The shortage of truck drivers is partly responsible for the recovery of the supply chain


KNOXVILLE, Tennessee (WATE) – According to people in the trucking industry, supply chain problems across the country are in part due to a shortage of drivers. Like many industries, driving commercial trucks needs workers.

Robert Toliver, training manager and commercial driver license testing manager at Tennessee Truck Driving School, said business was stable.

He said most new drivers in training have jobs in hand before they even start school.

“The companies we work with take the risk of helping people,” Toliver said.

Toliver said his company’s goal is to teach drivers the basics. When drivers leave their school, they are ready to begin their training with the company they will be driving for.

“We must have 165 hours. Everything that follows is just fine tuning and more practice, ”said Toliver. “It’s designed for people who have never been around a truck, have no idea. I never supported a single thing. This is how we designed it.

Her program lasts at least six weeks.

It’s companies like Skyline Transportation, Inc. that send future drivers to school so they can have more employees on the road. They are small drivers at the moment.

Rick Arnold, the director of security at Skyline, said there were around 10 to 12 trucks broken down at any given time. He said that without drivers carrying loads across the country, all other businesses would be impacted.

“Everything around you is moved by truck at one point or another,” said Arnold. “So think about it. Whether you are in an office or outside building materials. Everything you see has been on a truck at one point.

Arnold and Toliver said drivers carry more loads, which means more drivers need to be on the roads.

“If you’ve been to a grocery store recently and see a lot of empty shelves, (it’s) because we just don’t have enough drivers to haul the freight,” Toliver said.

Arnold said another reason there aren’t enough trucks on the road to get the items to where they need to go is because the trucks break down and they can’t get the parts for them. to fix.

“Again, all of these parts are trucked in at some point and come from overseas, a lot of them, one chip, different components. So we can’t get these components to get our trucks back on the road, ”said Arnold.

Retiring drivers are also causing a shortage of trucks on the road, according to Arnold and Toliver.

“The trucking industry is really suffering because we have a lot of older, older experienced drivers retiring,” Toliver said. “There is a lot of demand because we don’t have the pilots to take their place.”

To fill more positions, Arnold said Skyline not only pays for drivers to attend school, but they also try to be upfront about what the drivers get into.

He said a trucking lifestyle can be tough.

“You rely on truck stops for facilities, like the laundry room, showers and toilets,” Arnold said. “Even though our trucks may have refrigerators, beds, microwaves, and televisions in all of them… it’s a tough lifestyle. In addition, you are away from your family, except during the weekend period.

His company carries for week-long trips and the drivers are at home on weekends.

To make journeys more pleasant, they accept certain pets.

Toliver said the trucking industry has changed over the years. He said that today, after at least six months of experience, drivers can find companies with schedules that allow them to stay at home whenever they want. Whether it’s every night, every week or every few months.

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