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3 mins read

OCTOBER 15, 2019 – For the third year in a row, the driver shortage was ranked as the number one issue in the trucking industry according to The American Transportation Research Institute’s (ATRI’s) annual survey.

The Institute released the results of their large-scale survey last week, which included responses from motor carriers, commercial drivers and other industry stakeholders. Respondents were asked to select what they believed to be the three top issues in the trucking industry from a list of 28 possibilities. Almost one-third of respondents ranked the driver shortage as the industry’s top issue.

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A Proposed Solution

With the driver shortage estimated at 60,000 by the American Trucking Associations (ATA) – a number that is projected to grow in the coming years – respondents were asked to provide a possible solution to this problem. The vast majority of respondents advocated for getting younger drivers behind the wheel faster by making it possible for 18-21 year olds to operate commercial motor vehicles in interstate commerce. An apprenticeship program to attract, train and retain younger drivers was proposed, which aligns well with the DRIVE-Safe Act that was reintroduced in Congress earlier this year. If enacted into law, this program would provide on-the-job training to 18-21 year olds to enable them to work as interstate drivers.

Related Article: Want to Keep Drivers? Focus on the Issues They Care About

Other Top Issues

Hours of Service issues and driver compensation rounded out the top three trucking issues for 2019, followed by:

  • Detention/Delay at Customer Facilities
  • Truck Parking
  • Driver Retention
  • Electronic Logging Device Mandate
  • Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)
  • Transportation Infrastructure/Congestion/Funding
  • Economy

This was the first time in the history of the ATRI survey that driver compensation made the list. The theory, is that the issue of pay has taken a front seat in the industry as fleets try to attract drivers.

Falling just short of making the list were issues around driver distraction, driver training standards and insurance cost/availability. To download and read the full report, please click here.

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