Proposed Age Change For Long Haul Truckers
The Crowder College Transport Training program is where students both young and old, come to learn how to make a living driving big rigs.
“The numbers for entry level drivers coming in their first year, are in the $50,000 range,” said Darrin Pfeifly, the program’s director.
But the average class age could get younger in the near future if legislation being considered by both the U.S. House and Senate becomes law. One of the bills co-sponsored by Kansas’ Senator Jerry Moran, proposes drivers under the age of 21 who have commercial drivers licenses be allowed to drive big rigs across state lines.
The age change is being proposed as a potential solution to a nationwide trucker shortage, and Pfeifly says he supports the proposed change.
“I think there’s drivers available. The key is that they get good professional training,” said Pfeifly.
Darrin says with the proper training and a good mentor, the right 18-year-old can be mature enough to handle a 40 ton 18-wheeler. But some of his students have mixed feelings.
“I personally think 21, because I know personally that I would not have been able to drive one of these big rigs between 18 and 21, because I was not mature enough,” said student Randy Curry.
“The way I think also is, if you’re old enough to join the military, I believe you are old enough to operate a vehicle like this with the proper training,” said student Mike Woods.
“I like the age of 21 for being able to drive but the experience getting younger than that to me, I think would have to have a little more training,” said student Ken Rhodes.