Help Wanted: Trucking Job Applicants on the Decrease

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By Olivia Vidal - bio | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

SULPHUR, LA (KPLC) - Driving for a living can bring a decent wage, but the number of applicants has gone down over the past few years according to at least one transportation provider.

Sentinel Transportation, LLC Terminal Manager Keith Porter said most companies have become more competitive with the hiring process.  They're also looking closely at driving records of applicants.

Porter also said with the decrease in applicants, salaries and benefit packages have become significantly better so as to attract more people to the trucking industry.

"Right now, our drivers here in Lake Charles are earning between $55,000 to $70,000 per year," Porter said. "We have terminals within our company that are earning in the $90,000 to $100,000 range."

But many drivers are nearing retirement and companies like Sentinel will need to fill the spots.

"Within our company we've got about 25-percent... Continue Reading...


Del Mar, Coastal Bend Colleges See Increased Demand for Commercial Drivers

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Area colleges issue calls for trucks, trailers

By Elaine Marsilio

CORPUS CHRISTI — If you want to get a commercial driver's license through Del Mar College, you are going to have to wait — until mid-October, at least.

"The demand in the industry is so huge right now," said John M. Rojas, director of Transportation Training Services at the college's West Campus.

Some trucking associations nationwide estimate the driver deficit will reach 300,000 full-time positions in a year.

In the Coastal Bend, the Eagle Ford Shale exploration has put increased demand on local truck driving schools at community colleges.

At Del Mar, Rojas' program is turning potential students away or putting them on waiting lists because he doesn't have enough trailer trucks to meet the demand. His courses are booked through Oct. 17.

Some potential students end up going to over-the-road, or cross-country driving, companies with schools, Rojas said.

But there could be some relief as Del Mar College officials have budgeted $54,000 this year for the purchase of a used trailer truck for the college's program. The college also is looking for local nonprofit agencies to donate trucks to the program.

At Coastal Bend College, officials expanded the truck driving program to include the Beeville, Kingsville and Pleasanton locations because of local demand, college spokeswoman Adrian Jackson said.

The college had a lone Alice site last year that trained more than 100 drivers... Continue Reading...


Schools in Ohio Try to Fill Need for Truck Drivers

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Denver Hamrick

In this July 21, 2011 photo, Dave Mayfield of Panther Expedited Service, left, talks with Hamrick Truck School owner Denver Hamrick during a career fair, in Medina, Ohio. MANDATORY CREDIT Photo: Akron Beacon Journal, Phil Masturzo / AP

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — A nationwide shortage of truck drivers has truck-driver schools in Ohio working to help trucking companies fill that need with newly-trained drivers.

Trucking organizations' estimates on the need for drivers over the next couple of years range from 100,000 to 500,000, the Akron Beacon Journal ( reported. Industry officials say the aging of the current driver population and increased trucking regulations are some of the reasons contributing to the tight market.

The shortage is forcing companies to look more at hiring students from schools, even though carriers typically prefer drivers with one or more years of experience, said Kreigh Spahr, program manager at the Euclid-based truck-driver school at Cuyahoga Community college in northeast Ohio.

"Every major carrier is hiring," Spahr told the newspaper

The founder of the Hamrick Truck Driving School in Medina County says most trucking companies he deals with come to the school to recruit. First-year pay typically is in the low $30,000 range, Denver Hamrick said.

Many trucking companies also will reimburse new drivers for tuition, starting at about $100 to $140 a month, if they stay with the company for a set time, Hamrick said.

Schools say many students are turning to trucking as a second career.

Gladys Tejada, 37, of Cuyahoga Falls, previously worked in quality control at a Summit County business, but expects to graduate from Hamrick's school in September and start driving a truck for a living.

While it's been more difficult than she expected, Tejada said it's what she has always wanted to do.

"Every time I drive, I like it more," she said.

Scott Shy, driver recruiter for Maverick Transportation LLC in Little Rock, Ark., recently attended an open house at the Hamrick school aimed at matching students and drivers with employers.

"There's just not enough drivers to fill the needs of the public," said Shy.

Maverick provides extensive training for new drivers, but turnover among its drivers is 73 percent every three months, Shy said.

Rusty Napier, of Napier Truck Driver Training Inc. in Hamilton, told The Associated Press that the school in southwest Ohio gets calls from companies around the country, but doesn't always have students available.

"Most students — once they have their license — have companies waiting for them," he said

The school's five-week classes cost $4,195 and only have about 10 or 12 students, "but these companies pay people to come talk to them," Napier said... Continue Reading...


Louisiana's Unfilled Jobs Require Experience, Education

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dda student

Charles Dalton (left), checks his mirrors as his trainer, Jonas Anderson, watches on during truck driving training at Diesel Driving Academy. / Henrietta Wildsmith/ The Times

Louisiana continues to outperform the South as the country's economic recovery remains in doubt, but many jobs in the state requiring experience and higher education remain unfilled.

With the South's lowest unemployment rate — 7.6 percent at the end of July — and what many economic advisors see as a newly adopted pro-business attitude, Louisiana has weathered the nationwide fiscal meltdown better than many other states, but competition for jobs remains stiff.

Competition for the available jobs in Louisiana has allowed employers to be pickier, according to Jacques Lasseigne, director of field operations for the Louisiana Workforce Commission in Shreveport. Many of those jobs aren't what people are looking for and either pay too little or are in a foreign line of work, he said.

But some industries are hurting for labor, Lasseigne said, and trying to fill those vacancies might be an indicator of recovery. Truck drivers, industrial mechanics and almost anyone with medical training are now in demand, he said.

