In 2012, more than 9 billion tons of freight, which is about 68 percent of all domestic shipments, was transported by trucks, generating more than $640 billion in gross freight-related revenues. Both the number of tons transported and the revenue are up from 2011.
“As the nation continues to travel the road to recovery following the Great Recession it is becoming increasingly clear that trucking is leading the way,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello in a statement by the association.
Paugh said the training is provided to those with zero experience in the industry, and together, Carter Express and Ivy Tech have been able to provide more than $4 million in economic opportunities for the local community.
With grants and federal funding, Ivy Tech has made $650,000 available to pay 100 percent of tuition costs for local driver training, and Carter has matched a portion of those funds with more than $350,000 devoted to tuition reimbursements.
“And we still have funds available to train people,” he said.
Jessica Paugh, assistant director of marketing for Carter Express, said the company is constantly hiring new drivers and the Ivy Tech partnership is essential to fill the ever-growing demand for drivers.
“Without drivers the trucks don’t move,” she said.
Hurley said truck drivers will work about 72 hours a week and experience a rotating sleep schedule to accommodate the different freight shipments.
“It’s mental and physical, and it’s 24 hours a day, seven days a week – it never ends,” she said. “But our drivers are home on a weekly basis. They are not out two to three weeks at a time and sometimes longer like other companies.”
She said the program with Ivy Tech allows students to finish a four-week truck driving program with no out-of-pocket costs.
“And you can make some serious money driving a truck,” Hurley said.