LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) – It’s been a problem for years but now things are getting even worse. The Nebraska trucking industry has seen a steady decline in the number of drivers, and if things continue on this route it could prevent you from getting your everyday items.
One of the biggest issues, especially as summer approaches, is that gas stations can start to run out of fuel, simply because there aren’t enough drivers to carry it.
Places like Lincoln Trucking Company say they’re hiring, but they don’t see a lot of applications coming in. Even when they are, people do not always have the required qualifications.
âIn Nebraska, about half of all communities in our state get everything they need, literally everything, by truck only. No train, no plane, no other way to meet the needs of these communities except trucks, âsaid Kent Grisham, president of the Nebraska Trucking Association.
This shortage of drivers, the Nebraska Trucking Association said, is a critical problem for the industry. âWithout trucks, store shelves don’t fill up. Fuel supplies stop where they are, âGrisham said.
Long hours on the road and weeks away from family is what the Lincoln Trucking Company may be telling us to keep people away.
âIf you are driving on the freeway, you will see that we have a sign on one of our trailers that says ‘always looking for drivers’,â said Terry Novak, president of Lincoln Trucking Company.
While the job has many benefits and pays well, it is not enough to keep drivers on the road. âIn the span of a few years, you could very well earn a six-figure income,â Grisham said.
CDL instructors say enrollment in truck driving courses has declined dramatically. âLast year we had classes with only about six students,â said Mike Kuebler, director of the SCC Professional Truck Driving Program.
If the trend of not having enough truckers continues, we may start to feel the effects on the Nebraska economy. âThe price of some things can go up, or you’re going to find places where the shelves are empty,â Kuebler said.
This shortage of truckers is pushing some companies in the industry to get creative. They’re finding new ways to keep drivers home more often.
SCC’s CDL program lasts eight weeks and costs just over $ 1,000.
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