BUSINESS

Truck driver shortage could hurt consumers

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A severe shortage of truck drivers nationwide has companies bending over backwards to attract new hires.

Without additional truck drivers, the shortage could soon lead to higher consumer prices and delivery delays.

Matt Burdette is a long haul truck driver.

"Texas, been down to the border of Mexico. I've been....everywhere!," Burdette exclaimed.

He says the adventure and pay are good, but the job can be tough on families.

Burdette added, "A lot of guys don't like being away from home...cause you're on the road for 10-11 months a year."

Add increasing rules and regulations, as well as training programs that can cost up to $6,000, and the result is a severe shortage in the field.

Some long haul companies have annual turnover rates of 100 percent. But long haulers aren't the only kind in short supply, local drivers are also increasingly hard to find.

Hahn Transportation in New Market, Maryland delivers cement and petroleum products.

"We turn away work on a daily basis because of a lack of drivers," said Barbara Windsor, the president and CEO of Hahn Transportation Company.

Windsor advertises, trains her own drivers and offers signing bonuses, but the shortage persists.

"We have maybe as many as 20 to 30 openings today," she added.

Bobby Weller's has been driving for Hahn for 39 years and says it's a hard sell in a culture driven by college degrees.

"Young people today are more oriented into doing other things," Weller explained.

The lack of new hires also affects consumers.

A driver shortage, industry experts say, will delay deliveries and drive up prices of just about everything.

Keeping the rigs running, they add, will keep America running too.

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