Thousands Of Trucker Jobs Openings, Despite Pay Of $45,000 A Year

Increased government scrutiny of the safety of the nation's trucking industry is contributing to a shortage of long-haul truck drivers. But it's not resulting in more jobs for some of the nearly 13 million unemployed Americans who can't find employment, USA Today reports.

"It's getting harder to get drivers," Mike Card, president of Combined Transport of Central Point, Ore., and incoming chairman of the American Trucking Associations, tells the newspaper. "I could hire 50 guys right now," says Card, who currently employs nearly 400 truck drivers.

A rise in the number of retiring baby boomers is contributing to the dwindling numbers of commercial truck drivers, the report says.

Other factors impeding hiring of new truck drivers include:

  • Young people who aren't interested in long-haul-trucking careers, which often require them be away from home for weeks at a time.
  • The training course is expensive for unemployed workers. Many unemployed construction and factory workers simply can't afford the $4,000 to $6,000 cost of a six-week driver-training course to obtain a commercial driver's license and meet individual states' regulatory requirements.
  • Truck drivers must be at least 21, leading many 18-year-olds who might consider trucking as a profession to pursue other trades, such as plumbing.
  • Trucking companies raised their standards. Recent publication of trucking companies' safety records by the federal government have led employers to hire only drivers with unblemished records, further reducing the applicant pool.

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CareerBuilder says it has more than 35,000 job openings for truck drivers in its database. The job-search portal notes that the average national salary for a licensed commercial trucker is $44,500, and the top cities hiring for these positions are Chicago, Dallas and Columbus, Ohio.

The shortage of qualified drivers has prompted some trucking firms to poach truckers from other companies.

Competition among trucking companies has become so fierce that drivers are continually lured by better offers, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Job turnover rates for drivers at large, interstate fleets rose 2 percent to 90 percent during the first three months of the year, the highest in four years, according to the Trucking Activity Report, published by the American Trucking Associations.

The report notes that the rate of increase is even higher among smaller fleet operators -- up 16 percent to 71 percent.

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Still, some within the industry question whether there is indeed a shortage of drivers. Rather, they say, truckers are being pickier about the jobs they are taking.

Writing recently on the Truck News Blog, a contributor named Stephen Large says he has to pay good drivers $35 to 40 an hour. "And it has to be local work, or they are not interested."

He further blames "too many ridiculous rules and regulations in the industry, and shippers and receivers who treat truck drivers poorly."

The solution to the problem is common sense, wrote another commenter, named Desiree Wood. In part, she said, "Pay a living wage [and] do not treat drivers like second class citizens."

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Hey Jason you're right New York is paying $40 an hour, but if you go over the George Washington Bridge into New Jersey. Then the 90% of the companies want to cut that pay by half. And yet they want you to do deliveries New York 99% of the time.

April 20 2014 at 9:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Anybody who the check to the driver should be for unions,they protect us. Guarantee our pays. And they could hold companies liable for illegal employment practices. Why do you think companies don't want you to have a union.

April 20 2014 at 9:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Omer combs I feel for you. The trucking companies want all this experience,and for you to have a clean license. Because of the insurance give them that and you still will be underpaid.

April 20 2014 at 9:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I live in south jersey,verizon cell phone employee out here get paid with commission between 45,000 and 75,000 a year,and working 40 hours a week.yet today a truck driver gets about the 35,000 and up to 65,000 a year.and at that they have to work a lot of overtime to make that kind of pay. Tractor-trailer drivers have to be responsible for equipment responsible for the load and game today's destination on time .their life on the line their licenses have all these endorsements twik cards get fingerprinted . Not only that but being away from their families. Just to be underpaid big time. We are the backbones of America and yet we get treated like trash. Wake up truck drivers we need to protest. These big companies are making the record breaking profits. Yet they want to pay us crumbs to move their loads.

April 20 2014 at 9:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Alot of negative comments. You only do otr to gain experience or to get paid to see the country Then move on to a local job that pays hourly. UPS pays 100k a year. Most other local truck jobs start at 20 an hour. You go into NYC and your making 40 an hour.

January 14 2014 at 10:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Omer Combs

I have class a went to driving school got 15000 miles driving exper. otr. no one will hire me even as a team driver . every company wants at least year. if any body can tell what can I do to get work

January 23 2013 at 7:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Robert K

A friend of mine was being forced to drive another 15 hour run 2 hours after coming in from another 15 hour run when he refused he was fired. He went to the DOT for help, They would not do anything for him or against the company. Its all a big scam and the trucker catches hell from both sides

September 18 2012 at 3:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Robert K

Many truckers get cheated on miles. These companys use different ways to calculate miles driven, zipcode miles, household movers guide, and city limit miles. These methods can cheat the driver of up to 200 miles a day. Now if you are a owner operator this can add up to a big loss in earnings. Now lets look at port charges drop and pickup fees of $30 , sweepout fee $75 , bad tire fee $300 for rotten tires that are 10 years old. burned out light fee $20, Some docks charge unload fee or loading fee. That is why there is a demand for truckers, many have wised up and wont take this bull S--t anymore.

September 18 2012 at 3:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I later found out any time Stevens fires anyone for any reason, they put a bill collector on someone and make upan accident lie in an effort to milk more money out of you. I also found out that they get $10,000 from the government for each person that they train. Once they get their $10,000, they look to get rid of you to put someone else in the truck. If the government will stop giving these companies our tax dollars, maybe then they'd make an effort to keep their drivers. Personally, yes the pay sucked, but I loved being on the road. I loved being as far from Miami as possible. I miss it, but why go work for another company when they're all the same. Hey Walton8er is dead on with his post!

July 17 2012 at 7:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

These trucking companies are always crying they need drivers. In April of 2007, I got a job driving for Stevens Transport, based in Dallas. On a Friday in September I got sick on their yard, what did they do? They ordered me to go to the hospital. After every test was ran on me and found nothing was wrong with me, they sent me to their company doctor for a follow up check up on the following Monday. This quack didn't even look at me but made a diagnosis that I had fainting spells. Just like that they sent me home. I had to pay for a rental car to get my belongings home, and never got reimbursed a penny. They later told their insurance company that they fired me a week before they actually did, essentially sticking me with over $3000 in hospital bills. To add insult to injury, they put a bill collector after me one year after they fired me, claiming a had an accident when there was no accident.

July 17 2012 at 6:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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