Driver shortage felt across industry

Professionally trained truck drivers are often the most sought after by some of the best motor carriers across the country and graduates of the truck driver training programs at Hamrick are finding success in this industry. But because there are not enough professionally trained drivers to meet demand, many carriers are forced to hire drivers with little to no training, leading to a high turnover rate.

Drivers with professional training are not just in high demand, but they enjoy a higher than average starting pay and benefits. They are also more likely to be picked for advancement.

The trucking industry is on the upswing as the economy is showing signs of improvement, but a shortage of professionally trained drivers is holding some of that growth back. The American Trucking Associations has estimated that there is a current need for 20,000 to 25,000 big-shipment, long-distance commercial truck drivers. When considering the expected rise in the industry over the next few years, as many as 100,000 new commercial truck driving jobs could be available in the next 10 years, the report said.

Trucking companies are starving for drivers and many are raising pay and benefits in an effort to attract more applicants. A recent survey by the industry research firm Transport Capital Partners said trucking companies may be reluctant to accept additional business due to a portion of their trucks sitting idle from a lack of drivers. As many as 75 percent of the carriers surveyed are reporting trucks going unused because of a lack of drivers, according to the American Trucking Associations.