In California the lack of truck drivers is increasing, together with state farmers’ worries since this shortage have a high impact in the capacity to transport the harvest to the markets. Other industries are already going through this problem, but California AG producers are speaking up about it.
Different elements contribute to this shortage like drivers’ age or current pandemic situation and the challenges related to it. According to the California Trucking Association this shortage could achieve the 30%.
Californian farmers, which are already fighting against the effects of congestion at Southern California ports, now affirm that shortfall situation could increase the prices of the food because the long period of time that the harvest has to wait to be picked and transported.
In the short term, the hope lies in making the Biden administration flexible in relation to truck-weight regulations, just like Trump’s administration did. Allowing tractor-trucks to exceed by a 10% of their weight limit (80,000-pound). This measure decreases the necessity of hiring more drivers but brings other problems, such burning more fuel and wearing out tires faster than normal, in addition to safety problems.
The long-term goal is bringing more people to the industry, to drive trucks. Right now, the sector doesn’t attract new workforce because of the regulations, restrictions, benefits, lifestyle, etc. It’s essential that truck drivers have better working conditions and benefits that compensate all the effort made by them.
It’s a fact that truck drivers abdicate of so many things to transport goods from one place to other, starting from their health and having to expend long periods of time away from their home and family. Truck drivers has been giving so much to the nation that providing better working conditions and more benefits for them seems the most fair thing to do.