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Driver and parts shortage presents a problem for Tennessee truckers

Tennessee Truck Driving School hopes to fill vacancies.
Published: Oct. 19, 2021 at 11:09 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Rick Arnold worked at the Alcoa Police Department before making the decision to drive a truck for a living. He’s been behind the wheel for more than five years and said he has 13 or 14 hour days with 11 hours driving.

Driving a truck isn’t the easiest living, but it’s a job in high demand amid a supply chain shortage stemming from COVID-19.

“Right now we’re down about 10 to 12 trucks. So that’s a driver that can’t work and a truck that’s down for an extended period of time and that’s a customer we can’t support,” said Arnold.

Getting parts to fix broken down trucks has been an issue Arnold said has been a daily problem. A solution to that, isn’t imminent for the time being.

The Tennessee Truck Driving School is a resource that’s actively trying to make life easier for tired drivers that work long days. Sean Henson helps oversee the program and explains it’s a three week long course to get certified. Before the process begins, Henson and his team places a candidate into a job with a local trucking company.

“You should be making a thousand dollars a week in your first two months,” said Henson.

It costs $5,000 to complete the course at the Tennessee Truck Driving School, but Henson said often times hiring companies will cover that cost.

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