In 1976, a truck traveling on the 610 West Loop in Houston at an unsafe speed, hit a support beam and fell onto the Southwest Freeway releasing over 7,000 gallons of undiluted industrial anhydrous ammonia. The spill claimed 7 lives and injured nearly 200 people who were exposed to the extremely dangerous gas.
It's no secret that trucking costs are rising, but there are several factors causing the increases. The biggest ones are fuel, labor, pay, equipment, and healthcare, all of which have seen jumps in recent years. Because all of these areas are climbing when it comes to costs, some companies are really struggling to stay afloat. It's hurting businesses, the trucking industry as a whole, and the people who rely on having their goods shipped across the city or across the country. No matter how far a truck needs to travel, it has to be cost effective for it to do so or it won't be going anywhere.
The shortage of truck drivers in North America isn't a new topic. There is a wrinkle in it that isn't as widely covered but that is crucial to the success of the United States' economy: hazmat drivers. Though they are naturally lumped in together with the general driver shortage in terms of numbers, a driver with a hazmat certification is often even more difficult to find.