Fountain truck driving school reacts to national truck driver shortage

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. —  For the first time since 2006, the American Trucking Association (ATA) is expressing concern over a lack of drivers.

Right now the industry needs about 50,000 drivers by year’s end. That’s a number that could more than triple in the next ten years.

According to an instructor at the United States Truck Driving School in Fountain, he believes the industry will always see a shortage.

For Charles Green, a disabled veteran, it’s became his new trade. He recently took a detour from the construction industry to truck driving, training at the U.S. Truck Driving School in Fountain.

He says what drove him to this new path was the huge demand for drivers.

“Plethora, there’s just so many. You know the over-the-road jobs, local jobs, they were everywhere, all over the country,” said Green.

According to lead Instructor, Mark Haefner, truck drivers are making better wages, but he said it has always been a bumpy road for the industry.

“You got a lot of truck drivers out there that are retiring and then we get students, they might come through here, go out on the road for a month or two and decide this isn’t for them,” said Haefner.

Haefner says most drivers reverse their decisions based on a few factors like time away from home, hours of driving, and parking.

“You definitely need a lot of room, it’s difficult to do it by yourself, because you need somebody out there to make sure there’s nobody around you and different things like that,” said Green.

While it’s a windy road now, the ATA hopes to entice more drivers by increasing pay and implementing more sign-on bonuses.

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