The stock market has been rocky lately, but the job market is still tight and many companies continue to struggle to find enough skilled workers to fulfill their needs. One of the worst shortages is in the trucking industry. The freight consulting firm FTR Transportation Intelligence reports the strong economy and a torrid demand for hauling freight has left the U.S. in need of nearly 300,000 commercial truck drivers.
The good news is this drastic shortage means that wages for truck drivers have increased, although it is still widely considered a grueling way to make a living. Freight companies do whatever they can to retain their drivers, including offering hiring and retention bonuses. However, a 2016 report from the American Trucking Association said the turnover rate at large for-hire fleets is an astounding 80 percent per year.
The bad news is truckers are being asked to do more in less time. Despite the fact there are federal and state laws limiting the number of hours that long-haul truck drivers can work without taking an extended break, truckers have reported being pressured by employers to break these laws and complete illegal runs.
The result is a high risk of health problems for those who drive tractor-trailers. Health concerns for truckers include high blood pressure, obesity, heart attack, and sleep apnea. We recently created a SlideShare presentation entitled "The Health Consequences of America's Truck Driver Shortage." We invite you to learn more about this challenge the trucking industry is wrestling with.