Driver Shortage Tops Industry Issues for 2018

Lindsey Bergeron

NOVEMBER 8, 2018 – For the second 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 26 possibilities. Almost one-third of respondents ranked the driver shortage as the industry’s top issue.

A Proposed Solution

With the driver shortage estimated at 50,000 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 introduced in the House of Representatives 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.

Source: American Transportation Research Institute Critical Issues in the Trucking Industry – 2018

Other Top Issues

Hours of Service issues and driver retention rounded out the top three trucking issues for 2018, followed by:

  • Electronic Logging Device mandate
  • Truck Parking
  • Compliance, Safety, Accountability
  • Driver Distraction
  • Transportation Infrastructure/Congestion/Funding
  • Driver Health and Wellness
  • Economy

Falling just short of making the list were issues around highway safety and crash reduction, tort reform and automated truck technology. To download and read the full report, please click here.

About the Author

Lindsey Bergeron is Editor of the Foley blog. Serving as transportation guru, she keeps an eye on the industry and its day-to-day evolution and developments, specifically writing about the various lifestyle, business and regulatory topics that are most relevant to motor carriers. Holding a degree in Journalism and Political Science from the University of Connecticut, she ran a successful content marketing firm before joining Foley at its Hartford hub. Her current expertise in transportation writing is built upon an extensive background in editing, feature writing and content development.

6 thoughts on “Driver Shortage Tops Industry Issues for 2018”

  1. We wouldn’t have driver shortage if the eld didn’t come into place these company drivers cant make any money otr drivers are out on the road for 2 weeks sometimes a month at a time and cant gross over 800 bucks a week they are always waiting at shippers and receivers fort atleast 3 to 5 hrs at a time and their clocks running down putting them into a reset of 10 hrs this eld is gonna cause drivers to complete get out of this career of work the incline of driver shortage is showing this adding 2 more hrs to our clock is not gonna help the problem to solve this problem the clock should stop counting down when loading or off loading is being done by a shipper or reciever otr drivers do not assist in unloading and loading so we are in our trucks napping or just sitting in a drivers lounge.

  2. They need to eliminate the “FREE DETENTION TIME” that shippers and receivers get and take full advantage of. If a driver is late 5 minutes they are penalized and if the shipper/ receiver is late or slow the driver has to accept it, why?

  3. Anybody who has driven for a living for a time realizes that its a stress full occupation, full of rules and regulations that seem to pick on the drivers more than the companies for one thing, second is that the roads are full of people who don’t treat driving with the respect that it requires, people seem to think driving is something you do while multi-tasking on electronic devices, eating or whatever else.
    Road rage is another problem while law enforcement has the attitude that its always the truckers fault.
    I started driving in 1979, back then there were fewer cars on the road and you could actually enjoy your work. I was young not married or tied down so it was easy. THIS is why they want to recruit younger drivers hoping that they aren’t tied down and wanting to be home in their own bed at night.
    BUT younger people liking to have fun in life are more apt to be spending downtime in bars or establishments of that sort, and yes I did while the short time I was OTR, having fun in truck stops with other drivers sharing our on road experiences, which now a days is a no-no with all the regulations.
    I now drive my own dump truck, working rental 8 hrs a day 5/6 days a week and I want to be off the road by 4pm because our roads are like driving in a demolition derby with people driving like idiots, cutting you off causing panic stops more than once during the day, and having to sit in traffic just makes it a less appealing job.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *