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The Truck Driver Shortage Myth:
The Biggest 'Untruth'
in the Trucking Industry Today

A truck driver shortage? Nothing could be further from the truth. Perhaps the biggest myth in our industry today, is that there aren't enough truck drivers, to fill the truck driving jobs available..... and worse yet, the problem continues to escalate, now in the year 2013.

There is NO truck driver shortage. There are plenty of drivers with a commercial driver's license, and plenty more being pumped out of truck driving training schools every day.

What is really missing? The cost of living continues to increase, while driver wages, have stayed the same, and in fact have decreased, since way back in the 1960's.

Wages back then allowed qualified truckers to earn a fair wage, support a family and be members of the 'middle class' wage earners.

Even though the unemployment rates continue to climb, many claim there is still a truck driver shortage in Canada and the U.S. Why?


shortage of pay, not drivers

Truck driving has gone from being a good paying career, to earning a subsistence living over the past number of years. Truck driver pay today, falls 'way short' in so many ways.


drivers aren't paid for their hard work

A trucker's wages aren't enough to own a home, car, cover the kid's education, and all the other expenses incurred by a family.

This work is no longer considered a 'good paying job', by most. A trucker incurs on-the-road expenses daily. The average meal on the road today, is at least $10. At 3 meals per day, at $30, EVERYDAY, plus any personal expenses, really adds up and cuts deeply into the wages of the trucker.

Besides meal costs on the road, the trucker often works at least 14 hour days, often without overtime, especially if a mileage rate is paid. The wages don't pay enough for a hotel at night, which could in some cases, could be very close to an entire day's pay.

Semi drivers are paid by the mile and expected to sit for free at the docks, in traffic jams and are subject to job related DOT fines. There's no decent money in this industry as a truck driver any more.

There's too many people taking advantage of the driver. Truckers should be paid by the hour, with benefits and a good pension for years of service.

Hard work deserves fair wages. But that's just a pipe dream, I know.......to give the North American trucker a pension, wont' make a hierarchy of teamster board members, rich.

The poor pay, however, starts with the poor freight rates. The shippers pay as little as they can get away with, and in turn so do the carriers..... and we all know what rolls 'down hill'.......the truck driver is at the bottom of the food chain, and he gets the most 'raw deal' of all.

We've let the shippers away with this criminal act for a long, long time. Freight rates aren't even close to what they should be.

Even in the event, that a shipper DOES pay a carrier well, the carrier doesn't always pass on the extra $$ to the trucker. It would be difficult to calculate just how much to pass on the trucker, as not all customers of the carrier are likely 'fair payers'.


UNemployment insurance benefits pay better

Another reason trucking isn't a 'sought after' job,....when the government provides E.I. programs that pay as well as a lousy driving job, why bother to get a job?

The governments of the U.S. and Canada need to take a closer look at their unemployment benefit programs, too. Just another issue that adds to this so-called 'truck driver shortage' problem of ours.


Lousy Working Conditions & Lifestyle

The hours of service regulations and rules get tighter and tighter as time goes on, the government and other agencies continue to grind out new policies and laws which rarely take the truck driver's well-being into consideration.

The regs are make up by people who have no empathy for the truck driver whatsoever. And yet at the same time, they cry 'truck driver shortage'? No wonder.

As part of the trucker's job, he is expected to do much more than drive a truck. He's expected to be a mechanic and fix this and fix that, inspect the truck including under the truck in lousy weather conditions, be responsible for mounds of documentation, drive in bad weather, heavy traffic among bad drivers, in dangerous situations, and more.

There's also the issue of leading an unhealthy lifestyle. Sleeping in a truck, eating meals on the fly, away from the comforts of home, are just some of the factors which contribute to the overall poor health of many truck drivers.

The life style of a trucker isn't conducive to healthy relationships. The job and it's demands, cause undue stress on relationships and families, which most of the public, fail to recognize.

Truck drivers are often unfairly criticized and treated poorly. They are heavily criticized, mostly by folks who don't know much about the trucking industry and at the same time, don't realize how much they rely on it.

It takes a special set of skills to be a truck driver. Contrary to popular belief by the general public, it's not a job that just 'any one' can do, nor is it a job that just 'anyone' WANTS to do!

Given the poor working conditions, along with the poor pay, there's not much appeal left in the job


What's the Solution to the Shortage of Drivers?

1. Perhaps 'truck driving' ought to be recognized by the governments as an official skilled trade, with decent truck driving training programs and apprentice programs.

