The industry's huge attrition rate is a result of the badly treated truck drivers.
Some firms paint a rosy picture of the industry to lure new workers while offering few benefits and paying per mile to justify low wages, according to drivers who spoke with Insider.
Frederick Hall, a truck driver in Georgia, said that they want to pay the drivers peanuts.
A shortage of truck drivers has been highlighted by the recent supply chain crisis, which has led to empty shelves at retail outlets. Firms raised wages and offered bonuses to attract new staff after a surge in post-lockdown consumption spurred demand for transportation. Many drivers say that conditions are not better than they were before.
Drivers can spend weeks or months on the road away from their family. They say that it's a huge sacrifice and that companies don't pay them enough. They aren't compensated for time spent waiting for cargo to be processed, which can amount to hours a day, because they pay by the mile.
"This job is a lot of hurry up and wait, and trucks sometimes wait for up to 12 hours to be unloaded," said Joe Katterman, a trucking instructor in Nebraska.
Regulations allow for up to 11 hours of driving a day and three additional hours of work, but they also allow for ten hours of living in the truck. Drivers say that mileage-based pays mean they aren't properly compensated for time spent pulled over due to bad weather or stuck in traffic.
Huge sign-on bonuses have been dangled by some trucking companies. Brian Stauffer told Insider that drivers often have to meet a number of criteria to get the bonuses. Signing-on bonuses are often paid in installments, and drivers only get the total if they stay on for a year.
"You're not a name, you're a number at mega-carriers," Gary Otterson, a 20-year trucking veteran from Alabama, said. They want to reduce the driver to expendable resources.
Doug Watters, who has been in the industry for almost 30 years, said that companies don't look at drivers as anything more than an asset like gasoline.
Drivers told Insider that the treatment was feeding the industry's high attrition rate.
"They've chased them off," he said.
Mark Rumps, who runs the YouTube channel Trucking Answers, said that it has made the industry like a revolving door. Two months later, people walk out of the back door of the trucking company.
Many drivers said they are treated badly by their sholders. Watters said that drivers aren't allowed to use their restrooms.
Allseitz said that the customers he went to treat drivers like shit.
Some people turn their nose up at the profession.
Hall said that he gets no respect from the general public.
"Everyone thinks they're not successful unless they're wearing a suit," said North Carolina-based truck driver,Zach Crawford, who has been in the industry for almost 20 years. He thinks the public doesn't like trucking.
Brian Pape, a former truck driver from Michigan, said that it's how you're treated when you're out there that's why the industry has a high turnover rate. You are treated as a lower-class citizen. It's degrading.