With the economy reopening and ecommerce sales still booming, truck drivers are needed now more than ever. As we previously discussed, trucking companies are adding new sign-on bonuses and increasing pay to entice drivers into the profession.
Will Rising Wages Resolve Driver Demand?
The good news for truck drivers is that wages are indeed going up. Business Insider even covered one driver whose pay rose from $40,000 to $70,000 a year!
The question for the industry is whether or not the rising pay will resolve the demand for more drivers.
Some trucking companies have noted that increases in pay are leading drivers to jump from company to company as they follow the best wages and the sign-on bonuses. This problem is easily solved, however. Trucking companies need to put just as much effort (and bonuses) into retaining drivers as they put into getting drivers to sign on in the first place.
Another issue for the industry is that many long-haul drivers are using the pay raise to trade driving time for home time. Over-the-road driving is always a balance between making money on the road and spending time at home with friends and/or family.
Again, this is a problem easily solved with even higher wages. If one OTR driver only wants to work 4 days a week, higher pay can entice a second driver to join a company’s ranks.
A third problem for the so-called “driver shortage” is that many drivers are signing on to drive, but they are quickly leaving the industry.
This problem is not easily solved with even higher pay. This is a problem of awareness, and it’s one reason that Class A Drivers created a comprehensive “Become a Truck Driver” section on our website to answer any questions someone might have about driving as a career.
Truck driving is an exciting career, and it is one of the few jobs left that offers a great salary without needing advanced degrees or a lot of technical training.
On the other hand, long-haul driving, which is how many drivers must get their start, is isolating. For those who aren’t used to spending long stretches of time alone, including sleeping in the cab, truck driving can be a real challenge.
With increased pay and also increased awareness of the job itself though, we’re confident that enough drivers will be hired, and America’s economy can reopen strong in 2021.