By some accounts, federal regulations that require the publication of truck driver safety records – a record that might detail drug use, for instance – might be one major factor having an impact on hiring in the trucking industry.
As Matt Olberding reports for the Lincoln Journal Star, the commercial trucking industry can’t find enough drivers to haul the nation’s goods down the highways. By some estimates, the trucking industry is short 200,000 drivers. And this despite the fact that the pay is generally good and the training is relatively short.
Olberding works through the possible contributing factors: the on-the-road lifestyle, which might not be as appealing as work in other areas; Baby Boomer truckers who are retiring; the money that must be spent on training; age requirements for interstate hauling; and the publication of drivers’ safety records (as well as the safety records of trucking companies).
It’s the safety-record publication that makes our roads safer, but makes it more difficult for some companies to hire drivers. One employer said, “We’ve always wanted to hire the safest drivers, but it’s shrinking the pool,” quotes Olberding.