The Trucking Industry Faces A Driver Shortage

by admin | Posted on Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

The trucking industry always needs qualified drivers, and with recent fluctuations in the economy, the demand for these skilled employees is increasing.

trucking industry

The Job

Truck drivers are the key to the nation’s transportation industry. Nearly every business depends on the services they provide. Raw materials must be delivered to manufacturing facilities, and finished products have to find their way to retail stores.Drivers maintain a reliable and steady flow of goods throughout the economy’s entire supply chain.

Training to become a driver requires only a basic high school education and completion of adriver training course. These courses take between three to six months to complete and are offered through community colleges and trade schools. Drivers develop a bit of mechanical aptitude as they become familiar with their equipment and learn about the laws and regulations they must follow.

The Lifestyle

The life of a professional driver is not for everyone, but it does have its advantages. Instead of being chained to an office desk every day, they enjoy a degree of autonomy. They are free enough to move across the country and often spend days at a time away from home. Depending on their family situation, this can end upbeing a strain on relationships.

The work can require the movement, loading or unloading of their cargo, and this becomes physically challenging for some. They must also observe strict regulations at all times and are required to keep accurate logs of their activities. Sometimes their employers put pressure on them to meet tight deadlines while still observing traffic laws and operating their vehicles safely.

The Markets

As household and business spending increases, more products must be moved to meet growing demand. Lower fuel prices makes transporting goods by truck an attractive option, and a lower unemployment rates suggest that former drivers maybe findingwork outside of the industry.

Trucking companies have always faced shortages of qualified drivers. During the most severe crisis of the last few decades, the turnover rate was as high as 130%. While the industry has enjoyed some stability in recent years, the turnover rate is once again approaching 100%.

This is not to say that successful companies are incapable of retaining qualified drivers. Seasoned and dependable drivers can always be counted on to remain employed with the same company for many years. In order to expand their operations and guarantee services to their customers, new drivers must also be hired. For every one that remains employed, four to five quit early or are let go. Oftentimes drivers quickly find work with other trucking companies, and these workers tend to regularly cycle through employers.

The current outlook for drivers is good. Wages are on their way up, and as the need for these professionals increases, employers are expected to work harder to retain those they already have.

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