On Monday, the President highlighted the role of trucking in the American economy, and touted the administration’s efforts to increase the number of professional drivers. NATSO president & CEO Lisa Mullings joined trucking industry executives and professional drivers at the event on the South Lawn of the White House, where three trucks served as a backdrop for Biden, as well as Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg and a professional driver who also spoke at the event.
In his remarks, Secretary Buttigieg said drivers need more truck parking. The Trucking Action Plan, launched in December, was recently modified to include parking expansion. The Trucking Action Plan does not include new funding for parking.
The President also said that “it’s no surprise” that driver pay makes it challenging to recruit drivers. “Back in 1978, the average truck driver’s pay was $34 an hour in today’s dollars. Last year it was $25 an hour.”
President Biden said that long waits to load and unload also contribute to the trucker shortage. “Long-haul full-truckload drivers only spend an average of 6.5 hours per working day driving despite being allowed to drive a maximum of 11 hours. That means about 40 percent of their capacity is not being used,” he said.
The administration helped increase the number of drivers entering the workforce by providing funding to states to speed up the CDL issuance process and creating a driver apprenticeship program, Biden said.
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