Trucker Shortage Could Hit Your Wallet

OMAHA (KPTM)- A national truck driver shortage could have a devastating impact on how people buy food, gas and other supplies according to experts. "If we don't have trucks, you're going to find shortages of food, water, everything that we depend on daily," said Larry Marsh. Marsh is an instructor at JTL Truck Driver Training. Computers, cars, gasoline, food, and medical supplies are just a couple of things that are transported by truck drivers, according to Larry Marsh. Marsh said the United States is in the middle of a truck driver shortage that is only expected to get worse. Currently, there is a need for around 30,000 truck drivers. According to Marsh, in the next ten years, the United States will need around 200,000 truck drivers. "It's just every week, there's two or three companies calling in a panic wondering where they're going to find drivers," said Marsh. Marsh said there aren't as many young people choosing truck driving as an occupation and thousands of truck drivers are nearing retirement age. "I never know where I'm going to be and when and I kind of like that to a point," said Byron Horst. Horst has been a truck driver for 44 years and is retiring within the next 18 months. "Now that I'm counting, a year and five months," said Horst. Horst said he doesn't often see young people on the road, and if he does, they don't last too long. "It's an honest job," said Horst. "You work for what you get." Marsh said he has talked with politicians about funding grant programs that will help unemployed people go through the month long truck driving education class. He said companies are starting to work with drivers where they won't have to be on the road for long periods of time. "(Companies are) trying to have jobs where you can be home on a daily basis or weekly basis," said Marsh. As for Horst, he said he's been all over the country, and is happy at the idea of settling down at home.

"Again, I'm glad I'm old," laughed Horst.

Written By: Maureen Wurtz