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Shortage of Truck Drivers

Shortage of Truck Drivers

The drivers employed by major trucking companies, such as the Buchanan Hauling & Rigging, can earn more money as compared to working for any other average wage industry in Indiana, but the enterprise is still have difficulty in finding safe, healthy and experienced truck drivers to operate their 18-wheelers. The company has, on several occasions, expressed its concerns about the shortage of drivers which is the major constraint in the expansion of the organization.

Buchanan Hauling & Rigging, a Fort Wayne based trucking company, has more than 300 truck drivers, but is on the constant lookout for more experienced drivers. The owner of the company, Geary Buchanan expressed his views on the shortage of drivers by stating that a job with his company to drive a truck, has regional opportunities and starting a career with long haul freight trucks can open doors for the specialized heavy duty haul division trucks, which pay more.

He further stated that the type of assignments they get depends on the experience, preference, home-time requirement and the need of the driver. He said, “We have the ability to commit to more freight and purchase more equipment, but qualified, experienced drivers are simply not available. This is not just a Fort Wayne issue or a northeast Indiana regional issue; it is a major national industry issue.”

According to the last report, prepared by the American Trucking Association, by Chief Economist and senior VP, Bob Costello, the existing trucking infrastructure has a need of at least 47,500 drivers. This is a shocking fact, as this figure is a lot more than the existing quantity of 38,000 drivers, employed by the trucking companies over the country. The report further explains that if the economic situation in the country improves, this shortfall will increase to the extent of 73,500. The Truck Driver Shortage Analysis 2015 report, has also projected that if this shortage trend continues, there will be a shortfall of at least 174,500 drivers by 2024.

This shortage can be major reason behind the supply-chain disruptions, shipping delays, higher inventory costs and major shortages of products in stores across the country. There are, however, many factors that are contributing to the shortage of drivers. One of the major reasons is the stress and extreme demands of the job as well as the disadvantage of the trucking industry due to the age constraints, as it cannot hire employees straight out of high school.

The drivers that are new to the job are given routes that put them on the road for a week or more, at a time. But as the economic conditions are improving, the trucking companies are competing with each other to offer less stressful routes and less demanding job criteria for the same wage.

Barb Hunt, VC of Indiana motor truck association said, “Indiana’s in line with what’s going on nationally. If you talk to any trucking company in the state of Indiana, I’m sure most of them would tell you they could use more drivers to move the freight that they have opportunities to move. Every driver has a smart phone and can complete an application right from their phone. The speed of the application and verification process has improved over the past few years and is much more efficient.”

She further said, “All of this technology is great, but it still comes down to a people business. That aspect will never change. We want to get the driver on the phone with our recruiter so they know who we are, what we do and that we are a growing family business and will take care of them.” – See more at:

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