Students wanted to fill the truck driver shortage
SUN PRAIRIE (WKOW) – The number of truckers on American roads is slowing.
Neal Kedzie, president of the Wisconsin Motor Carrier Association, said: “Before the pandemic we were about over a million, but we have lost a lot of long-distance drivers and we are now about 30,000 drivers.”
As the country moves away from the pandemic, large numbers of trucks like these are expected to remain parked.
Kedzie said: “We forecast a shortage of around 60,000 drivers nationwide within five years and that number could climb to one million drivers in 10 years.”
More demand and fewer drivers could mean higher prices and the Wisconsin Motor Carrier Association says our state is ready to help with this shortage.
Kedzie said, “94% of all products manufactured in the state of Wisconsin are transported by truck. Wisconsin has over 17,000 registered trucking companies.
Jerry Klabacka, owner of Diesel Driving School in Sun Prairie, said, “We actually closed for about two months last summer and then reopened when they started reopening some of the businesses.”
Even though Wisconsin has many trucking companies, owners say there aren’t enough students who want to drive these trucks.
Klabacka said: “It can be a very difficult lifestyle because you can be on the road for five to 10 days at a time.”
In addition, many long-haul truckers are advised to work their maximum of 14 hours as the demand for goods has increased since the opening of the country.
The owner of Diesel Driving School told 27 News that companies like Walmart offer salaries of up to $ 80,000 to truck drivers with clean driving records.