Drivers wanted (desperately): Trucking shortage nearing 40,000 nationwide

052415dtrucking49194516912_t1070_hf585b149b4badfeb345441c5ed995764b11e8bb9In the mid-afternoon break between the morning and evening classes at Chattanooga State’s commercial driving school, Linda BeBout explained how when she crawls up in the cab of one of the school’s learner trucks and puts the shifter in gear, it will be her first time driving a vehicle with a manual transmission.

BeBout is a restaurant manager turned trucker.

She gave up a good job — and good salary — managing a Logan’s Roadhouse to join her husband who drives for Prime, Inc., a Missouri-based long haul carrier.

Some mornings, BeBout brings in doughnuts for the rest of the 25-person CDL class, a holdover habit from her management days. Her story represents an unorthodox mid-life career transition, but one not uncommon in the trucking world.

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