State of Trucking for 2017: The Driver Shortage

December 02, 2016

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The transportation industry provides millions of people an income each year. According to Driver Solutions, truck driving is the most popular job in 29 states. Yet, this industry remains one of the most forgotten about.

Click here for the full infographic.

Truck drivers are running more miles and hauling more freight than ever, in part because of a driver shortage. It's been a growing issue in the industry for years, and much of it can be attributed to an aging workforce. The average age of a truck driver is 49, and many of them are now retiring. This, combined with a lack of qualified drivers and industry turnover, in general, has some projections showing a need for 100,000 drivers heading into in 2017, according to Driver Solutions.

State of the 2017 Trucking Industry courtesy of Driver Solutions
State of the 2017 Trucking Industry courtesy of Driver Solutions

To combat the growing shortage, many transportation companies are changing their ways. To get new drivers started in the industry, some companies offer programs that not only give aspiring drivers free commercial driver’s license (CDL) training, but also a job opportunity after completion.

Additionally, trucking companies are improving benefits such as home time and retirement plans, introducing safe driver and performance related incentives, and creating various first-year career advancement opportunities to help retain its drivers.

To see the entire breakdown of the State of Trucking, visit



  1. 1. Charlie Brown [ December 10, 2016 @ 04:00PM ]

    If there really is a shortage, it will be worse after Dec 2017 when ELD mandate comes. I been driving 39 years and I don't have a smart phone and not into modern technology and when this comes, I will quit and a lot of people I work with say they will too. Rules and regulations will put us out of a job. FmCSA and EPA are out of control and Trump is our only hope.

  2. 2. Moveitforward [ December 12, 2016 @ 07:06AM ]

    The industry is unique when compared to other industries that are considered "entry level" or "unskilled".
    Further more it is heavily regulated. Highly unique and heavy regulation make it unattractive. What is the industry offering to make it more attractive? What is the total value of the work benefit when compared to other industries?
    Lets consider the safety/security element. Statistically you are positioned to be involved in a number of occurrences during your career. The NHTSA reported approx. 4,000 traffic related deaths each year involving a CMV. When including those injured the number rises well over 100,000. The entry level prospect may be willing to "take the chance" and get involved. So what's it paying they ask? Approximately $42,000 per year. "Sorry I'll keep looking" is the their response.

  3. 3. Dave [ February 20, 2017 @ 05:04PM ]

    Govt. should stop posting smoke about wage for drivers? Annual wage of $40,000 before tax isn't untrue, true if driver worked only 2,080 hrs pr yr; but, they do not. Majority of goods have increased while freight has decreased 31% because govt. has intro a smoke screen called "fuel-surcharge" as an offset to damage the trucking industry. That surcharge is not enforceable as US law.
    Company driver must earn minimum $23.42 per hr while on duty to even claim a decent a wage. A local state's legislator earns on average $24.52 an hr.; and, a trucker $12.67 based on hrs logged. An example if a driver gross $840 a week, but took 70 hrs that's around $12.67 per hr. I've read where companies' posted lease operators $1.48 cpm; I earned in the 80's avg of $1.88. Some companies even advertised drivers pay at .44 cpm; J.B. Hunt in 90's adverted .51 cpm, still could not fill seats; so, are drivers shortage really the issue or is it wages? How many of you received a pallet of US $100's in your yard from US Treasury lately? Read this story, you'll have your answer:
    Several years ago down in Central Florida watermelon growers were concerned why their profits were decreasing each time an election occurred. Consequently, a democrat whom at one time was the majority leader said he had figured it why growers were not increasing profits. His assumption was they needed legislation to pass where trucks could haul bigger trailers built for watermelons, and change the produce restrictions. This isn't a joke, it actually happened. US majority leader did not even know his own party had introduced a bill regulating length and weight in the past; and, did not even know watermelon isn't considered produce. However, his solution was to get a bigger trailer, lift restrictions on produce exiting Florida. Regulations in a deregulated industry. Face it, truckers have no voice in govt. If ones they did, you all would be earning better wages without this type of failed leadership!

  4. 4. Kenneth Terry [ April 29, 2017 @ 12:48AM ]

    Trucking sucks shit would rather lick assholes for a living. Everybody wants a job u work 24/7 hardly ever bath or set down and eat a descent meal. Everything is a super rush only to race across country and set there for several days free waiting to unload. Same thing getting loaded for trip home. Did math with hours spent pay was around 7 bucks and hour. You can work at mcdonalds 24/7 and make good. A year and a half was way to much for me. Oh and dont forget the no sleep

  5. 5. Wolf [ July 03, 2017 @ 04:23PM ]

