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Do We Have a Truck Driver Shortage in Texas?

Do we have a truck driver shortage in Texas?


Texas, the Lone Star State, is facing a driver shortage for truck drivers, which can be critical to its growing economy since they are needed on highways throughout the state and beyond. The complicated causes of this lack of drivers will be discussed in more depth here, as well as solutions such as getting younger people involved and the impact of the shortage in Texas. All these details connected with this crucial issue need exploration, so fasten your seatbelts!

Short Summary

  • The truck driver shortage in Texas is caused by inadequate pay, lack of recognition, and an aging workforce.
  • Solutions to address the shortage include improving pay & benefits, work-life balance, and targeted recruitment & training initiatives.
  • The impact on Texas includes a heightened risk to public safety due to relaxed screening processes, increased inexperienced drivers, and a higher rate of fatal truck crashes.

The Reality of the Truck Driver Shortage in Texas

The trucker shortage in Texas is hurting the economy due to difficulty with driver retention. Pay, recognition, and a positive work environment are some of the elements contributing to drivers leaving their jobs. Pay appears to be one of the biggest causes.

The ATA believes this issue will increase twofold by 2031, given that there’s an advanced average age for those working as truckers and a lack of success when recruiting younger men and women into positions within this industry.

Aging Workforce

The trucking industry is confronting a unique challenge, with drivers in Texas having an above-average age of 48. This aging pool makes it difficult to fill the roles left vacant by retiring employees and maintain a stable labor force. This problem isn’t exclusive to The Lone Star State but can also be observed in cities nationwide.

Women account for only 6% of sector workers, aggravating its current workforce shortage even further.

Difficulty Attracting Younger Drivers

The trucker shortage is an issue that has been difficult to overcome due in part to the difficulty of attracting younger drivers. Long hours and extended periods away from family are not particularly appealing qualities, leaving potential employees with other industries as more attractive options with a better work-life balance or higher wages.

To address this problem, companies within the trucking industry must begin utilizing modern technology while also stepping up communication efforts in order to become competitive forces against other businesses vying for these desired young applicants. In doing so, they can break through their current staffing hurdle by recruiting qualified individuals who will be able to replenish their dwindling workforce numbers.

Causes Behind the Truck Driver Shortage

The truck driver shortage in Texas is a consequence of many causes, including the tough lifestyle and the static pay rate. The aging workforce, with most drivers approaching retirement age, coupled with limited numbers of younger people entering the industry, increases this crisis situation further.

Drivers face extended hours as well as variable timetables, making it an unappealing job for prospective workers who are also unhappy that payment for their efforts on the road is determined mostly via mileage rather than skill or time invested in driving, leading to high turnover rates inside this business sector–the trucking industry.

Demanding Lifestyle

Truck drivers in Texas are essential for the retail, manufacturing, automotive, and food industries. This profession is a difficult one due to long hours of work and time away from home, leading to the shortage of qualified personnel that can take on these roles.

Truck driving requires dedication, with extended periods being spent away from home, around two or three weeks at once coupled with only short breaks between journeys across state lines or even countries. Long haul trucking demands intense commitment due to its demanding lifestyle, making it hard to draw younger people who value their work-life balance more highly into this role.

Stagnant Wages

The trucking industry is facing a driver shortage, making it hard for companies to draw in and keep prospective drivers. The hourly rate of company truckers working seven days per week stands at $25.00 an hour, yet this pay has not kept pace with inflation – currently standing as much as 50% lower than wages from 1980 when taking into account the current cost of living.

This lack of financial incentives exacerbates the issue that exists within the industry’s workforce scarcity.

High Turnover Rates

The trucking industry has been plagued by a high turnover rate of drivers, leading to an ongoing lack of available personnel. With the current number estimated at 89%, companies need new recruits continually in order to meet their goals and handle shipments before driver fatigue sets in.

To combat this issue and bolster long-term retention levels among staff, businesses within the sector must make progressive changes such as raising pay scales, giving better benefits packages, or providing more extensive work/life balance options along with tailored recruitment programs for potential hires plus comprehensive training regimes once they join.

Solutions to Address the Truck Driver Shortage in Texas

To address the driver shortage in Texas and ultimately provide support for its economy, a number of solutions have been suggested. These involve better pay and benefits, enhancing work-life balance, and recruiting drivers with targeted training initiatives.

By taking these measures into account, it is expected that this trucking industry can overcome the lack of manpower and maintain an efficient workforce to sustain Texan commerce on a long-term basis.

Enhancing Pay and Benefits

Due to the shortage of truck drivers in Texas, companies within the trucking industry need to provide competitive pay and benefits packages as an incentive for people entering or staying in this field. Salaries range from $52,518-$126,882 a year with an average salary of approximately $62k annually (or about 29,81 dollars per hour). Offering these sorts of advantages can help attract and maintain personnel so that there are more sufficient resources available within the industry.

Improving Work-Life Balance

In an attempt to remedy the driver shortage, Texas’ trucking industry must entice younger drivers by creating flexible schedules with adequate rest periods. Many of these individuals are currently on route for 21+ days a month and working up to 11 hours every day.

Rules should be implemented that will ensure they have more time at home and set expectations for their workloads. Improving conditions in this manner would create much-needed job security within the sector while simultaneously making it more attractive as a profession overall.

Targeted Recruitment and Training Initiatives to Address Truck Driver Shortages

In Texas, the trucking industry can tackle its driver shortage by launching recruiting initiatives focusing on women and young adults. Offer accessible training options like partnerships between driving services & colleges along with paid CDL programs. This should help build a pool of competent drivers.

Training programs must be comprehensive and prepare those new drivers looking to make truck driving a career.

This way not only are demographics who lack adequate representation getting an opportunity, but it also helps reduce the existing gap in resources related to skilled personnel in the industry.

The Texas economy relies on trucking companies. Many drivers have quit due to their time away from family. Particularly long-haul drivers. More drivers are needed in Houston, Dallas and Across Texas.

The Role of Technology and Innovation in the Trucking Industry

In Texas, technology and innovation can play a major role in tackling the lack of truck drivers. Utilizing digital technologies such as autonomous vehicles and telematics could help to decrease the workload for these professional drivers while making it an attractive option.

Route optimization improvements paired with driver assistance tools have made this vocation more efficient, which might encourage people to apply for driving roles despite the shortage. We may reduce this issue once and forever by implementing new tech-related solutions.

Leveraging Technology

To tackle the issue of a truck driver shortage in Texas, there is technology available that can help optimize routes and scheduling and provide assistance for drivers. This could make being a driver much more appealing while also increasing efficiency. The technologies include autonomous driving tech, dynamic routing systems, training simulators, and fleet management software, all designed to reduce travel time significantly.

Innovative Trucking Companies

Drivers are being offered more control over their work-life balance through innovative trucking companies that operate similarly to Uber. By utilizing a Schedule Optimizer and no-force dispatch policy, drivers can choose which lanes to run and what loads they’d prefer with the highest revenue-per-load percentage in the industry at 82%. This results in an average monthly income of $17,000 for drivers who have chosen this route instead of traditional ways within the trucking industry.

How Does the Shortage of Truck Drivers Impact Texas?

In Texas, the shortage of truck drivers has led to adverse effects such as reduced driver training and screening procedures being adopted by the companies in order for them to keep up with demand. This could potentially put less qualified individuals behind the wheel, which poses a great risk when it comes to public safety throughout Texas.

More inexperienced motorists are joining this profession due to these inadequate standards set forth by some trucking firms. Leading to an increase in fatal crashes involving trucks on roads across this state.

Relaxed Driver Screening and Training

Due to the lack of drivers, trucking companies in Texas may be prompted to ease up their driver screening and training standards. As per existing regulations, they must ensure completion of an education course related to driving with a valid certification issued from it as well as 20 hours or more behind-the-wheel instructions before issuing permits.

Consequently, though this could relieve some pressure off the shortage issue, there will still remain concerns around public safety due to inexperienced individuals on the road that have not had adequate preparation according to protocols set out by state laws.

Inexperienced Drivers Mean More Accidents in Texas

In Texas, inexperienced drivers are a danger to public safety and contribute to the increasing number of truck accidents. With 643 fatalities in 2020 alone due to such collisions, it is important for the state to take measures that could help reduce their frequency.

Gaining support from the Attorney General should be one priority, focusing on recruiting experienced drivers as well as investing more into comprehensive training opportunities so those behind the wheel can stay safe and prevent Losses.

Texas Already Leads the Nation in Fatal Truck Crashes

In 2020, Texas experienced many truck crash fatalities, with 643 total cases. If the driver shortage is not addressed by both the state and those in the trucking industry through proper solutions, it could lead to even more traffic deaths due to relaxed screening for drivers as well as less knowledgeable individuals operating vehicles on public roads. It’s imperative that these organizations find ways to reduce this deficit and guarantee safety across all Texas highways.

When the pool of potential drivers shrinks, so does the safety on our highways.


The truck driver shortages in Texas are complex and require a thoughtful approach. All parties involved should work together to improve the trucking industry’s pay, benefits, and life balance for drivers along with advanced recruitment/training measures so that commerce can continue running smoothly through The Lone Star State. This would provide an enduring workforce while meeting the demands of this burgeoning economy, benefiting both employers as well as current and prospective truckers seeking employment here in Texas.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is there a shortage of truck drivers?

The trucking industry is facing a truck driver shortage caused by their employees seeking better driver pay, benefits, and working conditions. This has become an issue for companies as they struggle to recruit qualified drivers and younger drivers while being forced to increase prices due to increased costs associated with the lack of personnel. The knock-on effect that this causes not only applies on the consumer level but also across other areas in the wider industry.

Why are so many truck drivers quitting?

The trucking industry is in the midst of a crisis caused by an insufficient number of experienced drivers. This has resulted in companies facing challenges to find adequately qualified staff for their positions. Many current employees have elected to quit due to substandard wages and inadequate home time combined with health concerns being factors contributing to this decision. As such, these truckers are now looking elsewhere for more favorable job opportunities.

Is Texas a nice place to live?

Texas is the perfect place for living, offering welcoming citizens, inexpensive real estate options, and proximity to natural environments. To all of this, it enjoys warm weather year-round, making for a great atmosphere! So, if you find yourself with an attractive wage in your desired city then there will be plenty here that can help make life enjoyable.

The Lone Star State has something for whatever lifestyle you may seek. Urban or rural areas abound along its varied landscape, so no one needs to go without their preferences being met. With such variety on offer, Texas stands out as providing unparalleled opportunities not only within America but worldwide too!

How can technology help address the truck driver shortage?

A truck driver’s job can become more attractive and productive with the help of technology. This includes autonomous driving, which cuts down on the time needed to travel, dynamic routing systems that optimize their journeys, and simulator training for keeping up with safety procedures, eye tracking training, and more. As well as fleet management software. All these tools enable drivers to do their jobs better and easier than ever before!

Hurt In a Semi-Tuck Accident in Texas? Call Us For Help!

Call the trucking accident attorney in Texas for a FREE consultation about your rights and options after an injury accident with a Semi truck.

(281) 893-0760


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Post under: Safety & Prevention

About Greg Baumgartner

Truck accident lawyer Greg Baumgartner
Greg Baumgartner is a preeminent rated personal injury lawyer based in Houston, Texas, with over three decades of experience representing severely injured clients in truck accidents. He founded Baumgartner Law Firm, in 1985, with a mission to provide excellent legal representation and personalized attention to every client.