Louisiana Lawmakers Want to Drop the Legal Age to Drive a Big Rig
One of the biggest issues we've faced in 2021 is the shipping crisis. At the heart of this problem is the lack of manpower needed to efficiently run the system that gets goods from where they're made to where we need them to be. Whether that's directly to your door via a service like UPS, or to your local store for you to purchase - it all depends on the American trucker.
Louisiana's Trucker Shortage is a Big Part of Our Shipping Crisis
According to Trucking.org, a national shortage of 18-wheeler operators and extremely high turnover rates at the nation's largest trucking companies has made this crisis even more dire. When you add in the increased demand for big-rig drivers to handle the sharp rise in goods that need to be delivered thanks to the holidays, it becomes clear that something needs to be done.
Right Now in Louisiana, You Must Be 21 or Older to Drive a Big-Rig - But That Might Change
Currently, you must be 21-years old or older to get the license necessary to legally drive an 18-wheeler in our state. The latest news from Business Report is that a group of Louisiana legislators want to drop that age requirement to 18. With trucking companies across the country struggling to hire and retain young drivers, the hope is that this move will bring a flood of eager new drivers to an industry struggling to keep Louisiana (and America's) vital supply chain from crumbling in the face of immense demand.
Just Changing The Legal Age to Drive 18-Wheelers in Louisiana Isn't Enough
Louisiana lawmakers like Congressman Troy Carter and Congressman Garret Graves are currently working on a plan to put all of the pieces in place to make moving the required age from 21 to 18-years old a viable plan. Insurance to cover younger drivers will be a difficult negotiation as most companies that provide coverage for the larger shippers require a few years experience from drivers before they will consider them. Trade schools will also need to recruit younger students wanting to learn the rules of the road. Reportedly, those talks are happening now - but results on this move shouldn't be expected before the holidays.