The worker shortage and supply chain issues seem to be all the news. Shipping companies are now offering big incentives to become a truck driver.
The response in the trucking industry to these problems seems to be to offer more to workers. A solution that seems to go over the heads of some employers. Things are getting very dire in the industry where the United States is missing 80,000 drivers.
That kind of shortage has been noticeable almost everywhere around the country. Right now, the Department of Transportation has taken things into its own hands. They have lowered the age of truckers that are allowed to drive over state lines from 21 to 18. Hopefully, there will be young folks that are capable and ready to fill the roles.
Meanwhile, in the private sector, JK Moving Services has upped the stakes of the game. As the nation’s largest independently owned moving company, this is a huge deal. The company is offering a minimum guaranteed salary of $100,000. That is twice the national average making for a staggering minimum salary.
Chuck Kuhn, the CEO of the company talked about what has been going on and the task at hand for his company.
“It’s been going on for quite some time and the American Trucking Associations is forecasting the deficit could double over the next eight years. So finding and retaining drivers is more critical than ever.”
When looking at the difference between 2020’s production truck drivers put out to 2019, it was a 13% drop. Productivity fell to 10.23 billion tons of freight for 2020. That isn’t great when you consider how much of the nation’s freight is moved by trucks. 72% to be exact. Which includes everything from food to furniture and even gasoline.
So, You Want to Be a Truck Driver?
When it comes down to it, folks just don’t want to drive trucks it seems. The truck driver shortage is a little more complicated than that, but Kuhn talked about the difference between the reality of yesteryear versus now.
“People realizing they can work remote, they can live in lower-cost areas. They don’t need to deal with the congestion of major cities, they are moving out and it’s making a difference in our industry,” Kuhn said. Of course, there are pros and cons to being a truck driver.
When considering a career in truck driving there is a lot to consider. Depending on the type of trucking, you could be home every night, or just a few times a month. Likely somewhere in between. There is also a sense of “being your own boss” when out on the road by yourself. However, if you drive for a company and not yourself, you definitely have a boss.
Truck drivers can face long days away from home there are some bad habits one can pick up. It is hard to be healthy while out on the road for hours and hours out of the day. The job is stressful, point-blank, and simple. Is this an industry that can rebound?