RFX Blog

Is the Trucking Industry Seeing a Boom Right Now?

October 4th, 2012

Trucking Industry Growth

Image Source: Flickr/Damian Gadal

While many industries these days are struggling with the idea of reducing their workforce and facing cutbacks in order to survive these tough economic times, that is not the case in the trucking industry. This career field is seeing an impressive increase in the number of trucking jobs available, and experts believe there will be even more opportunities presented should the economy begin to rebound.

Reasons for Shortage

A number of factors have led to a shortage of truckers. One major factor is that new government regulations have limited the number of hours truckers can work in a 70-hour period which resulted in a decrease in the miles that can be driven and essentially a smaller paycheck. New regulations also call for tougher standards on DOT physicals which are required in order to obtain a Commercial Driver’s License. There are also newer and stricter laws that have come into effect for logging and staying legal on the road. If violations are found, under the current CSA system, these scores follow drivers around for three years which has made it more difficult for drivers with poor records to find new jobs. All of these factors have resulted in fewer people wanting to enter the profession, as well as a number of seasoned drivers to call it quits over their frustration with the newly implemented regulations under FMSCA.

Good News

The shortage of truck drivers is good news for people who have been out of work during the past few months and even years. Some industries, such as construction and manufacturing, have only seen sluggish growth which has made it nearly impossible for people to find work in their profession. Many unemployed workers who are frustrated with the economy have decided to make a new career change and try over-the-road truck driving. While that has helped to fill some of the shortages, many more positions nonetheless remain unfilled.

Types of People

People from a diverse group of occupations are now turning to trucking in order to make a living. Many of them are blue-collar workers that were formerly employed in the business world. Men and women alike are considering the possibility of driving big rigs, and many couples are also electing to become husband and wife driving teams. Construction workers, mechanics, and machinists are also taking up the call to hit the open road as an eighteen-wheel independent contractor. This allows them to have a job that does not involve sitting behind a desk and satisfies their need to enjoy the freedom of the road.

Military Connection

Several trucking companies are welcoming veterans who are returning from the war. Many service members already have experience driving heavy equipment, and therefore have an easier transition into driving a big rig. For example, the state of Virginia has recently passed legislation allowing two military bases in that state to provide CDL training to soldiers. Their hope is that by doing so, those who are finished or almost finished with their service will have an easier time finding employment because they will not have to go through a formal training program to obtain their CDL.

It’s easy for people to become discouraged when they are looking for work and at every turn they only find rejection letters and dead ends. Despite these difficult economic times there can be a ray of hope for those who are willing to consider a career as a truck driver. The demand for drivers is only expected to increase over the next few months, which means there are plenty of well-paying opportunities available for those who believe they would be a good fit for the open road.

Posted on October 4th, 2012 in Trucking Industry