Trucking companies are having a tough time hiring enough drivers for long haul jobs. It's estimated there is a shortage of more than 200,000 truck drivers nationwide.
Ohio trucking companies are experiencing the same shortage according to Larry Davis, President of the Ohio Trucking Association. Davis says many older truck drivers are retiring, and companies are trying to make the on-the-road jobs more attractive to fewer younger drivers.
Davis tells AkronNewsNow " Companies are all about trying to figure out how to make it better for the driver, because if he sees the company next door offering two cents more a mile, or he gets to come home every third night and I don't get to come home but every two weeks, people will move from one job to another." Larry Davis says the employee turnover rate is very high in the trucking industry.
Davis says younger drivers want more time with their families, especially on weekends. He admits that weeks away from home as a long-haul trucker can be tough on family life, and that's why companies are trying to make changes to the typical work week.
One method the trucking companies used over the past decade was to hire older husband and wife teams, whose adult children had already left home, and have them pair up on delivery trips, allowing them to be together for those long cross country deliveries that could last last a couple of weeks or more.
Larry Davis says the trucking industry has proposed an idea to help ease the shortage. " We suggested to the feds that they start looking at the kids coming back from the military that have been across the pond, driving semis over there and they come back and they're not 21 yet. They ought to be able to get a CDL, and drive one here in this country," says Davis. The current minimum age for a commercial drivers license is 21.