MOUNT PLEASANT S.C. (WCBD) – The recent gas shortage showed just how important it is to have truck drivers who can transport truckloads of things like fuel fast, but experts say they’re having problems finding people to do the job.
President and CEO of the South Carolina Trucking Association Rick Todd says there are several reasons why the jobs aren’t easy to fill.
“It stands right now at 61,000 people needed to fill positions and 3 to 5 years from now that number is going to increase well over 200,000,” says Todd.
He says legislation allows only 21 years and older to operate and low amounts of state dollars funding technical colleges to train truckers to get their CDL.
“Economic development and education is needed so we can break down those silos and try to figure out how to make everybody work more closely,” Todd says.
SCTA officials say there are multiple benefits like pay where truckers can start making anywhere from $40,000 to $70,000.
“This offers people the opportunity to drive the type of truck they want to drive and hall the type of freight they want to haul,” he says.
Todd says these next steps are crucial to get more truckers back onto the roads.
“We are not able to fulfill those promises made to those firms that we have recruited,” he says.
Officials with the SCTA encourages anyone who is interested in becoming a driver to take the 6 to 12 week course and apply.