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Arizona eases truck driver regulations to help with supply chain issues

Published: Dec. 9, 2021 at 4:36 PM MST|Updated: Dec. 9, 2021 at 7:46 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The trucking industry is a major player in getting goods to where they need to be and an important link in the supply chain that has wreaked havoc across the country.

Arizona is working to boost its number of truck drivers and make it easier for them to get and retain a commercial license.

“Most of that stuff comes off the port out of California,” said Bill Shader, an instructor at HDS Truck Driving Institute. “Where we need that help at is out there so it can come this way and they can deliver the goods.”

To help in those deliveries, Gov. Doug Ducey announced Thursday the state will ease the process for drivers to obtain their Commercial Driver’s License.

This includes extending a learner’s permit from six months to one year, which gives students more time to meet training requirements.

“That will help the students to not have to remember, ‘I got to go down and get my permit renewed.’ They do allow it to be renewed, but the extension will help tremendously,” Shader said.

Shader, who has worked in the industry for more than 25 years, said he was pleased to hear about the new changes.

Ducey also asked ADOT to temporarily reopen two rest areas for truckers -- one on Interstate 40 west of Flagstaff and the other off I-17 northeast of Sedona.

“For the drivers over the road, give them a place to take a nap, take a rest, get out and stretch their legs,” he said.

When the pandemic shut down most of the world, truckers kept working to keep shelves stocked and supplies moving. They became heroes to us all and we could not have made it without them.

“The trucking industry, it was a job we were doing every day,” Shader said. “Didn’t even notice anything as far as COVID goes, we were aware of COVID, but we worked every single day.”

Now, truck drivers are working to keep up with critical deliveries this holiday season.

According to indeed.com, the average salary for a truck driver in the United States is $74,773.

HDS Truck Driving Institute has been helping people get their CDLs for more than 30 years right here in Tucson.

More information on becoming a driver can be found at https://hdstruckdrivinginstitute.com

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