Trucking Industry Facing Demand Surge Amid Coronavirus, from Spectrum News, April 8, 2020. Roadmaster Drivers School in San Antonio, TX is seeing a pickup in new students ready to take to the road. “So even in a pandemic, truck driving is in great demand,” says Brad Ball, the school’s President, noting that some workers are making a career switch to trucking after getting laid off. “While there’s unemployment and layoffs rising, trucks are still moving. We can’t deny that trucks are involved the goods needed every day.”
It’s getting harder in many states to train and license new drivers because of social distancing guidelines and closed DMV offices. As of the second week of April, 27 states had shut down their DMVs due to the coronavirus. “That’s why this is critical,” says Don Lefeve, president of the Commercial Vehicle Training Association. “If you can’t get your commercial learner’s permit, you’re unable to even drive on the road. You can’t start training, you can’t go to work for a company.”
Lefeve, who represents more than 225 training schools across the country, says new truckers are critical to meet the sudden rush of the demand caused by the pandemic. He worries that the nation is missing out on an estimated 25,000 to 40,000 new truck drivers unable to take to the roads because of closed DMVs. Texas, however, he notes, is a bright spot, where licenses are still available.
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