Truck driver

East Texas CDL school sees surge in student numbers amid truck driver shortage and inflation

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) — Although there is a shortage of truck drivers nationwide, more East Texans are looking to join the industry.

The American Trucking Associations (ATA) reported a shortage of 80,000 drivers last year, an all-time high that the ATA predicts will reach 160,000 by 2030.

Rapid CDL owner Chris Griffith said he could see the shortage in the number of calls he was hearing from businesses needing help.

“They call me every day, ‘I don’t, I can’t have drivers, I don’t have enough, I need more drivers,'” Griffith said of the companies. .

Motorists are also faced with rising fuel prices.

The national average for a gallon of diesel is $5.47, about $2.20 more than last year.

“One of our trucks costs $900 to fill a truck. We have seven. So you see if you have companies that have 500 trucks, you see how devastating it is for them, but that’s why it’s sad but everything goes up, and that’s why all prices go up, races go up,” Griffith said.

According to ATA, more than 80% of U.S. communities rely exclusively on trucks for freight service, so capacity constraints on trucking supply chains caused by inflation directly impact the cost to these consumers. .

Today, trucking companies are raising wages to meet rising diesel and consumer goods prices.

“I had a guy who was paying $25, $30 an hour for people coming out of class with no experience to drive and be home every night,” Griffith said.

Over the past few months, the number of students at Rapid CDL has doubled.

“Income is like on the roof right now when it comes to trucking. You can make a good living driving trucks,” Griffith said.

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