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WSJ | Women Wanted: Blue-Collar Fields Find New Workforce


The share of truck drivers, electricians, plumbers and mechanics who are women recently touched the highest level in at least 25 years

Kenyette Godhigh-Bell dismissed any thought of becoming a truck driver years ago when it appeared too daunting to break into a job where more than 90% of workers are men.“You’ve got this cowboy-boot wearing, cigarette-smoking, tattooed or whatever white guy’s job,” she recalled. Now Ms. Godhigh-Bell, a 46-year-old black woman in sleek high-heeled boots, regularly pulls her 18-wheeler to Nebraska slaughterhouses so she can pick up beef and chicken for transport to grocery warehouses.


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America’s Trucker Shortage May Negatively Affect Economy


LAKE MILTON, Ohio – Bob Blocksom, an 87-year-old former insurance salesman, needs a job. He hasn’t saved enough money for his retirement. And trucking companies, desperate for workers, are willing to give him one.

Age didn’t matter, they said. If Blocksom could get his “CDL” – commercial driver’s license – they would hire him for a $50,000 job. One even offered to pay his tuition for driver training school, but there was a catch: Blocksom had to commit to driving an 18-wheel truck all over America for a year.

So far, that has been too big of an ask for Blocksom, who doesn’t want to spend long stretches of time away from his wife of 60 years. “The more I think about it, it would be tough to be on the road Monday through Friday,” he said.

As the nation grapples with a historically low level of unemployment, trucking companies are doing what economists have said firms need to do to attract and retain workers: They’re hiking pay significantly, offering bonuses and even recruiting people they previously wouldn’t have considered.

But it’s not working. The industry reports a growing labor shortage – 63,000 open positions this year, a number expected to more than double in coming years – that could have wide-ranging impacts on the American economy.

Nearly every item sold in America touches a truck at some point, which explains why the challenges facing the industry, including trucking companies rapidly raising prices as they raise wages, have special power to affect the entire economy. Already, delivery delays are common, and businesses such as Amazon, General Mills and Tyson Foods are raising prices as they pass higher transportation costs along to consumers. A Walmart executive called rising transportation costs the company’s primary “head wind” on a recent call with investors.

Technology leaders such as Elon Musk hold out driverless trucks as a solution, but industry insiders say that is many years away. For now the industry simply can’t find a way to move goods as fast and as cheaply as they have in the past. This logjam will be especially perilous, economists say, if competition for truckers pushes up prices so quickly that the country faces uncontrolled inflation, which can easily lead to a recession.

“This is slowing down the economy already,” said Peter Boockvar, chief investment officer at Bleakley Advisory Group. “If it takes me a week instead of two days to ship products from point A to B, I’m losing potential business.”

At TDDS Technical Institute, an independent trucker school in central Ohio where Blocksom has considered enrolling, veteran teachers say they have never seen it this bad. They think there are closer to 100,000 truck driver openings.

“As long as you can get in and out of a truck and pass a physical, a trucking company will take a look at you now,” said Trish Sammons, the job placement coordinator at TDDS, whose desk is full of toy trucks and fliers from the companies who call her daily begging for drivers. “I recently placed someone who served time for manslaughter.”

There’s only one option right now for most trucking companies: Give substantial raises. Recruiters that show up daily at TDDS are offering jobs that pay $60,000 to $70,000, with full benefits and a $4,000 signing bonus.

In interviews with more than 60 trainees, recruiters and people who explored trucking but decided not to take the job, most feel higher pay will help, but the industry’s problems are much deeper than that.

Trucking remains one of the most dangerous professions in America. There were over 1,000 fatalities among motor vehicle operators in 2016, according to the U.S. Labor Department, meaning being a commercial driver is nearly eight times as deadly as being a law enforcement officer.

“It takes a special breed to be a trucker. It’s a tough job,” said Rick Rathburn Jr., the owner of TDDS, a school his late father started in the early 1970s. A trucking company recently tried to buy the entire school.

The community around TDDS is full of shuttered factories and bars named “Lucky Inn” and “Horseshoe.” The steel mills closed in the 1980s, and a GM factory just announced more than a thousand layoffs. One of the only industries growing in the area is trucking, yet locals are hesitant to become truckers.

One man, a janitor, hanging out at Larry’s Automotive repair shop in nearby Warren, said his uncles were truckers and told him they would “kill him” if he ever got into the harsh business. The owner of the shop said he had thought about becoming a trucker but decided it wasn’t feasible after he had children.

Trucking jobs require people to leave their families for weeks at a time and live in a small “cabin” with a hard bed. Divorces are common, veteran drivers say, and their children forget them. A life on the road is often costly and unhealthy. Drivers sit for hours a day in diesel trucks and pull into truck stops that typically serve greasy hot dogs and chili.

Weight gain and heart disease are common, says Gordon Zellers, an Ohio physician who spends half his time examining truckers and administering drug tests, which increasing numbers of CDL applicants fail. He advised the TDDS students to see a nutritionist, but he knows most won’t.

