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There’s still a big demand for truckers, according to one Top 10 jobs list

By in Press Enterprise on December 4, 2017

By Fielding Buck

Trucking, a big jobs engine for the Inland Empire, remains a top career option for people without four-year college degrees, according to CareerBuilder.

Truck driving tops the employment companies’ 2018 list of hottest in-demand jobs for people without bachelor’s degrees, as compiled by data company Emsi.

Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers earn a median salary of $19.26 an hour, according to the list. Total employment for 2017 was 1,966,281 drivers, with 107,845 monthly hires.

Transportation and warehousing accounted for 101,400 jobs in the Riverside/San Bernardino/Ontario metropolitan area in October, according to the California Employment Development Department.

The trucking industry, however, faces changes due to an impending requirement that drivers use electronic logging devices (ELDs). The rule by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is scheduled to kick in Dec. 18.

In the two years since the rule was published, many small fleets and independent truckers have resisted the switch from paper logs.

The average annual cost of an ELD is $495 per truck, according to a 2015 FMCSA estimate that is still being cited by the trucking industry.

Supporters say electronic monitoring will cut down on unsafe driving during long hauls.

“By using an ELD, fleet operations will be centralized, and fleet managers will be able to monitor their drivers’ activities in real-time,” BrightFleet, a driving technology company, wrote on its website.

Critics have organized to stop the rule. They say it is intrusive, that service fees could run up the price of ELDs, and that forcing drivers to rest when they’re not tired will make roads less safe.

They include Forrest Lucas, president of Corona-based Lucas Oil Products, who said in a phone interview he had met with Vice President Mike Pence on the matter.

The ELD rule will cull the trucker population, Lucas predicted.

“A lot of them are just going to quit. I’m quite sure of that. And […]    

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