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Lack Of Qualified Truck Drivers Could Lead To Gas Shortage This Summer

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As gas prices continue to rise and more and more people get back to traveling, another major problem is apparently looming – a possible gas shortage. There have already been scattered reports of gas stations running out of gas in recent weeks, but the problem could get much worse this summer, according to the industry trade group National Tank Truck Carriers.

“We’ve been dealing with a driver shortage for a while, but the pandemic took that issue and metastasized it,” Ryan Streblow, executive vice president of the NTTC, told CNN. “It certainly has grown exponentially.”

According to the NTTC, between 20 and 25 percent of tank trucks are currently idle simply because there aren’t enough qualified drivers to operate them, compared to just 10 percent in 2019. This is partly due to the fact that the demand for gasoline plummeted at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused many drivers to leave and find new employment or even retire.

“We were even hauling boxes for Amazon just to keep our drivers busy,” said Holly McCormick, vice president in charge of driver recruitment and retention at Groendyke Transport, an Oklahoma tanker company. “A lot of drivers didn’t want to do the safety protocols. We’re also working with an aging workforce. Many said ‘I might as well take it as a cue to retire.'”

Tanker truck drivers require special certification to operate tanker trucks, which requires not only a commercial driver’s license but also several weeks of additional training. Additionally, many driving schools shut down when the pandemic settled in, which slowed the pipeline of new drivers, while around 40,000 to 50,000 were knocked out of the employment pool when their prior drug or alcohol violations or failed drug tests went online last year.

In the meantime, tanker truck operators are raising pay to try and attract new drivers, but with many planning to travel this summer, experts fear that a gas shortage is imminent, especially in tourist hot spots – a phenomenon that already occurred in places like Florida during spring break.

We’ll have more on the state of the gas prices and inventory soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for ongoing Ford news coverage.

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Written by Brett Foote

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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11 Comments

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    • What exactly don’t you believe? That drivers retired when demand was down? That businesses are having trouble hiring and retaining employees, in this case qualified drivers? That business owners are lying about trucks sitting idle because they don’t have anyone to drive them? A lot to unpack here.

    • It’s not f**king Biden’s fault idiot. It’s supply and demand and also now a lack of qualified truck drivers. You just go straight to criticism before you actually know the real facts. If you don’t like Biden so be it. But, you can’t criticize him for something he has zero power in which is controlling how much people want to become semi drivers and the increasing trend of Americans driving. It’s the same thing every spring/summer. Gas prices go up due to supply and demand. It’s how oil companies or basically any business works.

      • I’m afraid you are not entirely right. Government over-regulation of the trucking industry has made it less profitable for the industry and drivers alike and has thrown a real monkey wrench into the supply chain. It is a really bad situation. How much to lay at Biden’s feet, I’m not sure.

  1. The late Rush Limbaugh once said. One major way of removing gasoline powered vehicles was eliminate gasoline. Looks like this may become a reality. If you don’t think the current administration is behind the reduction of truck drivers. Do some research on how the background checks for drivers started.

  2. Driver shortage because of the driver facing camera which Kamala Harris supported in California and is now Nationwide.big brother is watching

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