It’s no secret truck driver recruitment and retention has been a struggle for the last couple of years, especially with a lot of drivers opting to retire due to various reasons. Being away from your family/friends, lower pay, and the overall experience are all factors in the shortage of driver recruitment and retention.
Even truck drivers are not surprised by the shortage, “It feels more like this is your life and when we go home, that’s just a small portion of your life, says Chris Chilton, a trucker in Alabama who has a wife and kids at home told Business Insider. Truck driving is truly a hard working job, where a good chunk of time drivers struggle to see the desire in the job.
While on the road truckers can legally spend up to 11 hours a day driving and a further 3 hours on other work related tasks, according to Business Insider. Some truckers that are on the road have to live in their vehicles, though some do stay in hotels. After being on the road for days, or even weeks, that lifestyle can certainly get old quick. Ralph Roberts, a former trucker in Arizona can attest to that as he explained to Business Insider that, “it takes a special type of person who can be away from home for weeks at a time and some just can’t take it.”
To put it in perspective, the U.S. has a shortage of about 80,000 truck drivers, which has been a part of the U.S. supply chain struggles this past year. Recently, the Biden-Harris Administration launched a new Trucking Action Plan, which was putting more focus on the trucking industry; getting drivers the ability to obtain their CDLs easier, improving outreach & recruitment, as well as launching a joint DOT-DOL Driving Good Jobs initiative. Many trucking companies have also put an emphasis on additional driver initiatives such as increasing pay and giving out more bonuses, listening and being aware to their drivers frustrations, and more.
Time will certainly tell to see when the trucking industry will see more of an increase of drivers, than a decrease. However, one thing is certain, truck drivers are needed and are important not just for their individual companies they work for, but for the U.S. as well. If you would like to learn more today, please reach out to a team member!