Challenges Facing the Trucking Industry

GREAT FALLS — The trucking industry faces many challenges, including a shortage of drivers. Much of the shortage is related to the working conditions of the job, ranging from extremely long working hours to their long-distance travel.

Dave Bertelsen, owner of K&K Trucking, said: “Guys are out two to three weeks at a time, so weather, flat tires, traffic, traffic jams, delays, all those things, I mean, we get calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so it’s quite difficult.”

And even more difficult is the number of truckers. The American Trucking Association estimate that the shortage has reached an all-time high of around 80,000 drivers and could exceed 160,000 in 2030.

“We’ve had a truck driver shortage for 23 years,” Bertelsen said. “Now other professions face a similar problem, but it has always been a challenge in this industry to retain good, qualified drivers.”

Freight companies are known to have similar challenges, but they believe the shortage of truckers will push young people to drive trucks.

Rob Haney is the Service Center Manager at Old Dominion Freight and highlighted some of the things people should know when joining the industry.

“The hours are long,” he says. “They are varied and the work can be tough, especially in the winter. You have to be able to work outside for long periods of time and be prepared to put in the effort and get your hands dirty. It’s a blue collar job , it’s also rewarding. You don’t need a college education. You just need an A-plus work ethic.