Companies across the country are feeling the pinch as a CDL truck driver shortage has gone from a minor problem to one of massive proportions. Delayed shipments are commonplace as companies struggle to hire enough drivers to keep up with demand. The American Trucking Association estimated that there was a shortage of more than 61,000 CDL drivers at the end of 2019—a number that is only expected to rise. The Covid-19 pandemic of 2020 only made the condition worse as schools were unable to train their drivers in the wake of mass lockdowns. There are several theories as to why this shortage is an ongoing issue, and there have been intense efforts to hire more drivers to meet demand.
The Demographic Issue
The major factor affecting the lack of new drivers is the typical driver profile. The industry is almost overwhelmingly male, and the average age of a trucker is 55. With more truckers retiring in the next 10-15 years than new drivers starting, there is a major problem with keeping the labor force going. The federal requirement for new truckers is 21, leaving a gap between eager high school grads and the new jobs in the field. Those three years make a difference, with many young people simply taking on other career paths rather than waiting.
The industry is not particularly woman-friendly either. Women make up 47 percent of the American workforce, yet only six percent of CDL truckers. It has been a challenge to change the image of trucking as a masculine job for macho men, so attracting women has been a challenge. In addition, many aspects of the trucking industry cater toward men, not taking into account the unique needs that women face as long-haul drivers.
The Lifestyle Issue
Trucking is a hard job, and most long-haul truckers spend days and weeks on the road, living in their trucks, showering at rest stops and eating take out food. For truckers with families, the career can quickly take a toll, causing disruptions in relationships with spouses and children. Truckers often suffer from the ill-effects of a sedentary lifestyle coupled with a lack of healthy food options. Many find themselves gaining weight and suffering from the devastating consequences of obesity. This lifestyle only appeals to a specific subset of workers, and many shy away from trucking for this very reason.
Solving the Trucker Shortage
There has been a push to identify these areas of weakness and come up with viable solutions to the trucker shortage. The trucking industry has proposed the following in order to shift the pattern and bring new truckers into the fold:
Companies should offer higher salaries with better benefits like health insurance and retirement plans to attract the best talent
-Decrease time on the road
Developing a “hub and spoke” system that would allow truckers more time at home would increase job satisfaction and decrease turnover.
-Lower the regulated driver age
In the United States, 18-20 year olds make up the highest group of unemployed people, and lowering the age would solve both the unemployment and the trucker shortage problem
-Target women, minorities and veterans
Women have unique issues that the industry has not made strides to address. Many women do not want to spend long hours and days away from home and will not consider long-haul trucking. In addition, many of the facilities that truckers use are geared toward men. Providing female-friendly facilities will go a long way in welcoming them into the fold. Minorities often feel unsafe and unwelcomed in certain areas of the country, and trucking companies should take steps to address those issues. Veterans often suffer from lack of employment, and recruiting them will help to decrease the shortage
Finding truckers for your trucking company can be an ongoing problem with the current shortage of CDL drivers. At Vice SEO, we make hiring truckers easy and affordable. We offer personalized leads based on your company’s needs and profile. We recruit team drivers, single drivers and owner operators for your trucking company, making it easy for you to find the right truckers each time. Our system has streamlined the recruiting process, delivering our own personalized leads, leaving you free to focus on business growth and sales. Call us for a free consultation today.