America's Severe Driver Shortage: I Just Received This Interesting Email From My US Congressman!

Topic 34132 | Page 1

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John Douglas Barrow's Comment
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I thought I might share it with you. Additionally, I think America's infrastructure as well as GPS navigation technology also needs much improvement to make your daily life less heck. Here is what Congressman (R) of Iowa, 3rd District, had to say to me and his other constituents:

"Hi John, It’s time we start telling the truth: a four-year degree doesn’t guarantee success and it’s not the only pathway to succeed. Across the country, there’s a shortage of 80,000 truck drivers and if this trend continues, that number is expected to double in the next five years. Drivers are critical for many industries – including agriculture. Farmers rely on drivers to help transport their animals and their crops. Skilled workers are in high demand and promoting other avenues to success is good for employees, good for business, and good for our country. Apprenticeships and training programs are critical to addressing this crisis and opening doors for Iowans to good-paying jobs. I’m committed to investing in these critical programs and expanding opportunities for Iowans. That’s why I joined DMACC (Des Moines Area Community College) to announce a $1 million federal investment in their new Transportation Institute Education Center. With this funding and private-public partnerships, DMACC will build a new education center for CDL drivers and double the number of students they can educate at one time. This key investment will help boost the workforce in Iowa and support our economy. As always, please reach out to our offices with any concerns, comments, or requests. Please also consider signing up for our weekly newsletter to get more updates on news relevant to our community. In Service, Signature Zach Nunn"

Speaking of GPS, my Garmin 1350 Model Nuvi (purchased new in 2011) couldn't even find the police station in my hometown of Pleasant Hill, Polk County, IA. That was even after a fresh lifetime maps and firmware update yesterday. This was my voting precinct for the Iowa June 4 primary. I had to use Google Maps on my phone to get me there. So, later on, I had to use Google Earth Pro to find the lat/long map coordinates of my local police station and program them into my Garmin unit by hand that way. That Google Earth aerial birds eye map was even dated way back to 1985! My hometown police station is on 6875 Martha L Miller Drive, but Garmin doesn't recognize any street name with "Martha" in it for the city of Pleasant Hill, Iowa at all. This street is even shown on the old 1985 Google Earth birds eye map. It's very seldom my Garmin GPS doesn't recognize street names in America, and this is one notable exception. The only street name beginning with "Mar-" for Pleasant Hill, IA that Garmin could find was "Martin". It is handy for Garmin to at least feature map coordinates capability for my car GPS. My current position can also be found in lat/long with the "Where Am I?" function. God forbid, I may someday need to report my location by coordinates in an emergency where no street name is known or I'm off-road somewhere. Then again, I might not even have cellular service in that spot.


Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.


Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.


When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

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