Shortages Put Experienced Truck Drivers in Demand

If you read this blog regularly, you’ll notice a trend: the trucking industry is growing but there aren’t enough qualified drivers. Right now there’s a need for about 35,000 more drivers, and that could grow to a staggering 240,000 in the next decade according to the American Trucking Association.

Take, for instance, the Central Valley region of California, home to many farms which need to truck out their vegetables and fruits to markets nationwide. Open positions for tractor truck drivers in Stockton, Modesto and Merced recently numbered in the hundreds. Where are those drivers going to come from? Good question.

One major drawback for gaining new recruits is that truckers spend a lot of time away from home. If you’re a recently married man or woman with a spouse at home and a kid on the way, chances are you’d rather be spending as much time as possible with your family than hitting the road for weeks at a time.

Another problem for the industry is that companies want to hire experienced drivers but there’s a lack of them. Many people just starting out in the industry lack the time on the road to handle all that comes with the job. Therefore, trucking schools have to do their best to go beyond teaching the basics. Truckers need to know how to control a vehicle, how to maintain equipment, and how to be safe, among other things.

At this rate, because supply for drivers is low while demand for them is high, some companies are offering to pay for drivers to go to truck driving school, with the idea that after they’re trained they can come work for the company who paid their tuition.

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