PHOENIX — By the end of the year, there will be a need for nearly 50,000 truck drivers across the country. A new report from the American Truck Association said if that trend continues, the shortage could expand to 175,000 by 2024.
The Arizona Trucking Association is facing challenges bringing new local drivers into the fold. Association president Tony Bradley said quality of life is one concern for prospective drivers.
“They may go out on a run, and may not be home for 18 days,” he said.
But Bradley said another concern for prospective drivers is that people do not respect truck drivers as they did in the past.
“This mindset in our public has really changed and that respect factor we found is the biggest factor for people not wanting to enter the marketplace,” he said.
When it comes to finding new drivers, the Arizona Trucking Association has worked with the state legislature to make it easier for veterans to enter the industry. Veterans who have driven large trucks in the military can use that experience when they apply for a commercial vehicle license.
With the median age of truckers at 49-years-old, Bradley said they are trying to peak interest in a younger generation.
“We’ve introduced [high schoolers] to professional truck drivers who do talk about their quality of life,” said Bradley. “We hope that later on when those individuals are looking at careers that they had that positive experience with a truck driver, and they may consider a job in trucking.”
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