PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Tractor-trailers are everywhere, so it is hard to imagine any shortage of people to drive them, but the reality is different.
“We get recruiters here all the time. And I got probably seven or eight pre-hires for different companies wanting to hire us right out of school,” Christopher Amodeo said.
After 20 years in a body shop, Amodeo is changing careers. He is learning to drive big trucks at All-State Career School in West Mifflin.
So, why the sudden change?
“Because of the lack of truck drivers out there, and the money to be made,” Amodeo said.
Pitt-Ohio is a locally based trucking company and they are always looking for top-notch truck drivers.
Despite the good pay, it’s not easy being a long-distance truck driver Geoff Muessig of Pitt-Ohio said.
“That’s a difficult job, driving close to 500 miles every day, being on the road away from your family and friends, and we find it is very hard and difficult to recruit drivers for that type of job,” Muessig said.
KDKA-TV’s Jon Delano gave driving a truck a try with the able help of Paul Bulick, who is the director of All-State Career School.
Driving the truck is not easy as it involves a double-clutch and 10 gears.
Part of the problem is many truck drivers are just getting old and are going to retire soon.
However, there’s another reason for the shortage and that’s the growth and the explosion of a the Marcellus Shale drilling industry.
That short-haul driving is impacting truckers everywhere, Bullick said.
“The amount of drivers that Marcellus Shale is taking right now is huge. We’re talking hundreds and hundreds of drivers,” Bullick said.
That shortage makes driving a truck an attractive second career for almost anyone.