Truck drivers make up the majority of working adults in 29 states, and
the government predicts that the number of trucking jobs will double by
2025. Last year, the American Trucking Association said there were already
25,000 unfilled positions.
After a sharp drop between 2007 and 2010, industry employment is back up
to its pre-Great Recession level. The employment statistics include both
delivery drivers and long-haul truckers. Most drivers earn about $17.19
per hour, and although new government regulations have cut into their
earnings, a trucker can still legally drive up to 70 hours per week.
One driver said he "could work pretty much anywhere" because
he has a clean driving history and eight years' experience.
Not too long ago, many trucking companies considered the government's
PSP program another bit of mindless bureaucratic red tape. Then, in 2011,
an Atlanta attorney won a $581,000 judgment in a reckless driving case.
The trucking company admitted that it did not perform a PSP check on the
driver, who had a very poor commercial driving record. This negligent
hiring case got the industry's attention, and now almost every company
performs a very strict test.
PSP data consists of the last five years of crash data and the last three
years of roadside inspection data; the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
uploads new data about once a month. The data is often inaccurate, and
this inaccuracy can cost you the job. That's because the information
typically comes from the law enforcement agency that issued the citation,
as opposed to the court that adjudicated the matter.
Assume that the inspector cites you for faulty equipment, you timely make
the necessary repairs and the judge dismisses the citation. That ticket
may still appear on your PSP record. In a similar vein, although older
tickets are supposed to automatically fall off the report, they sometimes
linger. An attorney practicing in Fresno may be able to have your score
adjusted downward, which makes you a more employable driver.