Although the trucking industry is responsible for moving a gigantic amount of the nation’s freight, some estimate as much as 70 percent. It has a perennial problem keeping drivers on the roads. Historically, the turnover rate can be as high as 90%, according to the Department of Transportation. Throw in a global pandemic, and it is easy to see why consumers are starting to experience scarcity because of a buckling supply chain.
The problem is getting so bad that the industry may soon turn to teenagers. A pilot program tests the feasibility of allowing drivers as young as 18 to drive the trucks across state lines. This insane idea shows how desperate officials are getting. Instead of retaining experienced truck drivers, they are recruiting the most inexperienced drivers in general. The gravity of the situation makes the recent vaccine mandates for truckers even more incomprehensible to understand.
Canada requires that all truckers be vaccinated to cross the border from the United States. Some truck drivers are refusing to comply. It is not a small number of people. The Canadian Trucking Alliance estimates that about 10 percent of truck drivers in Canada are unvaccinated. It means that up to 20,000 Canadian truckers will be taken off the roads when the business is already short of people.
The drivers who have been impacted are not giving up. Donors have raised more than $3.7 million for truckers resisting the mandate. People who oppose the mandate are doing more than just raising funds. Angry truckers staged a convoy protest, driving their rigs together toward Canada’s capital. Surprisingly, the Canadian Trucking Alliance condemned the protests.
Many people are confused about the utility of the protests. All the affected drivers have been on the road during the pandemic. They know the risk of contracting COVID while driving by themselves is extremely low. It is just another example of our feckless leaders praising essential workers as heroes one day and illogically casting them aside the next.