A transportation committee is trying to figure out how to create more CDL drivers in South Carolina. The discussion comes after a few different agencies expressed concern of not being able to meet transportation demands.
The president of the SC Trucking Association says like other industries in the state, the trucking industry is also facing a shortage of workers. On Tuesday, members of the subcommittee had the chance to hear from these agencies and learn a few reasons why.
State transport police, the South Carolina Trucking Association, and the timber association were present at the meeting and presented their concerns.
The chair of the subcommittee Representative Jay West explained why members are looking into the issues. “It’s not widely known but there is a severe shortage of CDL truck drivers in South Carolina.”
The agencies feelign the impact say the shortage is attributed to a few different reasons.
“To be able to get that driver insured the insurance company wants at least 2 years of experience driving. So they have to be 21 and then 2 years of experience so you’re automatically at 24-25 years old and a lot of people have went on to other pursuits,” added Rick Todd, the president of SC Trucking Association.
Lawmakers on the committee are pledging to propose legislation that will help attract, train and retain CDL drivers.
Representative West says the shortage doesn’t just impact industries that hire CDL drivers. “That effects a lot of industry, agribusiness; our farmers getting things to market. It also effects getting freight from one place to another and even to the port.”
Todd continued, “E-commerce is 100% dependent on trucks because planes or trains can’t go to your front door.”
Another piece of the puzzle is putting more funding into CDL training programs at the technical college level.
The system says with more money, the schools can buy more equipment for the program and ultimately enroll more students to create those needed drivers.