Alex Thomas and Rob Neal are two of the youngest students at TDDS – Thomas is 26 and Neal is 28. As they sat in a truck in the TDDS parking lot practicing, they joked with each other about which one would be the first to develop a “trucker’s belly.”

Thomas and Neal had construction jobs before they enrolled in the 16-week course at TDDS.

Trucking often competes with construction and manufacturing for workers. Both of those industries have been on a hiring spree lately as well, and unlike trucking, construction and factory jobs typically don’t require additional schooling. To get a commercial driver’s license, an applicant needs to attend several weeks of school, which can cost about $7,000 before financial aid.

The two young men who switched into trucking say they’re doing it for the money and, they hope, more freedom. But many of their friends were surprised by the move.

“I used to work in a sand and gravel pit. Workers in the pit called the truckers scum,” said Thomas.

As it has trouble recruiting new workers, the industry is also struggling to hold on to drivers. Turnover in the trucking industry has skyrocketed to 94 percent, according to the American Trucking Associations, meaning most drivers at the major trucking companies don’t spend more than a year in their jobs.

That reflects a combination of poaching and quitting. (A new government requirement went into effect in December that requires all drivers to electronically log their hours, meaning they can no longer cheat regulations by driving more than 11 hours a day.)

People with CDLs suddenly seem as coveted as computer programmers. Trucking company recruiters descend daily on America’s roughly truck driver training schools – roughly 500, according to the Commercial Vehicle Training Association – to fight for new graduates.

“These guys are like diamonds right now,” said Jason Olesh, a vice president at Aim Transportation Solutions who left his family vacation to rush to TDDS to talk to students. “We’re down 90 drivers across our fleet of 650.”

Olesh gave his best pitch to the students: He offered them jobs that pay $70,000 a year with full benefits and regional routes hauling water to oil drilling sites that would have them home most nights.

“I’m offering you a regular job with a 10- to 12-hour shift so you can see your kids,” Olesh said.

He never used to recruit drivers right out of school because his jobs are the coveted ones in the industry that don’t require drivers to go “over the road,” trucker speak for being away from home for at least a month. But he started coming to TDDS this year because the company needs drivers so badly that it is lowering the bar for new hires.

At the end of his session, a few students gave Olesh their contact information, not enough to even make a dent in the job openings he has.

Lately the industry has tried to broaden its appeal, but women still make up just 6 percent of drivers, and African Americans only 10 percent. Still, trucking can be a pathway to a middle-class life. TDDS alumni often stop by, including many Somali refugees who’ve been trained there.

But while the TDDS faculty love trucking and serve as cheerleaders for the industry, most of their own children have gone to college and now work desk jobs.

“Trucking is seen as a last resort if people can’t find another job,” said Otto Smith, an admissions representative at TDDS. “We’re a hidden diamond for people looking for work.”

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America is facing a big truck driver crisis. The truck driving industry is expected to be in a shortage of over 73,000 long-distance truck drivers, which is more than three times of truck driver shortage of 2005. That is likely to cause delivery delays and higher shipping costs.

This means it is a really great time to be a certified truck driver with a CDL license with low supply and high demand. The demand will continue to grow due to a rapidly growing online shopping market that doubles every year right now. In 2014, online shoppers in the U.S. spent $1,611 versus $1,151 in Canada and $1,162 in Europe, 60% of adult Americans are happy to know they dont want to go to brick and mortar stores.
Approximately 71% of shoppers believe they will get a better deal online than in brick and mortar stores.
More online shopping by both B2C and B2B customers means a lot more shipping packages around the country and more truck drivers are needed and more will be needed to fill the need of today and the future demand.
“We can’t get drivers,” said Ken Maschhoff, whose Illinois company, the Maschhoffs Inc., is the nation’s third-largest pork producer.

There is a very real and very severe shortage of licensed truck transport drivers today.

Today is a great time to get your CDL at Daly’s Truck Driving school:, to fill the needs of the rapidly growing transportation and trucking industry. At Daly’s Truck Driving School you can get your CDL in as little as 15 days at a price that’s relative to other truck driving schools we have reviewed. It is very affordable.

In some cases companies in demand of truck drivers even pay for your truck driving school that you have taken. And some companies even offer a very good sign-on-bonus for you as truck driver.  Many companies often pay you a lump-sum cash bonus just to take a job with them. The amount normally depends on your experience and what division you join and also will depend on minimum length of service, miles driven and other factors.
In addition to a good salary, that is currently on an average of $73,000.00/year for fleet-drivers and the possible sign on bonus, there are many other ways you can get paid as a truck driver, though it vary from company to company.
Here are the most common ones:


Yet another report on shortage of Certified Truck Drivers



Even the well renouwned Washingon Examiner now features articles about the looming crisis about a massive shortage of certified truck drivers.

