When people say that the trucking industry is the backbone of America, it’s because we depend so much on the work they do! The American Trucking Associations (ATA) says there are 7.3 million trucking industry employees and 3.5 million truck drivers!1
The U.S. Department of Transportation says over three-fourths of cargo moved in our country, by weight, is transported by trucks. And it’s our CDL truck drivers seeing that the work gets done! They move cargo and necessary items all across the country, from state-to-state and coast-to-coast. Life in our country would be a lot more difficult without our CDL truck drivers!
Whenever you go into a grocery store or a supermarket, know that truck drivers delivered all of those products you see. From water and food to medicine and soap, CDL truck drivers were responsible for their delivery! And without truck drivers, our economy would come screeching to a halt.
America hit a rough patch during the recession, but our economy is finally improving. More and more products are being produced, and it’s up to our truck drivers to distribute them across the country.
Shortage of CDL Truck Drivers
While there are many types of truck drivers, drivers with a Class A CDL license have the responsibility of moving the heaviest loads. They’re the ones driving the big semis across the country, and they’re a very important part of the industry!
Last year, the ATA released the 2015 Truck Driver Shortage Analysis,2 which explains the current shortage of 48,000 professional truck drivers. The shortage is anticipated to grow even more over the next ten years. The ATA predicts that the truck driving industry will need to hire an additional 89,000 drivers a year for the next decade just to keep up with the need!
What’s Causing the Shortage?
Right now there’s a shortage of CDL truck drivers because of a couple of things. The growing demand in America is a big factor because companies are increasing production faster than the industry can hire new CDL-trained drivers.
Another major factor in the truck driver shortage is the retirement of current drivers. The ATA reports2 “the current average driver age in the OTR (Over-the-Road) TL (Truckload) industry is 49.” A great number of the nation’s truck drivers are retiring or are preparing to retire, leaving a large gap in the distribution system. What do we do when there are plenty of goods, but no one to transport them?
This is Great News For Truck Drivers!
Because trucking companies need new drivers, they are willing to pay higher salaries and offer better benefits. The truth is that drivers are so in demand that top-name trucking companies are competing with each other for new drivers. This is great news for anyone needing to improve or change careers!
Professional Truck Drivers can look forward to incredible trucking company perks like:
- Great starting pay – Professional truck drivers can make $40,000 to $45,000 their first year!3
- Better bonuses – Earn extra money through safe driving, monthly mileage, fuel efficiency, layover pay, endorsements, etc.
On top of other awesome trucking benefits that include things like:
- Job security
- Medical and dental insurance
- 401k retirement savings plans
- Paid vacation and sick leave
- And team driving, among others
How Do I Become a Professional Truck Driver?
First, you’ll need to learn to drive a truck safely and earn your Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). The best way to learn essential trucking skills and to prepare for a trucking career is to attend a truck driving school. We can help you out there!
Professional CDL training at AIT can prepare you with the skills and knowledge for a successful career in trucking. Our instructors are industry professionals, and AIT has trained professional truck drivers for 25 years!
If you’d like to learn more about truck driver training at AIT, click here to contact a representative. The truck driver shortage means great opportunities for new drivers. Discover your potential today with AIT!
3wage info supplied by Werner Enterprises