Trucking Trouble: The Causes of The Truck Driver Shortage
Who is a truck driver?
A truck driver is a professional who operates a commercial motor vehicle, typically a tractor-trailer or a large delivery truck, to transport goods, materials, or people from one place to another. Truck drivers may be employed by a trucking company or may be self-employed as owner-operators. They are responsible for driving safely, following federal and state regulations, and maintaining their vehicles. Truck driving is a demanding job that requires long hours on the road, attention to detail, and the ability to navigate unfamiliar territories.
Reasons for a truck driver shortage in the United States
The average age of a truck driver in the U.S. is 55 years old, and many drivers are nearing retirement. As older drivers retire, there are not enough new drivers to take their place.
Attractiveness of other industries
The trucking industry has a reputation for long hours, being away from home for long periods of time, and dealing with traffic and weather-related hazards. These factors make truck driving less appealing to some people, especially when compared to other industries that offer more consistent schedules and better working conditions.
Obtaining a commercial driver's license (CDL) can be difficult and time-consuming, and the process can be costly. Additionally, many trucking companies have strict hiring criteria, such as requiring a certain number of years of driving experience.
The lifestyle of truck drivers, being away from home for long periods, can be difficult on personal relationships, and it can be hard to find a balance between work and personal life.
High turnover rate
The trucking industry has a high turnover rate, which can make it difficult for companies to retain drivers. This is due to factors such as long hours, poor pay and lack of benefits.
ELD (Electronic Logging Device) mandate
The ELD mandate, which requires truck drivers to use electronic logging devices to track their hours of service, has added an extra layer of paperwork and compliance that some drivers find unappealing.
All of these factors contribute to the truck driver shortage, making it difficult for trucking companies to find and retain drivers. As a result, some companies are raising pay, improving benefits, and offering more flexible schedules in order to attract and retain drivers.
The truck driver shortage has serious consequences for the economy. With fewer truck drivers on the road, there are delays in the delivery of goods and an increase in the cost of transportation. This shortage affects not only the trucking industry but also the entire economy, as the trucking industry is a vital link in the supply chain of goods and services.