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Truck driver shortage is a frustrating situation with no clear solution for some small businesses

Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 6:29 PM EDT
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OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) - By the year 2028, more than 160,000 drivers could be needed after years of truck drivers leaving the industry, according to American Trucking Associations.

Some students are working to earn their CDL.

It was the first day of class for commercial driving students enrolled at Marion Technical College.

At the end of the eight week program, many of them will have a job already lined up.

“A lot of companies will not hire students, but we’ve had companies that in the history of that company have never hired students, they’re coming to us and asking us for students because they need drivers so bad,” Lead CDL Instructor and Examiner, Rickey Monroe said.

According to the American Trucking Associations, the trucking industry hauled 72 percent of all freight transported in the United States in 2019.

“Everything you have has once been on a truck,” Monroe added.

But what we learned Wednesday is, for some small businesses, hiring a graduate isn’t always possible.

“When we hire a driver, it used to be that they had to have three years of verifiable experience and they’ve cut that down to two years, so what they end up doing is going with some of the larger companies, they’re self-insured, so they don’t have the insurance regulations that we have to abide by,” Co-owner of Butcher Transportation Services, Bill Butcher said.

Butcher has been in the transportation industry for more than 50 years.

His drivers mostly transport bottled water to grocery stores, but they also deliver horse feed and other items.

He said he has six trucks sitting in the lot with no drivers.

“It’s frustrating. It’s frustrating for us,” Butcher said.

A frustrating situation with no clear solution in sight.

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