes that have contributed. Second, you have a general lack of education about this career from the younger generation, and finally, the long stretches away from home have proven hard on some people.

Many of the younger generations don’t express the same level of interest in becoming a truck driver. One study even found that the average trucker is 55 years old. That means they are close to retirement, and once they have retired, this will lead to an ever-increasing demand for truckers.

What Do People Like About This Job?

People have more than a couple of different reasons that you might like this job. For example, you don’t have to worry as much about the slave-driver boss keeping you going in the office. You don’t have someone looking over your shoulder all the time, and this has led to independent-minded people liking to work in this field. If you want to have more freedom for your day, this is a great way that you can do it.

Trucker Shortage: Fact or Fiction

We should point out that not everyone even believes that there is a truck driver shortage. Some people think that the data could be misleading and more complicated than simply saying there is a shortage. One of the problems comes from citing the turnover rate, which is near to 100 percent.

However, this doesn’t provide an accurate picture that truckers have left the industry because most of the time, they’re simply moving to another company. They’re not leaving the industry. To say that no shortage exists, however, would be misguided because many of the prominent and respectable news outlets like Fox Business,  NPR and the Washington Post have all reported on this shortage of labor within the trucking industry.

Stepping Back and Taking an Objective View

With everything in mind, it could be time that we step back a little and try to take a more objective view of things. Truckers have often complained about the work conditions, such as companies not treating them well enough to stay and not paying enough either.

For employers, the problem seems to come from finding dependable drivers to work for them. While maybe some of the owner and operators failed to maintain their trucking equipment, it’s unlikely that all of them in the industry were unable to do this. Many of them probably tried hard to keep the best drivers on their side. What has to be done to help solve the problem comes from getting each other to work together. Having both sides working together to solve the problem will get us much further in resolving some of these issues.

What Could Happen as a Result of the Shortage?

One of the surest signs that the shortage has begun to take effect will come in the form of much higher prices, and deliveries could be delayed as a result of the shortage. Some of the things that could be affected include everything from clothing to food to home improvement supplies.

Retail prices, in general, could see a sharp rise if we don’t address the trucker shortage. Unfortunately, most experts believe that this shortage will only grow worse in the coming years. With a strong economy, the demand has shot up much higher than what we can sustain with the trucker demand, and this could eventually lead to more severe problems.

Most people believe that we have never faced a problem like the one that we have today with the trucking shortage and increased demand for products. Another thing that may not have ever been considered comes from the regulations.

One The Road Limits

For example, truck drivers are only legally allowed to drive for 14 hours, and you must have an additional 10 hours off. However, this has put an increased level of pressure on the trucking industry because of how the deliveries will be increasingly delayed from this method. Nevertheless, this law was enacted with the intentions of keeping truck drivers from being overworked and overtired on the road—ultimately, it leads to better safety on the road.

What are some of the ways that trucking companies have chosen to address this problem? They decided to take a route where they attract some of the best drivers. For example, they will offer a sign-on bonus that can be anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000. In the last 18 months, wages have also seen a sharp increase. Still, the rough-and-tumble lifestyle of a trucker has some people that don’t want to get into this lifestyle. Even after they have signed up, they find out that it isn’t a job that they want to take on.

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