Shortage of Truck Drivers

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The American Trucking Associations says companies need to hire 100,000 drivers a year over the next 10 years to keep up with industry growth.

"Everybody's always looking for drivers. it's a higher turnover industry," said Aaron Nawrot, a truck driver.

Instructors at International Trucking School say some of the reasons there was shortage comes down to stricter rules for hiring requirements.

"The state of Michigan changed their testing requirements in October two years ago. They wanted to make the test a little bit tougher," explained Andrew Lattimer who's an instructor at International Trucking School.
"They wanted Michigan to go from the easy pass state if you will, make a better quality driver so that's a little tougher on us."

There's also federal requirements.

"An individual cannot receive their CDL which is your commercial driver licence until they're 21 years of age, and so.... they're looking at other occupations because they don't want to wait especially if you're just come out of high school."

This wasn't always the case.

"A few years ago right around recession time, when we were doing a lot of truck driver training, we had individuals who weren't getting jobs," said Edythe Hatter-Williams with Capital Area Michigan Works. "So then we stopped providing the training."

Now that it's back in demand.

"We see lots and lots more students coming through, the carriers even take the opportunity to come in and talk to the students," said Lattimer.

Hoping to fill 30,000 to 35,000 empty seats.

The company "Ryder" says women may be the key to unlocking the truck driver shortage. It has a female-friendly vehicle package with several unique specifications, like ergonomically designed seats that its customers can lease.