The truck driver shortage is a symptom of a larger problem

truck driver shortage

Key Takeaways: 

  • Truck drivers are leaving the industry due to low pay, poor working conditions, a lack of work-life balance, and an aging population of drivers
  • Younger generations have lost interest in becoming truck drivers. 
  • The shortage of drivers will continue until companies take action to provide better working conditions and incentives. 

The truck driver shortage, which has resulted in massive delays at shipping hubs across the country, has become an increasingly hot topic over the past year as larger and larger companies struggle to find drivers willing to accept low pay and poor working conditions. The root cause of this problem goes far beyond one or two companies offering lower than market value for their labor; in fact, the truck driver shortage is just one symptom of a much larger problem that’s been festering in our economy for decades, with some serious consequences down the road if we don’t do something about it soon.

The actual cause of the driver shortage

There’s a truck driver shortage in America, and people are trying to find out why. Various factors contribute to the cause, such as insufficient pay, poor working conditions, an absence of work-life balance, and an aging population of drivers. Another significant contributing factor to this shortage is the lack of interest from newer generations entering the workforce.

For example, Millennials are now at the age where they can start their careers and drive big rigs across America, but they don’t want to because they feel it isn’t worth it. They’re looking for jobs with less risk, a better work-life balance, and work that leaves them feeling fulfilled. It is because of this combination of problems that we’re seeing a truck driver shortage in America.

What can we do about it?

Before we can fix the shortage, we need to start improving the working conditions, work-life balance, and pay of employed truck drivers in the United States. We can do this by recognizing that drivers are not just laborers who perform services for us; they are people. Truck drivers have families and communities that depend on their efforts to keep food on the table and necessities in stock.

Our lack of truck drivers should be seen as a red flag about the harmful effects of undervaluing our labor force, especially those that require long hours.

Will the shortage ever end?

As the trucking industry continues to evolve, it needs to focus on the needs of its drivers. Along with the pressures faced by drivers in their day-to-day work, trucking companies need to do more for their drivers. This can be done through investing in driver programs, providing better incentives and benefits, and creating a culture that genuinely cares for drivers. There are many ways we can fix the working conditions for truck drivers, but, if companies aren’t taking steps to do so, how can we expect the US truck driver shortage to end?

Stay up to date on industry insights by following us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. If you’re an Owner/Operator looking to work with a company that genuinely cares, click here to apply.