"Trucking reacts to the economy first. If no one is making orders, trucking is the first business to see that hit," said Bruce Busada, president of Louisiana's Diesel Driving Academy. "A truck touches everything."

Busada said companies are hiring truckers because the economy has picked up some. Much of the trucking labor pool is near retirement, he said, and there are fewer people trying to get into the industry. Wages are up and demand for drivers has rarely been higher, he said.

Within the first month at the Diesel Driving Academy, Busada said students usually see two or three companies talking to them about potential jobs.

Kristen Gary, spokeswoman for Christus Shumpert Health Systems, said it is trying to fill vacancies across the board from professional disciplines to support services. Gary said experience and education are essential, but to what point they are requirements depends on the specific job.

Statewide Report

Kurt Foreman, president of the North Louisiana Economic Partnership, attributed Louisiana's ability to hold against poor economic tides in part to a pro-business environment developed by local, state and business leadership as well as the elimination of noncompetitive taxes... Continue Reading...


Congratulations to CVTA Member Hamrick School

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Hamrick School has been named as a 2011 ACCSC School of Distinction

The ACCSC School of Distinction Award is intended to recognize ACCSC-accredited institutions that have demonstrated a commitment to the expectations and rigors of accreditation as well as a commitment to delivering quality educational programs

Hamrick School will be honored at the 2011 Professional Development Conference Awards Ceremony.

Congratulations on this wonderful achievement!

Economic Rebound, Firms' Selectivity Spur Driver Shortage

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By Ileana Morales

LAKELAND | More than 100 people apply every day to Comcar, a trucking company based in Auburndale.

But from that big pool of potential truck drivers, only two or three make the cut.

For trucking companies, the slow pick-up of the economy has revived an issue left on the back burner during the recession.

There's a shortage of qualified truck drivers. It's a nationwide issue, and local companies say the shortage of qualified drivers has already hit or is coming to Polk County. Finding those drivers isn't an easy task for recruiters. They say the industry is still adjusting to stricter regulations from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for screening a driver's criminal, employment and driving history. The main difference is crash and inspection records will now follow a driver from one job to the next.

"Today, I'd say if you have a truck open you need to fill, it's not that you aren't getting applications to fill that truck, but there's a huge amount of people to exclude," said Bob Costello, chief economist for the American Trucking Association.

This shortage isn't yet as bad as it was in 2005, when the country needed another 10,000 drivers, Costello said, but it could get worse. The industry faces an increasing demand to move freight as it tries to find replacements for the older drivers who are beginning to retire. Trucking companies are also being more selective because they can't afford crashes.... Continue Reading...


TMC Transportation’s Darek Paul Named Trucking’s Top Rookie of the Year

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For Immediate Release
Contact:     Brad Bentley
(256) 241-3310
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Cash and prizes awarded at Great American Trucking Show

TUSCALOOSA, Ala., (August 2011) - Randall-Reilly Business Media & Information announced TMC Transportation company driver Darek Paul as the winner in its Trucking’s Top Rookie program at a ceremony on Friday, August 26 during the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas.

Paul was chosen for the award by an expert panel of judges, which included representatives from motor carriers, training schools (both public and private), suppliers and trade associations.

As the Top Rookie, Paul won $10,000 in cash and the following prizes:

  • One-year complimentary membership in the National Association of Independent Truckers

  • A Year’s supply of 5-Hour Energy drinks

  • RoadPro Getting Started Living On-The-Go Package

  • NAIT OGIO briefcase and duffle bag

  • American Trucking Associations “Good Stuff Trucks Bring It” package

  • A GPS unit and CB radio from COBRA Electronics

  • 1 year of free access to Pro-Tread training series from Instructional Technologies, Inc.

Paul will be featured in Randall-Reilly’s Student Driver Placement and Pro Trucker publications and in an interview with Midnight Trucking Radio’s Eric Harley.

A Nashville native, Paul received his CDL training at CDI in Christiana, Tenn. Before becoming a driver with TMC, Paul served in the Army for three years and spent 15 months in Iraq. In late August, he also celebrated his one-year anniversary with TMC.

“Darek is a fine young man and we are so proud of him,” says Duane Boswell, VP of Recruiting. “Since he was in orientation and earned the honor roll award for his high test scores Darek has stood out. He performs his job safely, efficiently and most importantly with pride. He is the type of person we wish to hire and attract to the profession. Darek is an excellent representative for this award and our company. We look forward to his future success at TMC.”

The Trucking's Top Rookie contest was created to highlight the opportunities in the truck driving profession and promote the truck driving career choice during a severe shortage of drivers. Carriers were asked to nominate their top rookie who had graduated from a PTDI certified, or NAPFTDS- or CVTA-member driver training school within the past year and had been employed by their trucking company for less than one year. Nominees were judged on their safety performance, customer service and achievements within their organization.

Nine other finalists for the Trucking’s Top Rookie award each received $500 in cash and a variety of other prizes. The other finalists were Jackie Rhodes, Crete Carrier Corp.; Theodore Mueskes, Trimac Transportation; Clayton Tuma, Grand Island Express; Lorissa Strychowskj, MacKinnon Transport; Brian Knott, Maverick Transportation; Matthew Underhill, Con-Way Truckload; Wesley Baker, Cargo Transporters; Christopher Thiel, Grand Island Express and Damon Frazee, Crete Carrier Corporation.

Trucking’s Top Rookie is a partnership between Randall-Reilly, Truckload Carriers Association, Progressive Insurance, the National Association of Independent Truckers, Commercial Vehicle Training Association, Shell ROTELLA, National Association of Publicly Funded Truck Driving Schools, American Trucking Associations and the Midnight Trucking Radio Network.