MTA president John Hausladen talked about the truck driver shortage and what can be done to get younger drivers into the industry. Listen to his interview below:
It's a job where you can live anywhere you want and make upwards of six figures.
But there is still a worker shortage that's been going on for a while, and could get worse if numbers don't turn around soon.
The trucking industry is looking at ways to attract new drivers, and the Minnesota Trucking Association's John Hausladen says it's becoming a more attractive way of life.
"The industry has changed dramatically," Hausladen told Sloane Martin on the WCCO Morning News. "We've reduced length of haul, we have more local pickup and delivery."
They're looking for changes in distance limits that would allow younger drivers to get acclimated to the industry, and stop the number of drivers from shrinking.
Hausladen said part of the Federal Highway Bill can remedy the problem.
The measure now before congress includes the Drive Safe Act, which would create apprenticeships for those under 21 years of age.
Current federal law prohibits hauling over state lines to drivers 21 and older.
That means a younger driver would be allowed by federal law to haul cargo from the Twin Cities to International Falls, but not to Hudson, Wisc.
"With the new technology, the new equipment, the training, the onboard cameras, we think that we can put younger people with the right conditions to drive trucks and get them into the industry sooner," he said, calling it an early "school to work" path.
Trucking industry leaders say if hiring levels don't rise, they could be short about 160,000 drivers within the next nine years.