Trucks and people remain in short supply

The Chairman of the Michigan Trucking Association says the industry is still recovering from the pandemic.

Brian Hitchcock tells Brownfield limited availability of equipment the last two years has created wear and tear on trucks that still needs to be resolved, “We didn’t buy equipment, we were short, but we continue to wear our equipment out so now we’re seeing real large shortages of getting that stuff replaced,” he says.

Hitchcock says while drivers are returning, the average age of employees for his ag trucking company is over 50, “It’s harder to get a different age group into this, and it’s got to be a love, you have to have a love to drive,” he says.

He says the age requirement to become a commercial driver is a barrier for those exiting high school looking for careers, “Once you get established at 18 years old and start a job and can’t drive semi-truck until you’re 21, you may make a career choice at that point where you never go back,” he explains.

Hitchcock says more planning and strong relationships are necessary across all supply chains to work through labor shortages.

Brownfield’s Nicole Heslip spoke with Hitchcock at the Michigan Agri-Business Association Winter Conference.

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