I am thoroughly convinced companies want trainees and/or illegal aliens to drive their trucks for less money. Experienced drivers want and deserve more than trainees and might stay and retire, costing companies more than inexperienced drivers. I will be 50 this month. This is a different trade than it was when I was 19 and starting out.
I am going back to being a mechanic like I started out. At this age I should be making my case for retirement, I am jobless, homeless, broke, divorced and starting over. I’ve been cheated out of a lot of bonus and wage dollars as well as reimbursement money. I love trucks, the hands that drive them and the places I’ve been and seen. But with new regs, rules and a shaky economy, why would anybody want to come into this trade?
Charles Williams, Paris, Ky.
What do you think of the forecast for a severe driver shortage in the near future?
When I see it reflected in my pay, I’ll believe it — after all, supply and demand says that if they are short of drivers, they should be paying higher rates to those that they have.
— Bruce B.
I don’t see one. Fact is that most major and medium companies continue to recruit fresh drivers on a weekly basis. Most of these drivers are green drivers, filled with high hopes and dreams about how they can make “all this money driving a semi.” Furthermore, a majority of those drivers are ones that have no idea of what trucking is about and are in it for the paycheck. Fact is that a large percent of the trucking schools these days are just “driver mills.”
— Scott G.
There may be a shortage in certain areas of the country, but we are still waiting for freight in the Northeast. Pay has increased for the new drivers, but the companies are doing very little to keep the experienced veteran drivers. They are still wanting cheap drivers.
— Robert S.
There is going to be a huge shortage. When I drive by bases of operation and see large numbers of trucks sitting idle that tells me that they are not getting filled, and when all the new “green drivers” find out how hard it is on the road they will disappear. Today’s youth (for the most part) are lazy and don’t want to work.
— David C.
I don’t really believe that there is a driver shortage. It is a matter of poor planning on the part of load planners, shippers, dispatchers, consignees. Just-in-time deliveries only work if proper planning is done.
— Scott K.
I believe in the driver shortage. I have my CDL, and no one wants me to drive. They said to me, “No experience, can’t help you. Come back when you have experience.” This is why there will be a driver shortage. All my friends hear the same — no experience, so stay home. I read in the newspaper a few weeks ago: 120,000 trucks are needed for 2012. If they said the same thing to all the others that they said to me, then good luck to all the companies that want new green drivers.
— Simon H.
This has been forecasted and said for so many years that some major carriers even started hiring drivers from other countries at one point in time. I see too many truckers sitting and waiting for me to believe that there is or will be a shortage.
— Aric C.
The way I see it, a driver shortage means more miles and freight for the current drivers. I am local, but for my friends that are OTR, I think they will get better and longer runs.
— Jamie R.
There are plenty of experienced drivers out of work right now (like myself). There’s no need for a driver shortage if companies would hire us!