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Average age of truck drivers even older than previously thought: report

OTTAWA, Ont. -- In the wake of a recently released report which found the average age of truck drivers to be four years higher than that of the average worker, new data indicates that the average truckers’ age is, in fact, even older. The...

OTTAWA, Ont. — In the wake of a recently released report which found the average age of truck drivers to be four years higher than that of the average worker, new data indicates that the average truckers’ age is, in fact, even older. The former report, commissioned by the Conference Board of Canada (CBC) with analysis provided by the 2006 Census and the Labour Force Survey, found the average age of truck drivers to be 44 years versus 40 years for the average worker. New data from the 2011 National Household Survey indicates that the average truck driver age is actually 46 years, with the average workers’ age also rising to 41.5 years.

In comparing the studies, in 2006, the share of drivers in the 30 to 34 age range was 10%, the same as it was for the total labour force. In 2011, 8.5% of drivers found themselves in this age group. For the total labour force, there was a slight increase to 10.4%.

The number of drivers age 65 and up also increase, rising from 3% in 2006 to 4.4% in 2011. For the total labour force, the share of this age cohort increased from 2.6% to 3.5%.

“This confirms that in the trucking industry, more than in others, ‘new’ sources of labour are delayed retirements – which is nothing more than a bandage solution,” said Vijay Gill, principal research associate at the CBC.

Gill says the drop in drivers age 20 to 29 has had the most significant impact on the average driver age. In 2006, 11.6% of truck drivers were in that age group. By 2011, this had declined to just 8.8% of the driver population. On the other hand, drivers age 55 and older increased from 20% to 26%.

Gill said that during the CBC’s research, they discovered that while the industry was having difficulty recruiting younger drivers, their had been some success with drivers age 35 to 40 years and over – though not enough to replace all the exits from the 35 to 44 age bracket.

“Companies will have to continue to recruit from wherever they can. But there is a distinct disadvantage for the industry as a whole from recruiting 40 year olds, rather than 25 year olds. Every 40 year old will potentially have 25 years of driving left, whereas a 25 year old will potentially have 40 years. In the long run then, for every 25 year old that the industry does not recruit, it will have to recruit close to two 40 year olds,” Gill said.

“As we mentioned in our report, it will ultimately be up to the industry to address this ongoing challenge and to make the occupation more attractive to younger drivers,” he continued. “But as we also put forth, it will also be important to convince customers of the need to address this challenge now and to work with them to develop strategies that will make the best use of drivers’ time, as the trucking industry has a long track record of sharing its productivity benefits with customers through lower prices.”

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12 Comments » for Average age of truck drivers even older than previously thought: report
  1. meslippery says:

    Yet when I was young in the mid 80s truckers
    made $20.00 plus per hour. Today the same more
    or less. 30 years with no real wage increase???
    Shortage go figure..

    • David Kew says:

      Talking with colleagues at work one day, and topic of “driver shortage” came up. There was three of us. After a very short conversation, I reminded my friends, here we were all 3 of us with class A licenses, neither of us driving. The reason was quick and simple, it did not pay enough. I miss driving.

    • David Kew says:

      It’s not a shortage of drivers at all. I know lots of drivers who don’t drive because it doesn’t pay. ITS NOT ROCKET SCIENCE.

      • DatJewNigga says:

        If there aren’t enough people driving the trucks, that is called a shortage, you idiot. Just because you hold a class A and don’t drive doesn’t mean you’re a trucker. It means you’re a dude that can drive a truck.

  2. SgtHughbie says:

    The companies and politicians will be “running” with this type of article! Hmmmm? Do you think companies will fight to get better rates, from the Shippers, to pay and attract, professional drivers and a better wage? Do you think the politicians will go to Immigration personnel to get qualified immigrants?
    What do you think??
    Companies will hire anybody with a heart beat!
    Politicians will have an excuse to open the flood gates to immigration and bring in any immigrants……with a heart beat!! Nothing will change as we watch and witness the death of the Canadian Truck Driver!

