Tractor-trailers transport everything from food for families to new vehicles, but a persistent driver shortage is hampering deliveries of products required by Americans across the country.
According to the American Transportation Associations, the US may be short 160,000 drivers by 2028, and as a result, employers are recruiting. Al Klasi, a retired truck driver from Clearwater, said numerous issues must be addressed first in order to attract and retain more drivers.
“I worked in the community for twenty years and retired in 2014. That was plenty for me “Klasi has 42 years of expertise driving trucks across the continental United States and Canada.
According to ATA, the industry will need to hire a million additional drivers over the next decade to keep up with retirements and expanding freight demand. Klasi stated that new drivers should understand what they are getting themselves into, which includes the daily expenses of living on the road and time away from family.
“You’re constantly on the move. You’re missing birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, and other significant dates. Tonight is Johnny’s baseball game; I’m unable to go because I’m in California “Klasi stated.
According to an October 2020 analysis by the American Transportation Research Institute, truckers’ primary issues are compensation, driver shortages, safety, and detention time. Detention time refers to the time drivers spend waiting to load or unload, and Klasi explained that drivers are often not compensated for this time.
“I get there at 6 a.m. and say he doesn’t give me a door right away. I’m going to have to wait a few hours. When he finally gets their trucks out, I am backed in and am unable to finish the works by 4 p.m. That is considered free time. We receive no compensation for this “Klasi used this as an example.
According to some truckers, such as Klasi, the federal government could assist in resolving those concerns in order to retain experienced drivers and provide a better start for young truckers.
“They all say drivers are plenty, but they’re not,” Klasi remarked of the driving shortage. “It will never be fixed until someone steps in and declares that enough is enough.”
According to ATRI, over a fifth of truck drivers are 55 years or older, adding to the obstacles. Certain businesses are increasing wages in an attempt to attract new employees and keep them from leaving.