The driver shortage is, yet again, making national headlines and continues to increase year over year.
- American Trucking Association reported that the industry is short 80,000 drivers and could grow to over 160,000 by 2028.
- ATRI’s 2021 top overall industry concerns reported that driver shortage and retention are the top two priorities.
- And 27% of truckers are 55 and older, indicating they are on their way to retirement.
A proposed solution by legislation to the driver shortage: The pilot program that will allow 18–20-year-olds to drive tractor-trailers across state lines.
It’s been a long time coming for addressing the driver shortage, but that’s not all we can do. There’s more to this than meets the eye. The reality is that there are underlying issues as to why people aren’t attracted to truck driving anymore, and even worse, why they aren’t sticking around.
An Emerging Pool of Drivers to ‘Rehire’ = Your Medically Disqualified Drivers
One underlying issue among many root causes is the wear and tear it’s taking on the driver’s health and wellbeing. Research shows that up to 360,000 drivers are being disqualified due to health issues each year. The top three reasons why:
- High blood pressure
- Elevated sugar levels
- Sleep apnea
That number of medically disqualified drivers and the top reasons are critical to note. Not only does the number indicate a significant pool of drivers to recruit from but look at the causes, again. With small, simple changes in the way a driver eats or adding in an extra walk, run or push-up could change the course of a driver’s life. It’s not as easy as it sounds. That’s why the Fit to Pass team is dedicated to identifying these drivers, coaching them to improve their health, and getting them back in the empty trucks—with a new, refreshed attitude (and stronger body). It beats paying for and wiping the dust off your empty rigs.
The number is too big to ignore and presents another pool of drivers to ‘rehire.’ It’s a small price to pay for the investment of your drivers.