Finding Drivers To Fill Truck Cabs

The transportation industry has been struggling to find drivers for years. This lack of drivers is one of the main reasons that supply chain issues are continuing. Conversations on how to change this have included increasing pay and reevaluating how those interested in driving can earn their Commercial Drivers License, or CDL.

Nick Lowe has been driving truck for other 20 years and says this is the most challenging it has been to find drivers. “Extremely hard,” is Lowe’s blunt assessment of the current shortage. Many drivers are quick to jump ship Lowe remarked. A few of the reasons can be tied to lack of competitive wages, working conditions, hours, or more attractive opportunities outside of the industry.

There are efforts underway to retain drivers and bring new ones on. Lowe notes that many companies are offering hiring bonuses, updated equipment, or more desirable routes to attract drivers. A few even offer to pay drivers any costs associated with earning their CDL.

Currently, trainees need to take a class with a certified instructor. There is also a driving portion in which so many hours behind the wheel with an instructor must be met before earning a CDL. A few driving schools even offer computer simulated driving that mimics real life driving. This is newer, unique way for students to meet their hours.

This far different from what Lowe went through when he first earned his CDL. “Anybody off the road could walk into a DMV, take your written test for the permit,” Lowe said. Then they could drive with any CDL driver for a period of time before taking a road test. The added education, while important. delays getting drivers into trucks.

Companies hiring drivers must balance their need for drivers with the challenge that comes from having new, inexperienced drivers. While they lack experience, the hope is that new drivers will come in more qualified because of the knowledge they gained in the classroom.