There is a good chance the next thing you buy, came to the store on a truck.
The cost of that item could keep going up as companies find themselves having to pay higher shipping costs. The reason? Not enough truckers to make the deliveries.
Trucking is a vital link in the supply chain. When there are not enough drivers, there are deliveries just sitting around waiting to get to the destination. But first, in order to meet the demand, drivers need to get trained.
Tiaesha Hampton lives in Murfreesboro. Trucking is the family business.
“My mom is a driver, my dad just started driving,” Hampton said. “Most of my uncles are, and I love driving.”
She started taking classes at United Truck Driving School in April. She is already hearing from companies looking to hire her.
“If it comes off a ship or a railroad, in order for it to get to the store the truck driver has to take it there,” Hampton said. “If we keep getting worse on the shortages, America’s running is going to slow down a lot.”
There are more than 50,000 truck drivers needed nationwide. If more drivers do not get on the road, that number will go up to 200,000 over the next decade.
The average wage for a driver just getting started is $50,000 a year.
John Dorris is the assistant training director for United Truck Driving School. He says companies are calling the school every day to recruit students.
“It takes dedication, it takes the proper training and the attitude of safety,” said Dorris. “The training here is 180 hours. They go five days a week, ten hours a day. Usually, the best thing for them to do is go right to work.”
“We try to get them to go to work for a company right after they go to school,” he said.
The trucking industry is lobbying lawmakers in Washington D.C. to lower the interstate commercial driver’s license age from 21 to 18.
There will also be a new driver training rule going into effect in 2020, in which you cannot get a CDL unless you attend a training school.