The Trucking Industry Keeps On Truckin'

hiring truck driverA state of logistics report put out by the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals on June 9, 2010 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. had some good news for the unemployed this week: "the U.S. trucking industry will need to hire about 200,000 truck drivers by the end of 2010, and will need to add another 200,000 drivers by the end of next year."

Retiring truckers, tougher safety regulations aimed at getting drivers with bad records off the roads, and the need for replacement drivers who were laid off during the recession when companies were forced to downsize their work force are all factors contributing to the need to replenish employees within this part of the work force. Rosalyn Wilson, a seasoned transportation consultant and business analyst with 25 years experience, and the author of this logistics report that was sponsored by Penske Logistics, said in a CNNMoney.com article that, "we're going to need 1 million drivers in the next 15 years just to deal with replacing retirees and the normal growth of freight."


Life on the road

Trucking Industry 411

There are approximately 1.3 million workers employed in the U.S. truck transportation industry, according to the BLS. Overall job opportunities should be favorable, especially for long-haul drivers.


Related Jobs


Common Job Requirements

  • CDL
  • Minimum age of 21
  • Clean driving record
  • Alcohol and drug testing
  • Ability to sit for long periods


Salary

$17.92 -- median hourly wages of heavy truck and tractor-trailer drivers reported by BLS in May 2008. Long-haul drivers may be paid by the mile, with bonus opportunities.

At the start of 2008, the trucking industry began mass layoffs, resulting in 150,000 lost jobs since the start of 2008. Companies often had more employees and applicants looking for work than they did work orders to fill and positions to offer, which accounted for the reduction in jobs within that market. Additionally, workers with similar skill sets who had seen a downturn in their industry -- construction workers, bus drivers -- sought work in the trucking business, leading to a surplus of people to work.

Thanks to a recent upswing in the economy in the past few months, there has been a reduction in the number of applicants and a smaller work-force pool to choose from, which has led to the demand for more drivers. Wilson's report, "The Great Freight Recession" said: "the economy is showing stronger signs of recovery as we move into the second half of 2010." Wilson also pointed out that following a recession, growth in the freight industry goes up by about 10 percent.


Money and logistics for truckers

According to demographics and statistics cited in Wilson's report, one in every six truck drivers is 55 or older, and you must be at least 21 in order to obtain a CDL license. Truckers get paid per mile and can earn anywhere from 19 cents to 44 cents per mile depending on experience and some other factors, which averages out to anywhere from $300- $1,200 per week, according to The Truckers Report website. New rules allow truckers to drive for 14 hours straight before the required 10-hour break with no limit on the number of miles one can drive in that time period.


Hit the road

As of now, the demand for truckers is there and will continue to be for the next one to two years -- at least until these 400,000 positions are filled with the economy driving the demand. "How much of a driver shortage we have will depend on how much the economy picks up," Wilson says.

Truck driving may not be for everyone: Time on the road can be lonely, tiring and dangerous. An active profession that is not your average 9-to-5 type job, it is also a great way to make an honest living and drive yourself toward a bright future.

Next: Ice Road Trucker -- Scariest Job in the World >>


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Jabber-jaws

DRIVERS WAKE UP!!! It is time to bond together and finally come to the conclusion that NOW is the time to step up and say "enough is enough" and control the transportaion market!
Complaining to no-one is not going to get you anywhere but frustrated,STOP DRIVING,and start DEMANDING the wages you all
deserve. You call yourself the "iron-horse" workers,"brotherhood","team drivers?" Band together "BROTHERHOOD DRIVERS" and tell them the wage you need and want! Do you all have ur ears on?,come-on!

June 20 2010 at 3:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tsmith

You make better wages and benefits driving local. Not much better but better overall than OTR driving. I have done both, the major OTR carriers will run you ragged, pay you as little as they can, and you'll be lucky to see your home 3 weeks out if the year.You will basically live in your truck, eating highly overpriced and not very good food from places like Pilot, Flying J or one of the independent truck stops. And thats only if you are lucky enough if one of those are in the area when you decide to shut down for the night.Otherwise,you will have to look for a rest stop OH Boy! Thats the life you will have to look forward to at usually less than .35 per mile.

