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Truck driver shortage impacting Madison County Commissioners

Many companies are hiring truck drivers, but few are applying.
Published: Apr. 19, 2022 at 5:24 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - America is short 80,000 truck drivers. Employees with their CDL licenses can’t get hired fast enough. The shortage is impacting Madison County.

Members of the Madison County Commission are currently looking to hire several people to drive big trucks. However, there are several openings and not many people are applying.

“We’ve had seven or eight leave district four in the last six months,” said Commissioner Phil Vandiver.

Driving big dump trucks is tough, but county commissioners say the drivers they’re losing aren’t leaving the profession. They’re working for other companies that pay more.

“Especially our young guys that are looking for a little bit more pay are interested in going to other places. and it’s hard to keep them here. Hard to keep them all happy with the salaries they’re getting. The county has never really been known for paying high wages, but our benefits are awfully good,” said Vandiver.

Commissioner Vandiver has about 45 employees on his team. Most of them have their CDL license. There are several openings and no one is applying.

“If this trend keeps going, and we can’t keep people employed, and we can’t get new people to come in and replace the ones leaving, that’s the challenge we’ll have to make adjustments to,” said Vandiver.

Commissioners say it’s not as easy to just raise wages. Money is tight and their budget has to be followed. If they spend more on employees to drive these trucks, cuts somewhere else will have to be made.

“Large curbside trash pick-up is a major service and we’ll going to do all that we can to keep it going. Maybe we don’t sell gravel to somebody anymore through our private works program that we can do. Maybe that’s a cut that we make. Maybe we look at unfortunately cutting grass as our ball fields if we can find someone else to do that,” said Vandiver.

Members of the Madison County Commission say even if you don’t have your CDL license, that should not stop you from applying. You can get on the job training and they’ll help you get your certification.

In addition to the current job openings, county commissioners say several employees who have their CDL licenses are getting close to retirement.

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