Now’s a good time to become a truck driver because there will be a need for more than 300,000 drivers between now and the year 2020. If you’re young, can follow the rules, and aren’t interested in drugs and alcohol, trucking could be a lucrative career.
Why are some drivers leaving the profession? Well, the biggest factor is age. Many drivers are reaching retirement age right now and/or soon. They’re not as young and spry as they once were. Their eyes don’t see as well at night. Their reflexes aren’t as fast as they once were. And, having been on the road for so long, they’re itching to settle down, take it easy, and rest in their older years, as expected. When they were younger, the lure of seeing America was exciting, but at a certain age, some drivers would rather stay home and play with their grandkids than face a blinding snowstorm in Buffalo or crazy Chicago traffic.
Another major reason some truck drivers are leaving the profession is an increase in federal regulations which may make the job safer, but, at the same time, make it too strict and regulated whereas a driver feels like they’re always being watched and cannot make any decisions that would negatively affect their performance and cause a cut in pay and the stress of being told they’re not following the rules perfectly at all times. And, much like in other jobs, computers and paperwork tend to take “the fun” out of the job.
Finally, the drug and alcohol tests truck drivers go through these days are as strict as strict gets. In the old days, drivers were known to toss back a few beers with their buddies at truck stops and think nothing of it. Nowadays, though, 10% of truck driving candidates get disqualified from the hiring process because they indulge in drugs and/or alcohol. As such, many people have been forced from the profession for things they do outside the truck.