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Local Moving Companies Don't See a Shortage of Truck Drivers

Posted: Nov 9, 2012 8:45 PM by Mengti Xu
Updated: Nov 15, 2012 12:29 AM

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COLUMBIA - While USA Today reports the country is having a worsening shortage of truck drivers, especially long-haul-trucking drivers, the manager of a small local moving company in Columbia said she didn't see the shortage in her business.

Ashley Garrison, moving manager of TLC Moving, said most of her business is local, but sometimes her truck drivers have to drive across states.

USA Today reported that the annual driver turnover rate is much higher recently among large carriers as well as small carriers. However, Garrison said she's had to turn people away.

"Because of unemployment, they come and call and ask for jobs, so there are more asking for rather than us not being able to find it," Garrison said.

But Garrison said some people don't like the job for a number of reasons.

"It's not just the long-hours, but it's in different hours, they're never consistent," said Garrison. "You could never know when someone is gonna move."

The article also said the shortage of truck drivers has increased freight costs for many freight companies. Garrison said for her, gas prices and factors other than a driver shortage have affected those costs.

Lead Moving Specialist Linzie Lambert, who has worked in the company for more than 10 years, said he enjoys his job.

Lambert said sometimes he has long days and sometimes short days. When there is a dramatically long day and he needs some help, Lambert said he can always call his co-workers and ask for help.

But Lambert said he doesn't mind driving a lot.

"We don't mind driving long days and that doesn't bother us at all," said Lambert. "We're gonna always try to manager our work. If we drive that day, then we're gonna unload the next day."

To keep good movers, which Lambert said is hard, the company has increased its truck drivers' pay.

In Missouri, to get a Class E driver's license to drive a truck, a person just needs to be 18 years old, but to drive interstate as a truck driver, the person has to be at least 21 years old.

The article said this limitation keeps many high school graduates out of this business. Moreover, in many trucking companies, potential drivers must attend a six-week training program, but many people cannot afford it.

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