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Truck Driving Jobs Still Not Being Filled
Delayed Deliveries and Higher Rates to Follow

Attention out-of-work Americans - want to be a trucker? That is the question that many industry pundits are asking as the truck driver shortage increases more and more.

As reported in USA TODAY 6/25/2012:

"A worsening shortage of truck drivers is pushing up freight rates and delaying some deliveries, defying the weak economy, high unemployment and falling gasoline prices. "It's getting harder to get drivers," says Mike Card, president of Combined Transport of Central Point, Ore., and incoming chairman of the American Trucking Associations. "I could hire 50 guys right now." He now employs 393 drivers.

Despite the 8.2% national jobless rate, many unemployed construction and factory workers can't afford the $4,000 to $6,000 cost of a six-week driver-training course, says Rosalyn Wilson, senior business analyst of consulting firm Delcan. In addition, she says, truck drivers must be at least 21, leading many 18-year-old high school graduates who might consider trucking to instead pursue plumbing or other trades."

So what is causing the problem? Well, one barrie is the new government regulations and public safety ratings that have caused carriers to hire only truckers with pristine driving records. As to the cost of training and getting into the industry, the shortage is actually only making things better and better for qualified or new responsible drivers:

"The annual driver turnover rate at large carriers rose to a four-year high of 90% in the first quarter from 75% a year ago, according to the trucking association. The turnover rate at small carriers jumped even more sharply in that period, to 71% from 50%. The shortage has increased average driver salaries about 5% this year to $45,000 to $50,000, says Noel Perry, managing director at FTR Associates. The crunch is expected to become even more dire next year when stricter federal limits on the number of hours drivers can work take effect. That safety move will force companies to hire more drivers."

Bottom line, the driver shortage is limiting capacity, pushing up freight rates and causing late deliveries of up two days. Bad news? Well. yes, unless you want to me a truck driver!

Get the full story here: