Now the country faces a significant shortage of truck drivers, and I have a few theories as to why. One of the biggest reasons is that drivers are older than workers in general. At the company I work for, the average age of drivers is 60 years old, and many are starting to retire. And you just don’t see younger people on the road. For the young folks I do see, they try it for a short time and then quit. And I get it; it’s hard work, and it’s hard not to be home every night.
It takes time to get comfortable driving long distances and being gone for long stretches. Eventually, you get used to it, but you can’t hide from loneliness on the road. Some drivers have cats (I saw someone with four in his truck) to counter loneliness, and others drive with their wife. For me, I listen to audiobooks. But even the best book can’t replace human connection.
The shortage could be due to any number of other reasons. Maybe the lack of healthy food options on the road, or even the roads themselves, have discouraged people from taking up driving. (Some states are harder to drive through than others.) Or maybe the growing supply-chain crisis is making it difficult for drivers to repair their trucks or get serviced. When I get my oil changed now, I have to call ahead to make sure they even have the materials to do it.