GRAND RAPIDS (G.R. Business Journal) -- In recent years, the truck-driving industry has been hit hard with a driver shortage, and industry veterans say the shortage likely will begin to have a serious negative ripple effect on industries across the country if the trend continues.
Recent numbers have estimated the trucking industry is experiencing a shortfall of 30,000 drivers, with projections estimating the need for truck drivers will increase by 330,000 more jobs by 2020. Currently, the U.S. Bureau of Labor puts the number of tractor-trailer and heavy-truck drivers at 1.6 million.
Several factors have been credited with causing the driver shortage: retirements; desire to be home with family; lower wages than competing industries; changes in technology; federal regulation changes; company policies regarding years of experience, criminal record, etc.; and negative stereotypes that have proven hard to overcome.
Dale Arnold, recruiting and retention manager for NTBTRK, a regional trucking company that covers eight states, said there has been a shortage of quality drivers for several years, but he's noticed it's become even harder during the past year to fill open positions.
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Grand Rapids Business Journal