For many of this country’s largest trucking companies, reducing turnover and retaining truck drivers is a primary ingredient to remaining profitable. The professional truck driver labor pool market is the tightest it has been in 20 years, and the turnover rate at large trucking companies exceeds 100%, according to the American Trucking Association.
Recent statistics indicate the long-haul segment of the trucking industry has a national shortage of 20,000 drivers. It predicts the shortage will increase to 111,000 by the year 2014 given the current demographic trends. A severe shortage of drivers could hurt the U.S. economy. Trucks carry more than 75% of domestic goods we consume on a daily basis, and without enough well trained truck drivers to haul the nation’s products, consumers will be subject to unexpected delays on those items they both want and need. And if the supply/demand ration continues to result in an ongoing shortage, compensation will continue to rise to find and keep good truck driver talent. As a result, we will all see higher prices in everything we purchase.
The trucking industry admits it has a critical problem and has been focusing on new, creative recruiting strategies to enhance the levels of CDL truck driver applicants, and recruit new people into the industry that keeps our national economy moving. To fill the increased demand CDL truck driving jobs, trucking companies and truck driving schools are appealing to demographic groups, such as women, retirees and husband-wife teams, who traditionally have not fit the trucker stereotype. Women are perhaps the fastest-growing group in the field. Since 2002, when only 5% of the nations truck driving jobs were filled by women, most nationally known truck driving schools are experiencing a 50% growth rate in the number of female applicants as compared to men applying for the same positions.
Another employment pool niche that being tapped into to fill some of the truck driver shortage gap are former factory workers. There are now 2.7 million fewer manufacturing jobs in the USA than there were 10 years ago. With factories expected to do little hiring in coming years, many former workers are seeking a new career. Truck driving jobs give these often displaced workers an opportunity to start a new, productive career.
Often times, Individuals with the ability to retire from 20-25 year careers in manufacturing often take advantage of financial assistance programs offered by the government. The bottom line is the government supplies displaced workers with tuition and free cdl training school opportunities. This is a golden labor pool for trucking companies as many of these new found recruits are dependable, reliable and often times in very good health.
Minorities have also become a favorite recruiting target for trucking companies. Well structured programs are producing strong results. One recent training program sponsored by a Latino community organization tracked their results and found 70% of the 50 students who attended these classes found CDL truck driving jobs earning average annual compensation of $47,580.
Good luck in your truck driver job search. Be patient, persistent, expect good results and you will see positive results far sooner than you think!