United States Facing Major Truck Driver Shortage

Truck driving firms are sounding the alarm on a driver shortage crisis.

Mister “P” Express and other trucking companies across the United States are expected to face a shortage of 63,000 drivers this year, according to a 2017 report from the American Trucking Association, with a need to hire almost 900,000 more over the next decade.
The ATA lists multiple reasons for the driver shortage: truck drivers are aging and retiring, women aren’t as interested in the industry, there are more enticing jobs available and regulations turn drivers off. Last year, the federal government began requiring trucks to carry an electronic logging device, which records when the vehicle is in motion and ensures drivers are only being paid for that time.

But it’s the time that truck drivers don’t spend driving that is the problem. Twenty-five percent of the time truck drivers are “laboring,” they’re not driving, according to Belzer. Those hours are spent loading and unloading, waiting to be dispatched and waiting for the next run.

That time in limbo leaves to drivers quitting. Last year, turnover in the trucking industry reached 90 percent, according to the ATT.

“Once [truck drivers] realize that they’re working 80 to 100 hours a week, not the legal limit of 60, they’ll be a lot less enthused, especially when they realize the extra 20 to 30 hours that their working are unpaid,” Belzer said.

Read more at Economic Indiana Digest

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