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People aren’t “into the life” of trucking anymore, companies say

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Small trucking companies in Missouri are struggling to hire new drivers and are blaming the driver shortage on people no longer being “into the life” of trucking. 

Ken Pratt of Ken Pratt Trucking in Missouri says that truck drivers have always been in high demand, but these days the hiring pool seems especially dry. 

“There’s always been a demand for truck drivers,” Pratt said. “But the problem with truck drivers right now is they’re older and not a lot of the young people are coming into this industry.”

Pratt says that most of his drivers are 50-70 years old, and will soon retire, leaving him without drivers. He says that he notices misconceptions about the life of a truck driver the most when he’s training new-hires. Pratt says that some people looking to get into the industry don’t realize how emotionally and physically demanding it can be, especially now that trucking is not as glamorized as it used to be back in the day. 

“I just don’t think people are into the life of being able to live on the road for a week at a time,” he said to News-Press Now. “Some of them are even out three weeks at a time.”

However, even Missouri trucking companies with regional positions are having a hard time filling seats. 

“I do have a few younger guys that come in and this might be a stomping ground for them to work for me for a little bit,” said Rodman Brandt, owner of Economy Express Trucking, Inc. “Most of them like that, they are out and back the same day and get to go home to their own bed at night, but the problem is finding ones interested in the long-haul routes.”

“If there’s a product out there and a consumer is using it, it usually always came by truck,” Brandt said. “So, we really need more younger people to start considering this as a career and it’s not a bad one at all. A lot of drivers out there are making at least six figures.”

“It’s nothing to make between $60,000 and $70,000 a year for anybody, even if you don’t have an education,” Pratt said. “All you need is a CDL and you can be out there and sort of function as your own boss.”

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