As Congress’ Transportation and Infrastructure Committee sets its agenda for the coming year, commercial trucking issues are high on the list, which is good news for one of America’s fastest growing employment sectors.
Over the past few years, the commercial truck industry has experienced rapid growth while not being able to find enough qualified drivers to meet the growing demand. In addition to finding more professionally trained drivers, truck carriers are hoping for improvements on a number of policy issues to help the growing truck industry continue to move forward.
Some of the items outlined by the Transportation and Infrastructures Committee include hours-of-service limits for commercial truck drivers, closer looks a tolling plans by states and reviewing national freight policy. A new federal highway program is also listed on the committee’s agenda for the coming year.
“An efficient transportation network is a critical facet of our economy, and without it we cannot compete in the modern global marketplace,” Chairman Bill Shuster, R-Pa., said in a release.
Truck carriers are hoping Congress acts to help the truck industry become more efficient, including increased funding for highway repairs and ensuring that regulations are uniformed with neighboring countries. Commercial truck carriers say the rapid growth they have experienced over the past few years is expected to stay in place and that thousands of professionally trained drivers will be needed.
Partisan gridlock has hampered some of the work facing Congress over the past few years, but leaders on both sides of the political aisle say they hope to work together concerning the nation’s transportation system.
“Together, we have a great opportunity, and in my view, a pressing responsibility, to help rebuild America, not only to address our critical infrastructure needs but also to create jobs and increase our global competitiveness,” Rep. Nick Rahall of West Virginia said in a statement.
Last year, Congress passed a law that would require the Department of Transportation to establish a 27,000-mile national freight highway network based on freight volumes and flow, according to a TruckingInfo.com article. “The department then must come up with a national freight strategic plan based on the condition of the freight network. Specifically, the plan must look at bottlenecks, forecasts of freight volume, and trade corridors.”
Alleviating areas of high traffic congestion on the nation’s highways is seen as a major need for the commercial truck industry. Traffic slows down shipments, and as more orders are being placed, carriers are looking for ways to deliver goods as quick as possible.
As the nation’s policy leaders look for ways to help the commercial truck industry to respond to growing demand, jobseekers are finding success in becoming a truck driver, especially those with professional training for a quality CDL program like Diesel Driving Academy.