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American trucking companies are looking for a few good ... American trucking companies are looking for a few good buddies. (Getty)
America runs on trucks, but not enough young people are hearing the call of the road. This has trucking companies facing a major labor shortage, according to Business Insider.

The shortage is striking. The American Trucking Association estimates the U.S. needs 30,000 truck drivers right now, and as many as 239,000 by 2022. At least 100,000 new truckers will need to be added every year for the next decade.

Trucking used to be a solid job, but, like many industries, it has been slow to recover from the 2008 recession. Trucking companies large and small lost the ability to borrow money, which stifled growth and caused many drivers to go home and never come back. The ones still on the road jump from company to company, but their numbers are dwindling as businesses struggle to replace retiring drivers.

Why are young people -- who have also greatly struggled in the years since the recession -- avoiding these jobs? Lousy hours and pay, mostly. Truckers often spend weeks on the road away from family and friends. Plus, drivers are now subject to stricter federal regulations, which restrict the hours truckers can drive and, in turn, cause paychecks to shrink.

It is also dangerous. In 2012, truck occupant fatalities rose 8.9 percent, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics. It was the third consecutive year that fatalities increased.

Trucking is too important an industry to the American economy to suffer from manpower shortage for too long, however. As a result, wages, benefits and working conditions are already on the rise.



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  • 154 Comments
      bedbugtoo
      • 10 Months Ago
      It is very simple...you need to start paying!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! With all the hoops you have to jump through it isn't worth the effort to get a CDL. Become an Owner/Operator, buying a truck--getting one that can get into California because of CARB...blaming their smog on the trucking business, YOU HAVE TOO MANY PEOPLE IN A SMALL AREA, California can't wait for the Santa Anna winds to blow all their polution over to Arizona. Now speaking of California, you get your freight there but cheap freight out as you can't go west, they know sooner or later you will take it, you have to pay the bills!!! Get a pay raise, everything goes up fuel, food, ect, so there is really no pay raise just a shuffle of money! Its not worth being away from home and family, the industry has to pay the piper...One thing for sure, If you can't get the freight from one point to another, no one makes a dime!!!!
      • 7 Months Ago
      If a trucker who logged a 65 hour week and got paid $755, what would his hourly pay be if he was an hourly employee subject to overtime pay? Do the math. Answer: $9.75 per hour. Less if he is spending money buying expensive food at rest stops. Trucking jobs should pay around $1400 per week. That's an hourly wage of $20 factoring in overtime for a 65 hour week. That is where they need to be at for a just compensation.
      Jawmore
      • 10 Months Ago
      C.A> Prescott Junior : Sadly I agree.
      cirfir1
      • 10 Months Ago
      Big rig over the road truck driving is extremely regulated and the excessive regulation makes no sense from a safety standpoint. . For example: 1 They are told they must stand on their head 3 times in a 10 hour break to make sure they are still alive. 2 They must stop for 30 minutes every 8 hours to make sure they are not driving asleep and are all there. 3. new regulations force them to stop driving early in the evening to insure they will have a spot to rest. States are closing rest areas all over the country and are fining drivers who park on ramps or roadsides to rest. 4 Idiot regulators make uninformed decisions that effect everybody commute by forcing large trucks into heavy rush hour traffic where they do not want to be. We do need them to be allowed to function well with the use of common sense officials cannot always clearly comprehend. G.B.A.
      • 10 Months Ago
      I have always wanted to drive but the cost to get the CDL is too much.
      • 10 Months Ago
      I have always wanted to drive truck but the schools to get CDL are too expensive so I cant go. I also checked with my local labor department and they have no help for you anyone to do this as they say government funding was cut for retraining programs and there are no free programs in my area. its very sad because I something I would love to do is out of reach and there are no programs out there to help me achieve my dream.
      • 10 Months Ago
      BS! A bunch of BS! There are far to many trucks! This BS comes around every decade. What they're doing is over building the force, to pay the newer driver nothing, while retiring the older higher paying drivers. This also drive down freight rates, as there are more companies/ trucks fighting for the same freight. Another guarantee, is that no new truck parking will be developed. More and more trucks will be parking on the road sides. It's a cut throat business, trucking, and it will only get worse, if new guys believe the hype, and decide to become part of one the lowest paying forces (per hours input) in the nation.The good ole days of trucking and the fat pay checks are in the past, not to mention the Feds ever tightening grip around the throat of the trucking industry!
      johnny
      • 10 Months Ago
      I drove for years, everything from ready mix to long haul, thought it a stupid way to make a living then, I would no sooner safety check the truck I was driving, warm it up and then all I wanted to do was to get the hell out of it, all in less than 20 minutes. It took a few years but I finally decided to find a trade with some value and never looked back, ever.
      Glenn
      • 10 Months Ago
      just like these industries , auto mechanics , construction many people are opting for easier work for the same pay they recieve doing jobs like this and they get to stay home - the industries used to vibrant , but as I've found over the past 40 years everytime theres a recession these fields always suffer , because the rich just can't get rich enough and everyone pays when they want more money - throw the bums in prison to reduce the thoughts of opportunities of these idiotic self absorbed 1%ers and just maybe these industries will make a comeback - keep allowing wall street to make their own financial desicions with no oversite and you'll keep gettin recessions , and they won't stop just creating one like the 08 bubble , they won't stop when they create the next "deppression" , they'll stop when the fear of a lengthy prison sentence is emminent and they ALL end up payin the price
      brinseana
      • 10 Months Ago
      My husband is an o/o and is talking about retiring because of too many restrictions being imposed and with fuel prices so high and $ per mile going down, he says it's really not worth it anymore.
      Nadine
      • 10 Months Ago
      I live behind a DPS in Texas. Every week from early Monday morning on through to Friday late afternoon I watch as men and women take their turns at trying out for the 'truck driveing part' of their test. I don't know the stats on how many of the potential truck drivers do pass the test, but it sure looks to me like there are plenty trying out for it. I'm wondering if driving a truck takes a bad toll on the home life of a truck driver. Whether it be a man or a woman out on the roads all through the night, driving a truck.....it would surely wear you down. If we do need as many as you say we do, maybe our companies should think about shorter trips, or maybe relay trips.
      jdstansberry
      • 10 Months Ago
      It's not just the lousy pay, it's the ridiculous rules and bad management too. The drivers are miserable and don't make enough money. Who in their right mind will stand for that indefinately. The trucking companies are soley to blame for this one. They know better - it's the result of their greed.
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