It’s no secret there’s a truck driver shortage in the U.S. More and more experienced truck drivers are retiring or leaving the industry all together, and less people are entering the field to fill the hole.
The American Trucking Association released a 92-page report called Benchmarking Guide for Driver Recruitment and Retention is a hiring handbook, if you will, that includes interview questions, anecdotes, hiring statistics and more. The report states that 90% of carriers cannot find experienced truck drivers to fill open positions, and many are turning to driving schools.
We found more and more carriers are considering hiring inexperienced drivers and are turning to truck driver training schools to help them place those drivers, ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said. Demand for new, inexperienced drivers is likely to increase at a faster pace than in the past. Fifty-six percent of truckload fleets we spoke with said while they currently do not hire inexperienced drivers, they are considering hiring these drivers.
The report also noted these key findings:
¢ Demand for new, inexperienced drivers is likely to increase at a faster pace than in the past. Fifty-six percent of truckload respondents that currently do not hire inexperienced drivers say that they are considering hiring these drivers.
¢ 88 percent of fleets not finding enough drivers say that they are getting applications, but the vast majority of applicants don’t meet the carriers’ standards.
¢ Half of respondents that had their own truck driver training school and closed it in recent years said they would consider reopening the school if they can’t get enough new drivers from their school partners. However, they all said this would be a last resort and that they would prefer not to reopen the school.
¢ Nearly one-quarter of fleets that have never had a school said they would consider opening one if the shortage got bad enough. In fact, two of the fleets surveyed that had schools just recently reopened them.
¢ The mean cost of hiring and training an inexperienced driver is $5,000, while the mean cost of hiring and training an experienced driver is $3,590.
¢ 91 percent of fleets that hire inexperienced drivers offer some sort of tuition reimbursement, with the majority paying the driver an average of $150 per month to a maximum of $5,000. Some fleets have recently increased the monthly payments to $200 and the maximum to $6,000.