If you’ve done grocery shopping or ordered items online in the past few years, you’ve experienced supply chain shortages. The delays start well before goods reach the trucks that will carry them to their destination, including factory lockdowns, scarce raw materials, and backed-up ports.
However, that last leg of the journey is the most vital. The need for truck drivers has never been greater, so read on to learn three reasons to get a CDL driver’s license in 2022.
There’s some debate about whether there is a shortage of drivers or simply a lack of licensed commercial drivers willing to continue doing the work. Whether it’s a shortage of drivers or high turnover, the result is that trucking companies are eager to hire. Owner-operators have abundant opportunities to choose from, giving them more flexibility. Either way, the range of opportunities continues to expand as companies have difficulty retaining drivers.
Stricter Training Requirements
In February 2022, new federal regulations went into effect that apply much stricter standards to driver training. Now, instead of passing a written exam and riding with a licensed driver for a time, all prospective CDL drivers must receive training at an approved truck driver training program before they attempt the CDL test. The training involves 31 course topics and 19 behind-the-wheel skills.
Experienced drivers seeking to upgrade their licenses from Class B to Class A, or to obtain school bus driving, hazardous material, or passenger certification, will also need additional training.
As a result of stricter requirements for new drivers, the squeeze on employers to find qualified drivers will intensify. Expect more benefits, signing bonuses, and better equipment, including better semi-truck driver seats or entirely new trucks.
Pay Increases and Pay Structures
Even though trucking companies are feeling the pinch of high fuel costs, they can’t run their businesses without drivers. Those who operate large fleets of dedicated drivers will be willing to offer higher pay, even for entry-level drivers. They may also provide increases to reward drivers who stay with them for long periods. Traditionally, trucker pay has been by the mile. Now, however, you may find the option of a regular paycheck based on time instead of distance.
Although truck driving can be exhausting, it can be a lucrative career. Consider the benefits we listed above, and if you decide to take the leap and obtain your CDL driver’s license, we wish you good luck in your new trucking career!