Despite high unemployment, trucking companies continue to have a tough time hiring young drivers willing to hit the road for long hauls. An expert on distribution of goods says U.S. is speeding toward a critical shortage of truck drivers in the next few years. That's as the economy recovers and demand for goods increases.
Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics Executive Director Page Siplon says U.S. companies are expected to create more than 115,000 truck driver jobs per year through 2016, but the number of Americans getting trained to fill those jobs each year is barely 10 percent of the total demand.
The U.S. Department of Labor says the median yearly wage for tractor-trailer drivers is $37,770, with some drivers earning more than $57,000. Some drivers can clear $100,000 a year.
Older drivers are said to be feeling pressured to retire by federal safety regulations enacted in 2010 that keep a closer watch on drivers' work hours, drug testing any tickets and traffic citations they get on the job. And the job can be hard to sell to younger workers who don't think it's worth the money to spend days and weeks on the road.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)