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Trucking industry sees growing need for drivers
Not all businesses are hurting in this economy. Some are having trouble finding workers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for truckers is rising.
Bradford Woodruff is making his way back to Ohio. This military vet has been driving the big rigs for 31 years.
"You get to go out and see the country, see all the people, meet different generations of people," said Woodruff.
He's traveled throughout the United States, Mexico, and Canada, and during his time in the drivers seat, a lot of changed.
"Got a lot more rules and regulations to go by now than ever, which, population is getting bigger so you have to have more than those," Woodruff said.
While Woodruff supports the rules, others do not and are deciding to leave the trucking business.
"I think with that in place, some guys are getting clear out of the business altogether just because they don't like that oversight," said Dwight Dunsworth, Pavelka Trucking.
With those truckers leaving, the demand for drivers is rising.
Mike Hall-"We very seldom have problems filling out classes," said Mike Hall, CCC Trucking School.
For the past several years, the trucking school at Central Community College in Hastings has seen an increase in people taking the driving course.
"Takes them to the point where we get them their CDL and they are competent enough to handle the truck safely," Hall said.
But after the 6 week class, more training in needed.
"They're still going to have to have secondary training which most of the companies we work with offer that secondary training," said Hall.
And besides offering the additional training, companies are also increasing wages and perks.
"A lot of fleets right now, they're increasing the wages they're paying their drivers. They're also looking at their benefit programs," Dunsworth said.
While the need for drivers is high, nothing can replace the experience of these veteran drivers.
"The inexperience is the biggest issue with the younger driver," said Dunsworth.
But for drivers like Bradford, even after all these years on the road, he says he's still learning and would like to pass his knowledge on to those younger drivers.
"If younger guys ask me questions I'd be more than happy to help them out. I wish there was just more of that," said Woodruff. "Truckers code, you all stick together, we'll make it through it."
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