The trucking industry’s driver shortage is not going away. In fact, recent projections from the American Trucking Association (ATA) indicate that the shortage is expected to double over the next decade. This has been an ongoing issue and trucking companies are looking for ways to recruit drivers —as we have discussed many times before. Trucking companies have expanded their recruiting efforts and have begun to target a segment of the population that has since been ignored in this industry— WOMEN.1 Women have been fighting to be equal to men in every industry, why not the trucking industry too?!
The driver shortage in the trucking industry is a problem that every trucking company, large and small, has to deal with. There are many reasons that this shortage has come about, but the newest trend to affect the industry is the acceptance by states of marijuana use. Legalization of recreational marijuana by states is making it even harder for the trucking industry to find drug- free drivers.(1) Trucking companies have safety guidelines to meet and the possibility of having impaired drivers will not help them do so.
We are all aware of the commercial driver shortage in the United States. The trucking industry is primarily composed of people aged 45 and older.1 In order to compensate for the shortage, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) proposed a pilot program to lower the required CDL age from 21 to 18.2 Currently, there are 48 states that allow drivers to obtain a CDL at the age of 18, but federal regulations prevent them from crossing state lines until 21.3
The American Transportation Research Institute released its report “Critical Issues in the Trucking Industry” this week, which identified the top concerns and challenges along with strategies for each according to 1,557 motor carriers, drivers, and stakeholders in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Results from the report were as follows: