Trucking shortage Jan05


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Trucking shortage

Companies compete for good drivers when they can get them. Trucks sit idle, with work available but a dearth of people to do it. Rodney Rorbaugh of Rorbaugh Trucking in Caldwell said the available pool of drivers is so dry has begun thinking of starting his own training program. Jay Owens of Drayer Trucking in Beverly said 25 to 30 percent of his fleet sits idle on any given day, with work available but no one to drive. He said he’s thinking of recruiting high school students to work part-time in his shop, getting them familiar with the basic mechanics of trucks and how they handle, then putting them through CDL (Commercial Drivers License) courses. I think if I can train them in here, working on brakes, changing oil, that sort of thing, let them learn about trucks in here, then when they get old enough to drive they know what they’re doing, he said.
That way, I think I can get younger people into the trucking end. Photo submitted by the Washington County Career Center Instructor Brian Wise sits in the cab of a Volvo truck, demonstrating it for a representative of a funding organization in the Washington County Career Center’s commercial driver’s license course at the center just outside Marietta.
The center began offering a commercial driver’s license course in June to help local employers meet the demand for truck drivers and offer students a fresh avenue to work that pays well. There are obstructions for young people who want to become drivers. Although drivers who work within Ohio can start at 18 years old, federal regulations mandate that interstate drivers be at least 21 years old. The company runs 25 to 35 trucks a day, he said and could operate more if the drivers were available.
He does he recruiting mainly through word of mouth and highlighting the firm’s attractions: an insurance and safety record that has won awards, and clean, modern trucks and equipment. Owens is the manager of Drayer Trucking in Beverly. The company has about 20 trucks, dump-bed units that mainly haul ore, scrap, and alloy. We’ve got empty trucks sitting around because we can’t find anyone to put in them, he said.

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