“America is facing a trucker crisis.  As it readies for the busy holiday delivery season, the industry is expecting to be short about 73,000 long-distance drivers, more than three times the shortage of 2005, and that could lead to delivery delays and higher shipping costs.” This means it is a great time to be a certified truck driver with a CDL license with low supply and high demand, that likely will continue due to a rapidly growing online shopping market that doubles every year right now. writes “In 2014, online shoppers in the U.S. spent $1,611 versus $1,151 in Canada and $1,162 in Europe (translated from British Pounds on June 25). [11] , 60% of adult Americans are happy to know they won’t have to shop in a crowded mall or store. [11], 71% of shoppers believe they will get a better deal online than in stores. [13]. More online shopping by both B2C and B2B customers means more shipping and more truck drivers are needed and more will be needed to fill the growth of the demand cuver.

“We can’t get drivers,” said Ken Maschhoff, whose Illinois company, the Maschhoffs Inc., is the nation’s third-largest pork producer. “There is a severe shortage of truck transport drivers.” So now, if ever, is a great time to get your CDL to fill the needs of the rapidly growing transportation and trucking industry. At Daly’s truck driving school you can get your CDL in as little as 15 days at a price that – relative to other truck driving schools we have reviewed – is very affordable. In some cases companies in demand of truck drivers even pay for your education that you have taken and some offer a nice sign-on-bonus. In fact several companies often pay you a lump-sum cash bonus just to take a job with them.  The amount normally depended on your experience and what division they join and also will depend on minimum length of service, miles driven, safety record, etc. Here are some of the other ways you get paid as a truck driver outside your regular salary and sign-on-bonus:

Extra Or if you will: Additional Pay Types For You as Truck Driver  that vary from company to company:

Outside your regular salary, there are many other  perks and  compensation that you as a truck driver can get on top of an already good salary.  Trucking companies and types of driving jobs will be very different, so it’s important for you to choose the truck driving job that best fits your needs and with the right perks.

  • Tarp Pay (for flatbedders), yes not the banking TARP:

    Many trucking/transportation companies will pay you an extra per-load amount for hauling cargo that must be tarped first.

  • Breakdown Pay:

    The carrier will pay you as truck driver if he is delayed due to a truck breakdown, ensuring that you get paid while stranded.

  • Layover Pay:

    If you have a wait or delay between loads may get paid by their company if the delay is beyond the drivers control.

  • Detention Pay:

    Paid when you as driver are waiting around at a shipper or receiver to get loaded or unloaded. Policies vary, but many times cargo carriers will charge the shipper/receiver in cases of specific appointment times.

  • Borough Pay/NYC:

    Since driving a truck in New York City is such a pain, many companies will pay extra to drivers willing to pick up and deliver in the boroughs of The Big Apple.

  • Over-dimensional load pay:

    Pertaining only to flatbed trailers, oversize (or over-dimensional in height, width, or weight) loads generally require another level of attention from the driver, as there are often specialized routes, rules, restrictions and permits involved, as well as “pilot cars” leading the way. Some companies will pay an incentive to drivers willing to take on the responsibility.

  • Fuel Efficiency Bonuses:

    Fuel normally being one of the top 2 expenses for trucking companies, many carriers will reward drivers who use less of it. Maintaining proper air pressure, avoiding “over-revving” and unnecessary idling, using cruise control, and practicing proper shifting techniques are examples of ways drivers can reduce fuel consumption.

    Driver Referral Bonuses:

    Many carriers will give you a bonus for recruiting other truck drivers into the company. It usually depends on the new truck driver staying with the company for a minimum time period, that is often 12 months or more

    • Clean Inspection Bonuses:

      Increasingly popular since the new CSA program went into effect, you as truck driver that  generate “No Violation Found” roadside inspections are often awarded cash bonuses by their employer.

    • On-Time Delivery Bonus:

      While all deliveries are expected to be made on-time, all the time, often companies offer you an incentive to achieve high rates of on-time deliveries.

    Safe Driving Bonus Incentives:

    Many companies will pay flat bonuses to you for being a safe driver, or per-mile bonuses to truck drivers who avoid preventable accidents or loss, or maintain a minimum CSA score.

  • Extra Stop Pay:

    Extra pay given to you as driver for each stop they make on a load with multiple delivery locations. This often applies to local or regional truck drivers, and often excludes the first and last stop.

  • Driver Unload Pay:

    Extra bonus paid to you as truck driver if you are required to physically handle the freight during unloading. Common among local/regional delivery drivers. Could be per stop, per pallet, etc., conditions and terms vary.

  • Canada Miles:

    Some companies offer you as truck driver, extra per-mile pay if the load takes you into, or through, our neighbor to the north, for the hassle of an international border-crossing. As a reminder, these types of routes would require a valid passport for the driver.

  • Refrigerated Miles:

    There is often extra attention to be paid hauling a refrigerated trailer, and some carriers will compensate you as driver, extra for doing it.

  • Hazmat Pay:

    Some companies will give you as truck driver a per mile bonus for hauling HAZMAT cargo, as well as additional Hazmat safety bonuses.

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Georgias Leading Truck Driving School. CDL License Made Easy: 2314 Peachtree Industrial Blvd., Buford, GA 30518 770-614-6022