Looking for truck drivers: ‘We can’t train them fast enough’ Dec19


Related Posts

Share This

Looking for truck drivers: ‘We can’t train them fast enough’

Two new drivers passed the test for their Class A commercial driving licenses at Umpqua Community College last Tuesday. Even as they join the ranks of 3.5 million truck drivers across the country, companies are crying for more.

Before they even finished the four-week program, both Albert Blankenship and Nick Davis had jobs lined up, and both also received multiple job offers.

Blankenship spent 22 years driving a tow truck before taking the class to get his CDL and got a job with a national company as a long-haul driver.

“I was tired of driving a tow truck,” Blankenship said. “Driving is what I do. It’s a little bit different from towing, but not a whole lot. It’s about 53 feet longer and it’s about 70,000 pounds heavier.”

Most trucks are limited to 80,000 pounds on the interstate which, in ideal weather conditions, will take at least the length of more than a football field to come to a complete stop from highway speeds.

Despite spending days in the truck and being away from home, Davis’ family approved of him becoming a truck driver.

“It’s not easy,” Davis said. “You’ve got to want to do it. It’s a sacrifice, it really is, especially when you have a wife and kids.”

Davis drives past Roseburg on his trips from Nevada to Washington and said he wishes he could stop in and see his family, but he keeps trucking. His wife, Cassidy Davis, was the one who told him he would be good at it and it would be better for him in the long-term. Before he even took the test, he had a letter of intent to hire from a company in Nevada.

“My wife had my back,” Davis said. “My kids, I have three kids, they are a big part of it, I got approval from them to move forward.”

There were 24,289 truck drivers in Oregon in 2017 according to the Oregon Employment Department. The department expects an increase of 270 openings every year for the next 10 years. Nationwide, the industry was short by 50,000 drivers in 2017, according to the American Trucking Association.

Jim Smalley, the owner of Smalley Trucking in Sutherlin, had a few months when a few of his 17-truck fleet sat idle while he competed with other companies for drivers.

“It’s very common for every trucking company to have trucks sit in a yard with no drivers for them,” Smalley said. It does cause some anxiety for the owners because the payments go on whether the truck is moving or not.”

Smalley said the shortage comes from older drivers leaving the industry and the younger generation not seeing it as an option.

“I’m not sure why, because the pay structure is a lot higher than it used to be,” Smalley said.

Smalley is currently set with drivers, but he is looking to build his fleet up in the next two years and is going to be trying to lure drivers in again.

“Most of my guys are home on the weekend,” Smalley said. “It gives them a little bit of a life out of the truck. Every company is doing their best to enhance the pay and benefit packages for truck drivers. It costs a lot to live. A truck driver should make enough to live a good life.”

Call or Click to get 50% OFF for the First Month

24/7 Dispatching Service 888-852-4238


Protected by Copyscape Plagiarism Software
Load Board


Post, Search & Bid on UNLIMITED truck loads
Over 30,000 new loads NO DUPLICATES. Sort by combination of weight, trailer, radius & multiple destinations. Easy to use!
g Owner Operator & Truck Driver Search
Great for Shippers & Brokers! Search Drivers by trailer type and any location. Get Freight Quotes directly from drivers by email.
No Contract Month-to-Month Billing
We have 100% no questions asked Money Back Guarantee policy. You can cancel and renew your membership at anytime.
Mileage & Routing Directions
Calculate dead head miles and total miles of trips. Intergrated Map with US Highways and dirving directions from pickup to deivery.
Credit Score Reports & Factoring
Freight Broker credit score search. Invoice matched with Freight Factoring companies.
Dead Head Mileage Calculator
Calculate dead head miles between trips. Radius search for loads within dead head mile limit.
Bookmark, Notes and Favorites
Easily manage your dispatching services with Bookmarking important shippers or drivers, with custom notes.
Load & Driver Email Notifications
Receive email or SMS alerts of loads or owner operations that match your posted loads or trailer types.
Auto Match Loads & Drivers
After you post your Open Truck or Open Load on the load board you will automatically be matached with drivers or shippers.
Send Load Details to Phone SMS Message
Great for dispatchers! allows for drivers to get info while driving and not stop on the raod. Easy to call back from phone.
Daily Fuel Prices & Locations
Daily current diesel fuel prices at all major truck stop locations.
Upload Forms: Cargo Insurance, W-9, & Permits
Great for dispatching! have all your driver's paperwork ready in one location. Documents can be faxed or uploaded as files.
How To Videos Guides
Step by step video tutorials on how to use all the features of the admin to find loads, find drivers and other resources.
Weather & Road Conditions
Live weather forcast from pickup location and destination. View Current and weekly forecast.