‘Our industry is on life support’: Trucking industry suffering work shortage long before pandemic

Local News

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Many businesses have been hurting for workers. One business in Youngstown that’s been hit hard is the trucking industry.

You’re probably thinking you see plenty of trucks on the roadway, how can there be a shortage?

Despite how it looks, the industry is facing a shortage that has been on the downward slope for more than 10 years.

“Our industry is not in dire or critical state right now. Our industry is on life support,” said Paul Lyden, executive VP of Lyden Oil Company.

Lyden says the industry has been hammered by the government, insurance industry and law enforcement for years, but since the pandemic, it has ramped up things immensely.

He says people used to think it was a great career where you could travel and see the country, but now it’s been given a bad rap.

He also says, to become a professional truck driver, you have to go through so many steps to get approved by the state.

“You can take the test, it’s just trying to find a vehicle to take the test in. They make that very, very, very difficult for the various classifications of a CDL for a commercial drivers license,” Lyden said.

Lyden says it wasn’t this hard to hire a truck driver 20 years ago. The word was out they were hiring, and they had dozens of applicants trying to get in.

With what’s happening now, he says it’s going to have ripple affect of many more every day things.

“You’ll see it with your produce, you’ll see it with your meats, you milks, all the essentials you will see escalating prices because we are having to pay more to get drivers, and it’s just transportation costs go up and up and up,” Lyden said.

The only way to survive this is if people voice their concerns and do something to change it, according to Lyden. The change has to start locally, then go outward to the state and onto Washington.

If you’re looking to get into this career, you can visit the Lyden Oil Company’s website.

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