    40,000 a year is attainable IF you completely devote your life to work.this is way.
    Avrage CPM is 38cpm .average miles driven per week 1800. Average hours worked per week over 70 hours.reason why they work more then the legally allowed amounts of hours per an 8 day because of the extremely high wait time at customers.drivers will CHEAT there logs by logging offduty every time they are not traveling.doing this allows you to work well over80 hrs a week without taking a restart.when you only get paid by miles traveled you are forced to SPEED, TAILGATE, and SLEEP LESS then 4 hours in 24 hour. Drivers wait UNPAID at shippers, consignee, weight stations, fuel pumps, break downs, even wait inline for a SHOWER.!! Only a few companies pay some wait time.BUT you must give each location2 hours without charging detention time.thats a minimum of 4 hrs in one day for two is some simple math for you to understand.
    This is average for all drivers.
    If you do nothing except drive every day you can travel the maximum of 650 miles a day.
    Trucks are governed under 70 mph most are under 65 mph take your miles needed to travel divide by 55 mph you get the ETA.
    700 MILES ÷ 55=12.7 hours.
    Thats 1.7 hrs past the legal limits.
    600 miles with average light traffic is difficult to achieve every single day.
    Average wait time at most customs is 4 hrs even 6+ hrs is common.combine all tge delays we face over the road add the random shipping and receiving appointment times drivers are FORCED to drive extremely sleep deprived to earn an average weekly pay of only $700 .
    At $0.40 cpm driving max of 2000 miles a week divide by hours worked you get this
    2000×$0.40=$800 ÷70hrs=$11.4 an hour.
    This is what the minority of drivers new and old are earning.they give up their health their personal life just to earn Thirty or forty thousand a year. Now that they are implementing the mandatory e-logs that all provide accurate GPS locations on-duty off-duty hours with the papers of the shipper and consignee signed and dated there is absolutely no excuse every single driver should not be paid an hourly wage with overtime pay .at $13 an hr with a 70 hr work week you will earn a guaranteed pay of$1,105 per week
    $13×40= $520
    19.5× 30 over time hour = 585
    I rest my case

  6. 6. Wolf [ July 03, 2017 @ 04:29PM ]

    Theme paid an hourly wage for every hour on duty you ensure that drivers have absolutely no reason or excuse to be breaking the law for Sleepless driving speeding tailgating or doing anything Reckless they are paid for every hour and heavy traffic construction zones or at customers they will do the speed limit and follow and Obey all traffic laws if you people want the highways to be safe for your family's for all who travel among them then stop forcing drivers to do things they should not be doing so they can earn a wage to provide for their families

  7. 7. cameljockey [ July 27, 2017 @ 03:11AM ]

    well ive been retired now for 5 years,but i do know that walmart transportation and ups are paying more than 80k a year, however they a strick rules and expect you to abide by them. If you have never used electronic logs you dont know what your missing. if your running illegal then your making less money because your not sleeping either. as long as you are willing to run that way the industry for the most part will not change, Nothing changes if nothing changes, Be safe

  8. 8. Bigboom [ August 08, 2017 @ 07:03AM ]

    It a depends on what company you work for. I drive for a LTL Company I'm home every day and I avg around 9 hrs a day and I made $91,000 in 2016 I make .64 Cpm plus drops and hookung pup trailers I avg $45 a day in drops and hooks and run 498 mils 5 days a week.

  9. 9. Kenneth Mäki [ October 07, 2017 @ 03:19PM ]

    Wow! Bigboom can you speak to your boss I'll come over there any day! Here in Sweden the politicians are totally destroying the whole trucking industry. We see eastern european come here and drive and live in their trucks, working for 5 dollar/hour. Well the results we see on the roads! every day another truck accident caused by these foreign drivers without education. The worst one was a fewyears ago. (Hungarian) He came of the ferry from Germany (or if it was denmark), drunk as a skunk, and killed a whole family with his truck! Thank God you do not have to deal with that crap!

  10. 10. Paul [ October 30, 2017 @ 08:26PM ]

    Drivers if you want a real solution the only fix for you the drivers! Watch this..

  11. 11. Samson Trading Group [ November 25, 2017 @ 02:51AM ]

    We are Samson Trading Group Sarl based in Cotonou in Benin republic west africa..Our companies is one of the leading trucking business in Cotono.We are searching for a reputable person who can help establish a truck transport business in the united state.In order to achieve this objective, we understand that a proper Person/Client Agreement must be entered into by both parties. Samson Trading Group will fund all requirements in establishing the trucking transport business in the united state including purchasing of trucks.

  12. 12. Oliver [ November 27, 2017 @ 12:58AM ]

    Hi there, I am an experienced Chemical,gas and fuel long distance Trucker in South Africa.means Driving the entire Southern Africa countries.i d love to get a contract from any reputable Trucking company in USA that hires Drivers from outside the states.any person who is willing to advise or inform me how to go about it ll be humbly appreciated.

  13. 13. Chris [ December 12, 2017 @ 07:24PM ]

    Ups and LTLs have no shortage of drivers. Why?Decent pay and good home time. Why would someone live in a truck as an over the road driver, away from family and friends for 40k/ year?

  14. 14. Kevin [ December 31, 2017 @ 02:11AM ]

    There will not be a shortage in OTR for long. Self-driving trucks will be here soon and they don't have to sleep, eat or take breaks. They'll never get a ticket for speeding, running a red, or DWI.
    They can transmit their logs and weight to the scale as they pass or when they fuel up. There may be a job at the fuel stop running the automated pumps and doing a visual inspection for a while until the governments trust the built-in sensors, and there will be in-city driving at either end for a while, but within 10 years, there will be a driver surplus.


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