The American Trucking Association predicts by 2024 there will be 175,000 openings for truck drivers that operators and companies will not be able to fill.
It seems to be generational. As veterans hang up their driver logs for good even unemployed young people are not feeling the attraction of the road. Perhaps it’s cultural, but the CB-radio-loving days of Smokey and the Bandit are gone and not likely to return soon.
Houston Walker, owner of J.H. Walker Trucking, the largest asset-based oilfield trucking and delivery service on the Gulf coast, is in dire need of drivers. “We could hire 50 or 60 more drivers and still not be able to cover the volume we’re covering. We pay our drivers as much if not more than anyone else. It’s just that the market is very, very tight.”
Recruiters say they’re not getting much response from high school students, who often question how the industry will be impacted once driverless transportation takes hold. That failure to draw from a younger generation has companies like Walker’s scrambling. “The driver shortage, which has exacerbated the situation in the Houston market, requires we no longer have sales people selling. We have them out calling on drivers, because the market for drivers in Houston is next to impossible,” he says. And it’s not for a shortage of business. “We have not had a single day in the last three months when a single driver is not 100% booked 100% of the time.”
If you know of someone with a love of the open road looking for a job, they might want to check here.