No doubt that The United States is known with the trucking profession as a part of its culture, so how many truck drivers in the USA, and is there a truck driver shortage?
In this article, I am going to show you how many truck drivers in the USA, the top states that have the most truck drivers in the USA, is there a truck driver shortage, and some reasons for why is there a truck driver shortage.
Keep reading this article to know more.
Table of Contents
- 1 How Many Truck Drivers in The USA?
- 2 What Are The Top 3 States That Have The Most Truck Drivers in the USA?
- 3 Is There a Truck Driver Shortage?
How Many Truck Drivers in The USA?
There are 3.5 million truck drivers in the USA according to the American Trucking Associations.
What Are The Top 3 States That Have The Most Truck Drivers in the USA?
Comes in the first place in the number of truck drivers all over the states of the USA, there are more than 172,000 people employed as truck drivers in Texas.
There are more than 130,000 truck drivers in California, which makes it come in the second place in the top states in truck driver number
Pennsylvania is the third state in truck driver number.
Is There a Truck Driver Shortage?
The trucking industry has struggled with a truck driver shortage for the past 15 years according to the American Trucking Associations.
According to the American Trucking Associations, they reported a truck driver shortage of about 60,800 drivers in 2018, a 20% increase from the year prior.
Numbers may jump in the coming years and could threaten the United Stated supply chains.
According to the Chief of the American Trucking Association Bob Costello, truck driver shortages could reach six figures by 2024.
Costello said that the increase in the driver shortage should be a warning to carriers, shippers, and policymakers.
If this continues, by 2026 trucker’s shortage in the USA will be over 174,000 drivers.
Here are 7 reasons for why is there a truck driver shortage:
1. Older Average Workforce
Unfortunately, the average age of the current professional truck driver is higher than all other professions.
The average age of a professional truck driver is 55 years old according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is 10 years older than other industries including construction and manufacturing.
The industry needs to make the following as a way of retaining and recruiting young drivers:
- Remove barriers for younger drivers to begin careers.
- Attract more demographic diversity.
- Address such lifestyle factors as giving drivers more time at home.
- Reduce wait times at shipper facilities.
- Develop technology and equipment.
- Providing sign-on bonuses.
- Increase pay.
2. Time Spent Away:
Trucking industry demands you to spend on the road several days at a time, as truck drivers may be away from home for weeks.
So they spend a lot of time away from their wives, children, loved ones and friends.
3. High Level of Risk:
If you are a truck driver, here are some risks that you may find:
- Accidents happen while driving.
- Being on the road in bad weather, and driving on rough roads.
- Transporting to unsafe areas and driving for long working hours to meet deadlines.
- Transporting hazardous chemicals and other dangerous substances that can put your health at risk.
4. Unpaid Working Hours:
You are expected to work at companies that pay you for miles instead of paying you for the time you spend in driving or to your skills.
As a result, you will receive nothing in many situations such as when you become stuck in traffic jams, construction zones, bad weather, or any of the other delays you face.
You may not sleep for long time in order to meet deadlines.
5. Not Utilizing The Full Workforce:
Females make up 47% of the nation’s workforce and 6% within the trucking industry.
The trucking industry has been known as a man’s industry as a result of the physical effort.
Here are some tips to handle this issue:
- Highlighting current female drivers in marketing channels.
- Providing options for female trainers for female students.
- Offering safe equipment and safe facilities.
- Providing drop-and-hook driving job opportunities.
- Upgrading fleets to automated transmissions and ergonomics to let females feel comfortable in the truck.
6. Undesirable Lifestyle
Being responsible for a truck that weighs more than 26,000 pounds is not easy anymore.
Stress, excessive working hours, and low quality of life are part of daily challenges for many truck drivers and define their hard everyday work.
You may not sleep for long time in order to meet deadlines.
As a result, the lifestyle you are going to live is another factor that will keep you from entering the trucking industry.
Here are some tips for making the lifestyle more desirable:
- Offering an increasing variety of home time configurations, which allows truckers to go home according to their needs.
- Offering tips to eat healthily and exercise on the road.
- Providing a sleep apnea program.
7. Truckers Turnover:
Lack of interested persons in trucking is not the reason why there is a shortage of truck drivers.
However, there are lots of drivers interested in becoming truck drivers, but once they discover the low pay, the lack of respect, the poor working conditions and the demands of the job, they leave the idea.
When they feel there is no appreciation nor worth pay, truck drivers currently are leaving their jobs to look for something that offers better pay, benefits, and working conditions.
8. Rates of Retirement:
In the past, every 4 truck drivers retiring from this profession there are 3 drivers coming in.
Nowadays, for every 4 truck drivers that retire, there is half a driver coming in.
As you see, these rates clearly show that there is a truck driver shortage.
The primary factors for the increase in 2018 truck driver shortage included an aging driver population entering retirement, increases in freight volumes, and competition from other blue-collar careers.
Currently, the average age of an OTR driver is 46, while the average age of a new driver being trained is 35.
The trucking industry needs to find ways to attract more and younger drivers to the profession.
Finally, being a truck driver needs you to be determined and well qualified for this profession. Especially now after you knew the outlook of this profession, entering this field should be desired from you.
After you know how many truck drivers in the USA and is there a truck driver shortage in the USA or not, do you think that being a truck driver worth it?