ROCHESTER, Minn. - As people get back to work and hit the road for vacation this summer gas may be harder to come by in some locations.
Currently, CDL-certified drivers are in short supply with the National Tank Truck Carriers saying around 20-25% of tank truck drivers in the fleet are parked as we head into summer due to a lack of qualified drivers.
Early pandemic-related shutdowns contributed to the driver shortage as the demand for gasoline fell significantly.
Riverland Community College truck driving program director Johnathon Rymer says that means there may not be enough drivers to get fuel out as efficiently this summer.
Rymer said, “It's expected by 2026, here in Minnesota we'll have a shortage of around 60,000 CDL drivers. So, it's going to be interesting to see how we come together and fix the problem.”
Rymer says to offset the shortage Riverland Community College is working to get the word out among high school students and educate people about how they can turn truck driving into a career.
He explained, “Whatever I can do to get the word out I'm there. Unfortunately, it seems like it just gets harder and harder to find people who are interested in truck driving as a career. That's too bad because the ones that have made it a career have all done very well. I don't know anyone that has made a career out of truck driving that has not done well.”
Tanker operators are also raising pay to try and fill positions as well as raise the rates customers are charged.