DUNCAN, SC (WSPA) – As truck drivers leave the industry and the economy expands, it has resulted in driver shortages across the country.
Companies report a lucrative Christmas season, partly due to extended sales and an increase in online shopping. All of this drives the demand for truck drivers even further, but before you see them on the road they need to take courses to navigate their way through the cones and class time.
Recent reports indicated that the trucking industry could require more than a million drivers over the next 10 years. That creates opportunities for people like Latasha Pearson. She has just passed her commercial driving test to earn her CDL license.
“I passed; I got my CDL today. I was lucky enough to find this school. I went to another school and wasn’t so lucky there, but when I got here it was like family. You did taught me everything I needed to know about truck driving. “
Nick Vyas, executive director of the University of Southern California’s Marshall Center for Global Supply Chain Management, told the Associated Press the US was about 80,000 drivers short last month. Finding a reputable truck driving school is crucial for success.
“One of the signs I would recommend is to check the school’s reviews, maybe companies that work with the school, give them a call and see what their experiences have been like with their previous students.” The owner of SC Works Commercial Driving Academy, Vitaliy Avramenko, said.
Industry officials said driving schools should teach the basics. Students should learn all aspects of the truck, its engine, moving parts, and maneuvering on the open road. After passing and obtaining a commercial driver’s license, the company should continue this training and connect the new driver with a mentor.
Ji’quan Stover is about to take his truck driving test and said even though he walked in the door with an idea of what to expect, he still had to work hard.
“I’m actually from a trucker family, so I had a kind of inside knowledge. But as they always tell me, the first week of school will be a bit tough. But you just have to stick with it and when I came here the first week it was really tough. They threw you out of there, they taught us, they put your hands on it, everything. As soon as it got stuck and the wheels began to turn, I could get started. “
Much of the country’s $ 23 trillion economy depends on 18 wheels. Some companies looking for truck drivers even offer college tuition reimbursements for new drivers. Pay has increased over the years, along with more benefits.
“I have some of the teachers who work here who are a little old-fashioned. They started with just 22 cents a mile. Right now, trucking companies start at 55 cents per mile, ”Avramenko said.
“Without a trucker, you couldn’t get supplies, no, nothing, they are needed and there is a lack of them. You need the training, just make sure you get the proper training. Come to the appropriate school so you can be sure, ”Pearson said.
The White House announced the Truck action plan in December to attract new drivers and retain existing drivers by expediting CDL tests, creating apprenticeship programs and hiring veterans.
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