Truck driver shortage in Pennsylvania and across the country

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Across the country, truck drivers are in high demand, but for many states including Pennsylvania, those drivers are hard to find.

Calling it the number one concern among trucking companies, Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association president and CEO Kevin Stewart says the country and the state need more truck drivers.

“Right now, as an industry, we’re about 50,000 drivers short,” said Stewart.

There are a couple of reasons why.

“Some of that is the disappearance of brick and mortar stores,” said Stewart. “We have more and more people who are doing online shopping.”

Attracting younger drivers is another reason. Right now, truck drivers have to be 21 years old, but proposed legislation may change that.

“The Drive Safe Act would allow 18- to 20-year-old drivers to be engaged in interstate commerce. There are some additional requirements with that act with respect to specific safety equipment that’s required to be on the vehicles,” said Stewart.

The average salary of a truck driver in Pennsylvania is about $50,000 a year. Many companies are starting to offer more money and benefits to attract employees.

“You’ve got flexibility in your schedule. You make good money. These trucks are cheap. I paid like $13,000 for this truck,” truck driver Christopher Quinones said.

Close to 88 percent of communities in Pennsylvania depend solely on trucks to move their goods.

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