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Driver Search Still On into 2015, motor carriers continue to grapple with the problem of finding and recruiting good drivers. Employers are fighting the shortage with higher wages and decreased experience requirements.

More than 90 percent of carriers reported in a recent survey by Transport Capital Partners that they will increase driver wages during the next 12 months. Some will raise pay by as much as 10 percent.

“Carriers are seeing potential applicants go to other sectors, like construction, where there is more predictable home time and where extra pay is not limited by federal hours of service regulations,” said TCP Partner Steven Dutro, in the survey report.

Because of those issues, even the largest wage increases may not be enough to put a dent in the shortage.

“We think we’ll need to see really significant pay increases to start attracting real interest from the broader labor force,” said Erick Starks, president of FTR Transportation Intelligence, in an interview with Fleet Owner. “If we start seeing pay up around $80,000 per year, then you’ll see far more people willing to make personal time sacrifices to work that job.”

Another route some carriers are exploring is hiring less experienced drivers. Nearly 85 percent of carriers in TCP’s survey support federal regulation that would allow drivers under the age of 21 to apply for commercial driver’s licenses. The change would help carriers recruit drivers right out of high school, before they enter other industries. Read more…