There is a national shortage of truck drivers, according to the American Trucking Associations, to the tune of about 900,000.
Houston Walker, moneyman for his family’s J.H. Walker Trucking Company in Houston, says the problem is very real. “We have probably 50 vacancies for truck drivers in our company alone,” he tells KTRH News. They are the largest asset-based oilfield trucking and delivery service on the Gulf Coast, and spend countless hours trying to figure out how to recruit new workers. “I could sit here and tell you 45 ideas we have, but we’ve posted it on Craigslist, Career Builder, Indeed, Linked In, Facebook. None of them work significantly better than the other,” Walker says. Now they’re considering new hires fresh from graduation at driving schools.
Houston Community College is among those offering truck driving classes.
Attrition and changing images are thinning the ranks, the average age of an over-the-road driver now 49 years. What was once seen as a carefree life on the open highway has lost its luster. “A lot of that workforce that got into it in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s is retiring now,” Walker says.
An online freight marketplace, DAT Solutions, found in January there was only one truck with a driver available for every 12 loads that need to be shipped.