By Bryan Navarro
MEDFORD, Ore. — Fewer people are answering the call of the open road. There are quite a few job openings for long haul truck drivers, but hardly any applications.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor says, by the end of the decade, the trucking industry will grow by 20%, but fewer drivers are answering the call of the open road. FV Martin Trucking Company says most of its applicants are former truckers who can’t get a job in other industries and want to come back to driving truck, but Martin Trucking is hesitant to hire those.
“A lot of people are trying to find a job because the other jobs are gone in construction or whatever,” says Doug Sabin, of FV Martin Trucking Company. “So, they go back to something that they used to do, but they got out of it because they don’t want to do it anymore. They try to come back into it, but their hearts not into it.”
FV Martin Trucking says the ideal candidate is someone they can’t hire: a high school graduate. But insurance companies set an age minimum of 21 years old.
“By that time they already have a career established, they probably don’t want to get out of or change yet. It’s hard to find those individuals that want to do what it is we do,” Sabin says.
FV Martin Trucking owners say the economy has been playing a role, slowly but steadily increasing. This year they’ve been busier month to month, than last year and that was busier than the year before.