Truck driver shortage leads to short supplies, shipping delays

DAYTON — Truck, delivery and even snowplow drivers seem to be in short supply these days. And that has been part of the reason for shipping delays across the country.

One local truck driver told News Center 7 that things are getting worse.

Michael Sidenstick, who works for Platinum Express, has been driving trucks for almost 30 years. He said the situation is not like he’s ever seen it before.

“These guys are getting pushed to run, run and run,” Sidenstick said. “There’s too much freight, too much demand and there’s a huge gap there.”

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Being a truck driver is something Sidenstick said he’s always taken pride in. “To me every load was an adventure. To go places, and experience new things.”

However, he fears younger drivers aren’t having the same experience.

“I’ve had a chance to talk to younger drivers and stuff. They’re running tired,” Sidenstick said.

At Drivers Edge CDL Training Academy in Piqua, they said government regulations have made the industry harder on drivers.

Kimberly Klohe, who owns the training academy, said, “A lot of the rules that people are trying to do against drivers isn’t helping drivers, so it’s slowing the movement down.”

According to Klohe, regulations on the hours drivers can work have made the job especially difficult.

“The government said you can only drive 10 hours, but you’re sitting at a distribution center three to four hours. It ties the driver’s hands,” she said.

Sidenstick said, “E-logs regulations have trucks sitting,”

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Strick regulations on drivers, he said, have also exacerbated supply chain issues.

“Loads can’t get there. Freights backed up. Freight is in the warehouse and they can’t get it picked up,” Sidenstick said.

Now, he only drives trucks part-time and spends most of his time teaching at D&D Driving School.

The American Trucking Association estimates that this year, the truck driver shortage will hit a historic high of just over 80,000 drivers.