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50,000 truck drivers needed now in the U.S.

Truck Driver Shortage hits new high in late 2017

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The latest update from the American Trucking Associations (ATA) shows just serious the truck driver shortage has become in the U.S.

The associations Chief Economist Bob Costello tells us the haulage industry in the U.S. is looking at facing a deficit of 50,000 truck drivers by the end of this year.

Related: Driverless trucks a potential positive for truckies?

“In addition to the sheer lack of drivers, fleets are also suffering from a lack of qualified drivers, which amplifies the effects of the shortage on carriers,”

“This means that even as the shortage numbers fluctuate, it remains a serious concern for our industry, for the supply chain and for the economy at large.”

According to the report, ATA’s first in-depth examination of the driver shortage since 2015, the driver shortage eased in 2016 to roughly 36,500 – down from 2015’s shortfall of 45,000.

“We experienced a ‘freight recession,’ last year, which eased the pressure on the driver market,” Mr Costello said.

“Now that freight volumes accelerating again, we should expect to see a significant tightening of the driver market.”

The report predicts that in the U.S. the driver shortage will grow to 174,000 drivers by 2026.

However, the ATA chief economist says things can be done to try and attract more people to the job.

“We already see fleets raising pay and offering other incentives to attract drivers. Fleets are also doing more to improve the lifestyle and image of the truck driver,”

“But there are also policy changes like reducing the driver age as part of a graduated licensing system, or easing the transition for returning veterans, that can make getting into this industry easier and therefore help with the shortage.”

Related: How to identify safe young truck drivers?

Looking for work? What’s stopping you from getting a job behind the wheel? Is it too hard to get a heavy vehicle license? Money not good enough?

Let us know your thoughts on a truck driving career in the comments section below.

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About Joel Helmes 3923 Articles

Joel is the founder and CEO of Behind the Wheel. Joel has a background as a radio broadcaster with on-air roles at 4BC, 4KQ, 2KY, 2LT and 2UE amongst others, as well as a news editor and program director.

Joel’s relationship with cars stems back to his early childhood learning to change oil and brakes with his father and uncle. This continued on into his driving years owning an assorted collection of cars.

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