2. Truck driver wages need to increase and need to be paid by the hour, like other trades and professions.



The Future of the Truck Driver Shortage Problem

There's not much incentive for drivers to stay in trucking or for new drivers to take up a truck driving career. As truckers of retirement age leave the industry, the industry doesn't exactly roll out a nice welcome mat for potential new drivers.

If someone could make more money as a 'heavy equipment operator', driving a bulldozer and be at home every night, why be a trucker?

The military can attract guys and they are away often a year at a time. The difference? The pay is good.

Driving a tractor trailer in North America is fast becoming a job solely for immigrants, who will work for less money, as that is what they are accustomed to in their own country, or that is what they need to do, to stay in this country. Wait until the cost of living in the U.S. and Canada catches up with them... then they'll know they can't work for peanuts.


Stop the lies!

Truck driver shortage? No way. But, the industry needs to smarten up and pay truckers a fair wage.

There just aren't enough incentives to keep the skilled, experienced drivers in the industry and attract new blood. The skilled, professional drivers left in the industry, are taking up the few local by-the-hour best trucking jobs, or taking up new careers.

There's no truck driver shortage there's plenty of qualified drivers. But, not enough qualified drivers WANT a mediocre paying job with miserable working conditions, and to add insult to injury, ARE NOT TREATED WELL AND WITH RESPECT.


Will Driving a truck for a living ever be as good as it once was?

Sadly, I doubt that it will ever happen. But, it could easily be better than what it is now.


More trucker comments 

**There is no truck driver shortage, there is only a shortage of companies that respect the driver enough to follow through a commitment made during the hire. (Gary Woodley, Huntsville, ON)

**Another problem is companies have been getting away with not hiring drivers directly. The service was suppose to service a daily temp. driver, then after a probation period, they hired you. I think the government needs to step in and regulate this problem, then this would increase some of the wage problems.


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Trucker's Opinions on the Truck Driver Shortage Controversy!

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

Truck Driver Abuse 
You ask if there is a driver shortage? Well, I certainly hope so! I have been driving now for 35 years. I come from a family of truck drivers: my …

One Big Lie 
No, there is no need for more truck drivers. I have 13 years experience of being abused,overworked and not paid for my work. This industry has caused …

Truckers Are Spoiled: Work Harder 
Maybe some day the companies will wake up and pay their drivers and owner operators better. But even with a truck that is paid for, those with truck payments, …

Trucker Shortage 
Trucker shortage? No wonder. Here's my two cents. There wouldn't be if truckers were paid for the work they did , and paid fairly - Drivers should …

Apparently you can't be anything.  
Diabetes stands in front of my life everyday. I was a truck driver for 22 years and now have been fired because my body gave me a nice gift of diabetes. …

Ain't This the Truth! 
I for one, started in trucking in the 60's. The pay even then was middle of the road. If you worked hard and long hours though, you could drag down some …

No Shortage of Truck Drivers 
I do not believe there is a shortage of truck drivers in North America. What I do believe, is that there is a shortage of true professional truck drivers …

Only a Shortage of Honour 
I think what is missing in the trucking industry, is honour, not drivers. There is very little unity within the ranks of truck drivers and we are often …

Shortage? No way! 
I drove for 30+ years and in 1995, I pulled into the yard after being out on the road for almost two months. I walked in to give my paper work to the …

No Truck Driver Shortage!  
I do not believe there is a truck driver shortage in the trucking industry. I can't disagree with anything said. The reality is, you have the law of …

There IS no shortage.(at least not at the bottom feeders) Not rated yet
I lost a union job in healthcare right as the economy tanked. So after 2 years of unemployment payments(which were double what a made driving, I took my …

Truck driver shortage Not rated yet
There is no shortage of truck driver one city was looking for 4 bus drivers at $19.00 per hour to start and $23.72 after 3 years. The city had over 800 …

No Driver Shortage Not rated yet
There's no driver shortage or it would be easy to get a job. Trust me, for a newly trained driver, it's nearly impossible.

Shortage?  Not rated yet
There's no shortage of drivers. I've been trying for over a year as a newbie and I can't get hired anywhere.... plus the pay is poor.

The real reason... Not rated yet
The real and honest reason that most professional drivers will not drive over the road is because of the companies they work for and below average wages. …

Pay Shortage Rather Than Driver Shortage! Not rated yet
I couldn't have said it better myself! I was a trucker for over 15 years. I always had a clean record, on time delivery, and everything else that any trucking …

No, there isn't a shortage of truck drivers. Not rated yet
I'm becoming a truck driver in the entry level(temp A/Z) I don't have my full license yet and I got an job offer!(SWEET). In my opinion, drivers should …

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