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Here’s What’s Happening With The Ongoing Truck Driver Shortage

Truck drivers are the backbone of the American economy. Over 70% of freight is transported across America in trucks. Despite being a sought-after career with many perks, many Americans are turning away from the profession. Currently, America is facing a massive truck driver shortage, adversely impacting the economy. But what is the reason behind such a shortage, and how can the issue be rectified? 

Causes For The Ongoing Truck Driver Shortage 

According to the American Trucking Association, the demand for truck drivers skyrocketed during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, with a deficit of 80,000 truck drivers in the workforce. This deficit and a shortage of truck parts disrupted the supply chain. 

Additionally, truck drivers are also dealing with the post-pandemic truck parts shortage, which has created a backlog of deliveries and caused them to look for essential auto parts from alternative sources. If you also want to purchase new/old trucks or related accessories, you can check out

So now, let us discuss some of the major causes of this shortage. 

High Demand For Truck Drivers- 

America is facing a truck driver shortage despite so many load requests and a high volume of cargo. This has resulted in an overworked and exploited workforce quitting at an incredibly high rate. 

Many people attracted to the job at first are quickly turned away when they realize that the working conditions are dismal. The pay and benefits provided by the job don’t compensate for the time spent away from the family or the adverse health effects caused by sitting for hours at end. This situation is compounded by the fact that most truck drivers are nearing retirement age, and there aren’t enough new drivers to replace them.   

Long Work Hours- 

Most contractual truck drivers spend days, weeks, and even months apart from their families. Due to the time-sensitivity of making deliveries, many spend upwards of 11 hours every day driving on the interstate. 

Unpleasant Work Conditions- 

Did you know that driving a truck for hours puts drivers at a high risk of developing diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, heart disease, and back problems? It is true! 

Sitting continuously for long periods, not getting enough physical exercise, and a diet consisting of mostly packaged and highly processed foods puts truck drivers at a considerable risk of developing health issues. Plus, many truck drivers forgo their sleep to fulfill delivery assignments. 

Growing Favorability Towards Other Professions- 

Increased awareness about discrimination, long work hours, poor pay, and unpleasant work conditions is driving people away from the profession. People are no longer attracted to the truck driver lifestyle because they don’t see any perks to living such a lifestyle. 

Workforce Demographics-  

Lack of diversity and the widening age gap are also the reasons behind the shortage of drivers in America. Most currently employed truck drivers in America are men over the age of 55 and nearing their retirement age. 

People of color and women are underrepresented in the trucking community. 

On the other hand, the younger generation is unwilling to pursue this profession because of how physically and mentally taxing the job is. And because they believe they have better job opportunities with more perks.  

Possible Solutions For Overcoming The Truck Driver Shortage 

The shortage of truck drivers has urged trucking associations and logistics companies to review, revise, and improve the current working conditions and issues faced by truck drivers. Let us discuss how interested parties can make this profession attractive to more people. 

1. Improve The Working Conditions- 

This solution is straightforward. Truck drivers have an important job, which they do at a great personal price. One of the ways their working conditions can be improved is by decreasing their operating hours. 

This can be done by promoting less-than-truckload delivery methods instead of full-truckload methods. This will help truck drivers spend less time away from their family and friends. 

Truck drivers should also be mandated to take breaks between driving to stretch their legs and prioritize their physical well-being. 

2. Wage Increase- 

The wages of truck drivers need to be adjusted by the current rate of inflation and gas price spikes. 

Truck drivers should be provided incentives and performance-based bonuses along with better wages. Incentivizing hard work will help trucking companies create job satisfaction. 

3. Lower The Age Requirement- 

To become a truck driver, people must undergo basic training for weeks and get certified. Therefore, there is no need to restrict drivers aged 18 and above from becoming drivers. Lowering the age requirement will open the gates of this profession to young, competent, and eager workers. 

4. Enhancing The Retention Rates- 

Trucking companies need to enhance the retention rate of the driving profession. The current working conditions and corporate structure have created a situation where people interested in driving are pushed away from driving. 

Companies can improve the retention rate by being transparent about the pay grade and benefits, investing in regular maintenance of trucks, and replacing older trucks on time. 

5. Improve Workplace Diversity- 

America is a diverse country with equal opportunities for everybody. This should be reflected in the trucking industry as well. Trucking companies should focus on employing more women, people of color, people with disabilities, and other minorities. 

Truck drivers are crucial in running the American economy, From construction materials sent to construction sites to delivering consumer goods to your doorstep. Therefore, the truck driver shortage should be tackled urgently with great emphasis on the trucker’s rights and health.