SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – Demand for truck drivers are at an all-time high across the nation.
The COVID-19 pandemic greatly impacted the already struggling industry as companies even in the Siouxland area are having difficulty hiring new workers which has an effect on the economy.
“When we have a truck driver shortage, all the consumer prices go up. Fuel’s going up right now, so in turn, it all gets turned back on to the consumer,” said Brad Leckband, Transportation Specialist for Western Iowa Tech Community College (WITCC).
Leckband worked at Consumer Supply Distribution during the pandemic before becoming an instructor for WITCC. He said the shortage also affected truck drivers.
“I think a lot of the drivers during the COVID were running long and hard. I think they had to run a lot of hours even though we are limited to 60 hours/11 hours a day of drive time,” said Leckband.
The WITTCC Truck Driving Training Course takes in about 100 students a year with 60% of them finding jobs within weeks of completing the course.
With more Siouxlanders getting vaccinated, the school can start training more drivers.
“We are ramping back up so we can certainly take on more students at this time now that the restrictions are starting to lift and we can get back to the way it was before,” said Leckband.