June 20 2010 at 12:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
john

As others have said, the writer should investigate more before giving out bad information. Most companies anymore are terrable. Not paying benefits, running drivers beyond hours of service, short paying miles. Shippers are getting worse, and now time stamp bills of lading, making the drivers falsify log books to get loads delivered, then having to pay unloading charges of several hundred dollars, wasting more hours...this job blows and I have been doing it for over 25 years. If I had a chance to start over, I would have been almost anything else and be better off

June 19 2010 at 7:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Darin

Do yourself a favor, stay out of the biz. Just let the driver shortage problem escalate. Forget about sticking together, you could put six truckers in a room with a beautiful woman and she'd escape without a hair out of place because the truckers would be too busy trying to screw each other. In the early 90s we were force fed a CDL fee and relicensing in hopes of getting the bad guys off the road and forcing the wages of the good drivers to go up. Hey how's that working out for ya'. Truck driving is usually classified as unskilled entry level labor and that should tell you all you need to know. Most truckers are actually well skilled and comitted to safety, timeliness, and responsibility but we live on a continent that is absoloutely dependent on massive amounts of freight being transported as cheaply as possible. The key word here is cheap, if all truckers were simply to receive a 3% raise for doing the same amount of work the final cost of goods would most likely escalate quickly and sharply. Our highest elected officials and law makers know this and they are in in bed with hughe corporations that thrive on you being able to buy lots of stuff cheap. I've been driving for over 20 years now and it is really really sad. I can't believe anyone wants to see their social ranking go backwards but years ago a trucker was considered a hard working member of the middle class who had a chance to send the kids to higher education. Now you'd be lucky to work a lifetime just to afford 7 years of retirement in an adult diapper with a herniated disc, high blood pressure, and clogged arteries. If you want the truth about this career simply ask a trucker.

June 15 2010 at 8:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Holli

WELL BADBOY I DIDNT SAY THEY WERE BOTH PERFECT, THERE ARE ISSUES ON BOTH SIDES, LOOK AT CONSOLIDATED FREIGHT, THOSE EMPOYEES MADE THAT CO. WHAT IT WAS BUT UNION & GOVERNMENT LET MANGT STEEL ALL THEIR BUSINESS & GIVE IT TO THE NON UNION SIDE OF SAME CO.5000 AMERICANS OUT OF JOBS & NO ONE DID ANYTHING. I WORKDED FOR NON UNION CO.FOR 16 YRS, THEY TOLD US NOT TO WORRY WE WERE SAFE, BUT ONE DAY SHUT DOWN GOING TO MEXICO, HAD THE GALL TO ASK ME TO GO TO MEXICO TO TRAIN NEW WORKERS, WHICH I WOULD OF THOUGHT ABOUT IF I KNEW I HAD A JOB AFTERWARD, BUT NO I WOULD BE LET GO AFTER. THESE LARGE CO. THAT WERE MADE SUCESSFUL ON THE BACKS,BLOOD,SWEAT & TEARS OF AMERICAN WORKERS SHOULD BE BANNED OR TAXED THRU THE ASS TO BRING THOSE SAME GOODS BACK IN US. GREED, UNION OR NON UNION IS WHAT IT BOILS DOWN TO. OSAMA BIN LADEN DOES NOT HAVE TO ATTACK US, WE ARE BEING DESTROYED FROM THE INSIDE, OUR OWN, BET HE IS LAUGHING HIS ASS OFF AT US WITH THIS MESS WE ARE IN. OUR GOV DOESNT REALY CARE, LINE THEIR POCKETS & RUN LIKE HELL THE WOLE BUNCH OUT TO BE KICKED OUT, THEY KNEW WHAT WAS GOING ON & KNEW THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WERE NOT PAYING ATTENTION. SAME WITH PEARL HARBOR & 9/11,WHEN WILL WE WAKE UP.

