Truck Drivers: By the Numbers, 2013

Truck Drivers: By the Numbers, 2013

Truck Drivers by the Numbers 2013

Five years into the U.S. economic recovery, trucking companies say finding and hiring drivers is harder than ever. This driver shortage is a roadblock to expansion, limiting incremental growth in truck capacity, and a prime reason truck rates are set to increase at a faster pace in 2014.

How big the shortage is depends on whom you ask. But there are fewer working truck drivers today than there were before the recession. Driver turnover at large truckload fleets has been above 90 percent for eight straight quarters. And driver pay remains below the U.S. average.

A growing number of trucking executives say poor — and unpredictable — pay is the primary reason for the shortage of new drivers. This infographic shows how the driver pool has changed and looks at a key reason why there are few new drivers: the lower earnings potential.

Contact William B. Cassidy at and follow him on Twitter: @wbcassidy_joc.


Trucking company executives believe pay is the main reason for the shortage?? It just shows how out of touch executives are to their employees. yes pay is ridiculous for driving a truck. Comparing trucking wages to average US wages is also ridiculous. The average U.S worker doesn't live at his place of employment. He/She goes home after an 8 hour shift. They bar-b-que, go to the kids little league games and sleep in their own beds. A trucker sleeps in a tin can, thousands of miles from his family and puts in 3-4 weeks of 14 hour days (time spent driving or loading) then crawls into a confined space smaller than a jail cell to go to bed. They never see their families and get no respect. They pay for their own meals on the road, their own showers and living expenses. So, wages are the top problem??? Hardly! For every day a trucker spends on the road away from family, they should get a day at home with their family. 10 days out, 10 days home. How insulting is it when the offer of great hometime is 36 hours with your family after being gone 5-7 days. Or even worse, a weekend off after being gone for weeks. Are they insane or just criminally greedy. It shows how they view their drivers...cattle to be used and abused. This is their idea to retain people? As for money... Don't pay me by the mile, I'm living in your truck away from home. I want to be compensated like the rest of the world. Pay me a salary. That salary should be a minimum of $6000.00 monthly. What other occupation asks you to work around the clock with no regular sleep cycle for weeks at a time. I'm doing their business in their equipment. If I'm not at my kitchen table or in my bed I should be compensated for meals and showers. It wouldn't hurt to pay for a motel room once a week so we could feel human. Auto shift trucks should become the standard. They are beneficial to both drivers and company. Better fuel efficiency and safety for the company as well as it making easier to attract some drivers intimidated by 13 or 18 speed manuals. For the driver it's less stress and less physically demanding. It's easier to drive in town and in thick highway traffic. APUs should be standard on any rig in which idling policies are a problem. We should be able to be comfortable in the can you've placed us in. Until the trucking companies fix these problems, the shortages will only get worse. People are placing more and more value on home/work balance as the lousy economy and inflation have made both parents working the norm for survival. Wages need fixed but even more so the hometime issue and great hometime IS NOT what's listed above in the article!