Help Wanted: trucking job applicants on the decrease

SULPHUR, LA (KPLC) - Driving for a living can bring a decent wage, but the number of applicants has gone down over the past few years according to at least one transportation provider.

Sentinel Transportation, LLC Terminal Manager Keith Porter said most companies have become more competitive with the hiring process.  They're also looking closely at driving records of applicants.

Porter also said with the decrease in applicants, salaries and benefit packages have become significantly better so as to attract more people to the trucking industry.

"Right now, our drivers here in Lake Charles are earning between $55,000 to $70,000 per year," Porter said. "We have terminals within our company that are earning in the $90,000 to $100,000 range."

But many drivers are nearing retirement and companies like Sentinel will need to fill the spots.

"Within our company we've got about 25-percent that are within retirement age," Porter said. "Within seven to five years of retirement, so about 25-percent of our people are going to have to be replaced."

With that Porter said he finds one of the hardest things is getting people to fill out an application correctly providing all the information that is necessary for the application to be processed. And with more jobs available, finding younger people to apply has become extremely difficult.

"Truck driving is a very hard job for families," Porter said. He said most people choose to not take trucking jobs because it takes them away from home.

"The job itself is a very demanding job, but it's vital for our country to keep moving, getting products delivered," he said.

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