June 15 2010 at 3:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ray Perry

It's probably about the 'fairest' you can expect because beginning drivers usually make less per mile. Does the $25 per stop include the initial p/u and del? Usually companies only pay extra if there are multiple pickups or deliveries. If they are paying you $25 for the only stop that is a little better than most.

It's also important to know how long you will be sitting at the end of the trip before the bring you back. If they make you wait too long for a load back that could be a real problem. Also will you be able to perch at a decent truck stop while doing any waiting or sleeping or will you be trying to find some place to park and wait/sleep with no services? Some of those little towns in the midwest don't have a lot of places you can park a while if you need to. A lot goes into analyzing just how good or bad a deal is. At 29 cents per mile the pay is not that good but if other factors are good it may be worth it for a while until you get some experience and can expect higher pay.

June 15 2010 at 1:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
daniel locatelli

hi truckers im new to the industry and a company is wanting me to work for
29 cents a mile and 25 dallors for each stop is that a fair. I will be driving there truck running from ca.
to mid west and back. please let me know what you think thanks.

June 15 2010 at 1:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kathy

Well let me tell you our situation. We lost our retail business of 17 years, 3 years ago, and my husband looked non-stop for employment he's 58) now so do the math, my point is no one wanted a man his age....after being turned down because of excuses, like "over qualified" or not experience4d in the field, he decided to go to truck dring school, (a cost of $3500) that was the last of our savings. He did great and passed and started to apply at all the trucking outfits. Well, the ONE thing the trucking school doesn't inform you of, is that NO ONE is going to hire you without a Minimum ONE YEAR of experience! Every where he went it was the same thing. How is someone supposed to get experiience if no one will hire you? Wasted time and money thrown away for what?

June 15 2010 at 6:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
john shiverdecker

i got laid off from trucking a year ago,and i dont miss it,done it for twenty four years,all companys want is for you to live for them,get that load their and dont be late.and every cop along the way has there hand out,so do anything but trucking it sucks,,,

June 15 2010 at 3:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ray Perry

NO, drivers can not drive 14 straight hours. You can drive 11 hours in the next 14 hours after you log on duty after a minimum 10 hour break. For example if you show your required by law pre-trip inspection at 0600 hours you can drive 11 of the next 14 hours until 2000 hours, or 8:00 PM. Realistically though, since you are paid by the mile and get nothing for all the time you spend tending to your vehicle, waiting to load or unload, fueling, driving miles out of route to buy fuel at a mandatory fuel stop for which you get nothing extra, swapping trailers, waiting for repairs, sitting in traffic and other overhead functions you have to do, it becomes a miracle anytime you can actually drive 500 miles in a day and you can do 500 miles most of the time in about 8 hours, out of the 14 hour day. So, 500 miles @ .35 is 175 dollars or about $12.50 per hour. You may get that much 2 or 3 times in a 7-day week on the road. Eating at no telling what kind of places, showering in fungus infested stalls if at all, trying to rest in the truck with all kinds of noises around you, maybe your heat or a/c not working and company won't repair until they are damn good and ready, lot lizards, queers and panhandlers pounding on your door all night. Not so good if you ask me.

And you can only work 70 hours in an 8-day period anyway, not 14 hours per day, day after day. You can do 70 hours in 5 days and be legal but then you have to sit for a 34 hour period, earning nothing, maybe a thousand miles from anywhere you want to be, with your dispatcher sending you message after message demanding to know when you are going to get going. It isn't they who have to go face to snout with those DOT people so they drive you as hard as you will let them. Then if you don't say 'how high' on the way up after they say 'frog' they will make you sit somewhere for 3 or 4 days instead of the usual 1 or 2. Lots of luck, you corrupt weasel trucking companies trying to get your required number of drivers because the new laws coming will make it even worse for drivers. It is setting the stage for foreign drivers who don't care if they only make $300 a week. They can make it on that. Mark my words. It's happening and it's no accident. The destruction of the American working middle class.

June 15 2010 at 3:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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