  3. Allen Roulston says:

    Until working conditions an pay improves, I don’t expect the situation to change. For most over the road truckers, it is a “last resort” type of job.

  4. rdhaddow says:

    Anyone with a heartbeat does not always qualify as a driver. I have an excellent and accident free driving record in both Canada and the US and I have been out of work for two years because companies are to fussy to hire right now. The driver shortage is thier own fault.

  5. Just 1 Mad Trucker says:

    The industry is is own worst enemy and reason it has too many problems to list!! But here’s a few
    Treat drivers like cannon fodder every time there is down turn in freight volumes.
    We refuse or are slow to invest in equipment & technology.
    We don’t and stand together on rates letting shippers abuse the hell out of use and or people.
    We tell drivers to become Owner Operators so they can make make more money instead of just paying them what they are worth then abuse them even more before we bankrupt them and then wonder why we can’t find any!
    I have worked in the industry me whole life and grew up in a trucking family and my father told me when deregulation came it would be race to the bottom and 30 years from now no one would want to be a trucker. Man was he right!!
    I have watched as trucking company owner after trucking company owner cried poor as they lined their pockets and passed on giving drivers their fair share. Then to boot they sent money to lobbyist & funded special interest groups to push for legislation that has helped them consolidate.
    Its time to organize every commercial driver in North America and grind the supply chain to halt!
    Immigration (read poor drivers who will work for nothing and are afraid to say shit!) are not the answer.
    Better pay & labours laws are!! As long as a driver has to work 70 plus hours a week to make living it will never be attractive to anyone new or old citizen. My dads generation drove because they wanted to & they could make good living and provide for their family, today most drivers drive now because they have to not because they want to. Until a over the road driver is paid a salary that is well north of 75k (closer to 100k) it is not going be a profession that most are going to pursue.
    Oh and one last thing every time a driver is charged with a log violation their dispatcher and the owner of the company should be charged too. That would quickly shut everyone up about drivers HOS issues because they would then actually need to understand HOS.

  6. Tom O'Byrne says:

    One has to wonder if any of these company bosses and politicians who are pushing for these immigrant”drivers” have ever considered that there own family members are also part of the motoring public.The company I work for hasn’t given any pay raises to there drivers since Ican’t remember when,but you can bet that managers and the bosses have gotten theres(pay raises).We get so called mileage bonus which puts you in the position of skirting or outright violating the HOS rules!I’m not for EOBR,s,but it would seem to be one solution to the wage problem.I would also suggest that along with EOBR,s,the companies should be the ones held to account for violation of HOS rules!Iwork with a great bunch of drivers,and I really hate seeing them abused as Cannon Fodder as in the previous comments.I am 70 years old as of this month and still driving,obviously I don’t have that much more time in the driver’s seat,Iwould like to see some definitive improvement for driver by the time I do retire.

  7. Jimmy Trucker says:

    I am now 52 years of age and if I had to do it over again I would not ever consider the transportation industry. I am speaking as a driver, mechanic, or any position in operations. Things have become progressively worse, drivers are working harder than ever with ridiculous transit times and pay that doesn’t even match the rate of inflation. I recently ran LCVs for a company that expected you to run single trailer transit times and that includes the mandatory LCV checks every two hours. At first I was against EOBR devices but now the idea has my full support and should be mandatory. I think it would go along ways to protecting the driver from DOT violations while at the same time guaranteeing that the driver get their sleep regardless of the transport companies in some cases ridiculous expectations. My suggestion to any young person that is considering becoming a transport driver is to avoid the industry like a plaque. It’s sad but true.

  8. John H. says:

    When this situation gets bad enough, and it will, then you are going to have a repeat of what happened in 1950, but only in reverse.

    In 1950 there was a national rail strike in Canada.

    The trucking industry took up the slack with the recent evolution of the modern highway semi truck.

    The trains will come back and are coming back.

    Warren Buffett is making major multi billion dollar investments in rail transport, zero in trucking. Do you think he knows something?

    When the history of this is written in the future it will be the trucking industry that did it to itself.

    Cry me a river!

  9. patrick says:

    Some good comments in regards to the subject at hand.

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