Reasons for this shortfall include older drivers retiring, while younger workers are opting not to enter the trucking industry. Right now, the average age for drivers is 46 and up. Downward pressure on wages, and increased electronic monitoring has made the trucking industry less lucrative too. While one sees the ads “Make a $100,000 a Year Driving Big Rigs!” the national average rate for Class A CDL drivers is more like $54,080 and Non-CDL drivers earn an average of $14.30 an hour. Today there are more opportunities to earn the same wage without putting in the amount of hard work it takes to drive a truck.
Throw in a pandemic; the explosive growth of internet delivery; a perceived lack of respect toward truck drivers; and the failure to attract workers that reflect the diverse makeup of our society, and it drives home the scope of a problem that’s not going away soon. Demand is already higher than supply and when the economy improves, demand increases...and the shortage grows.