The past couple of decades have witnessed a lot of shortages of available truck drivers. The shortage greatly affects individuals or specific companies, as 70% of freight in the American economy is transported on US highways. Therefore, without truck drivers, the economy will not function properly. So, what are the potential factors why there are so few truck drivers?
This blog will discuss and indicate the reasons why there is a truck driver shortage. Therefore, the reasons are:
One of the significant reasons for truck driver shortages is the main demographics, as most truck drivers are 45 years of age or older. By the end of this decade, more and more drivers will pass the retirement age, which signifies fewer truck drivers.
Another important reason why older demographics make up a large percentage of truck drivers is that the government wants these drivers to be at least 21 years of age before they are eligible for their Commercial Drivers License (CDL). Therefore, students after graduating high school are drawn towards several other employment opportunities before their age that would be eligible for receiving the CDL.
The truck drivers who have lesser wages are not compensated adequately for their work. Therefore, the pay has also been decreasing over the passing of time. Since the 1970s, the wages of truck drivers have lessened by as much as 50%. The credit score which was introduced in 1989 has revolutionized the economy and crumbled its customers. The credit imparts these customers a larger period for buying something, instead of purchasing something on credit. Credit has become an irrelevant necessity which adds more obstacles to loans or disinterest.
Therefore, lower pay, poor credit, and larger loans have made it increasingly difficult for truck drivers to opt for this profession. The trucking companies are supposed to increase the pay for matching the current inflation for attracting more professional truck drivers.
The truck driver shortage is also taking place because of the unfavorable working conditions that the truck drivers are supposed to encounter. The truck drivers haul freight from across the country sometimes the freight can pose risks and dangers during transportation.
The drivers who are transporting hazardous materials are supposed to enroll in a course and obtain a specific license, but it does not take away the possibility of accidents. With the safety precautions and rules already set in place, accidents can still happen so many do not want to wish their life and livelihood with the chance of danger.
Truck driving unlike any other type of driving comes with its own risk factors. Therefore, driving in rain, snow, hail, and other dangerous weather storms is very risky. Due to this, few drivers are willing to take risk of working in harsh climatic conditions because it is completely unpredictable and uncertain.
The truck drivers are supposed to sit for hours and require constant concentration on the road and the adjoining surroundings, by sitting in one position for larger periods of time.
Truck driving is a tiresome job both physically and mentally. Therefore, concentrating for a long time and sitting in a similar position for hours can result in strain on the mind and back. Truck driving requires a CDL for becoming a truck driver. The training is fairly short and it only takes three weeks for completion. Though there are additional licenses and courses the truck drivers are supposed to take if they wish to expand the type of freight transportation unlike certification of hazardous materials.
The truck is a challenging field, delivering its own rewards, therefore, trucking companies can combat such demands by decreasing time on the road by providing health insurance, so that the truck drivers are assured that they will be taken care of no matter what.
Unlike the driving conditions and the increasing demands of truck drivers, the culture itself is a bit astounding for new professionals. Despite longer periods of time, the truck drivers are away from their families. Male professionals are in most of the truck driving demographic, these days women truck drivers are an important part of the community too. There are some changes that can diversify the culture of truck driving to decrease the amount of time on the road, as mentioned earlier so that truck drivers can enjoy plenty of time with their families. Companies should put more emphasis on recruiting women truck drivers. The trucking industry makes up 47% of the US workforce and women drivers only make up to 6% of the demographic in truck driving.