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Truck Driving Retirement Currently Not a Choice for Many Professional Truck Drivers as of 2023

07/20/2023 20:17

Considerable attention has been drawn to the aging of the American trucking workforce.

According to the American Trucking Association, the median age of long-haul truckers is presently 46, whereas the private fleet sector boasts a median age of 57. This contrasts with a median age of 42 for all U.S. workers, as reported by the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The topic of a sufficient supply of qualified drivers and potential drivers in the trucking industry inevitably leads to concerns about retiring truckers.

Regardless of what fierce competition is happening in the industry or whatever turnover rates you might have heard, every company truck driver has their own reason why they are not retiring YET.

However, recent survey results conducted by Truckers News and its counterpart Commercial Carrier Journal demonstrate that a significant number of truckers have no intention of retiring anytime soon.

According to the survey, a considerable proportion of truckers cite their love for the job as the primary reason for continuing to drive, while others indicate financial constraints as their reason for not hanging up the keys.

These findings offer important insights into the motivations of truckers and highlight the importance of understanding their needs and preferences.

Truck Driving Retirement Survey with Age of Drivers Data

In the comprehensive survey of over 800 drivers, a noteworthy 26% of respondents expressed their intention to continue driving as long as their health permits. A considerable 32% of the participants remained undecided about their retirement plans. Furthermore, the study yielded several other insightful findings.

  • 11% plan to retire at age 65

  • 12% at age 67

  • 10% at 70

So is there really a scarcity of drivers? Is there really going to be a shortage of drivers in the next 5-10 years?

According to our survey, a notable percentage of respondents who expressed their intent to continue driving as long as their physical condition allows were identified as either company drivers or leased owner-operators, comprising 24% and 29% of the cohort, respectively.

Our inquiries further revealed that certain drivers are vehemently passionate about their profession, finding it difficult to envision parting ways with it despite the prospect of retirement. Such individuals voiced their sentiments, stating that the job they love holds too much value to relinquish.

These are the statements of the majority of drivers regarding their trucking career:

  • "As an individual who has surpassed the age of retirement, I still possess a fondness for the act of driving. It is a passion that has become ingrained within me."

  • "My commitment towards engaging in part-time employment remains unwavering as long as I maintain my health. The trucking industry continues to hold my passion and interest."

  • "Provided that the role is intellectually engaging and my contributions yield a positive impact on the organization's profitability, I would be inclined to persist in my employment."

  • "My intention is to continue operating a vehicle until such time as I am instructed otherwise."

  • "If I were to reach the age of 70, I would give serious consideration to engaging in part-time driving."

  • "At present, I am in my septuagenarian years. Notably, my profession maintains an age threshold of 80 years, which leads me to surmise that my tenure will likely not extend beyond this boundary."

  • "Informally, it is likely that I will retire at some point between the ages of 80 and 85."

Some individuals expressed a stronger viewpoint with their remarks. Their statements encompassed:

  • "It is highly likely that the individual will require assistance in relinquishing control of the vehicle, possibly necessitating physical intervention."

  • "I will relinquish control of the steering apparatus only upon my physical demise."

  • "I will respectfully depart from this endeavor at the appropriate juncture, as guided by divine direction."

For a subset of individuals, abstaining from taxi usage in the immediate future is not a viable alternative:

  • "I aspire to retire at the age of 67. However, my current concern lies in the inadequate amount of investments I possess, which may potentially impede my ability to achieve this objective."

  • "Two years prior, my initial plan was to maintain my driving privileges until reaching the age of 67. Presently, this course of action appears to be unfeasible."


According to the survey results, a substantial proportion of respondents, specifically 37%, expressed their preference for driving due to job satisfaction. In contrast, a similar percentage of participants, i.e., 34%, cited financial necessity as the main reason to continue driving.

Additionally, 14% of respondents highlighted the retention of health insurance benefits as the driving force behind their decision to stay behind the wheel.

The results of our survey indicate that a mere 2% discrepancy exists between company drivers and leased owner-operators who express an affinity for their driving profession. Conversely, the variance magnifies when considering financial motivations.

A larger percentage of company drivers (36%) versus leased owner-operators (29%) report remaining in the industry due to financial considerations. Alarming findings reveal that the majority of participants, including seasoned drivers, lack adequate savings to enter retirement with financial security.

According to recent surveys, a significant proportion of individuals are facing a shortfall in their retirement savings. Precisely 63% of respondents have expressed dissatisfaction with their current saving levels, while an additional 15% reported uncertainty about their financial preparedness.

Only a mere 22% claimed to have sufficient funds to retire comfortably. Interestingly, the percentage of company drivers and leased owner-operators who have not saved enough is nearly identical at 64% and 63%, respectively.

In the realm of driver demographics, a significant proportion of individuals within the age bracket of 35 to 54 years old have reported inadequate retirement funds, with a staggering 80% acknowledging this issue. Furthermore, a notable 58% of drivers aged 55 years and above have also fallen short in terms of saving for their retirement.

May We inquire as to the individual who participated in the truck driver survey?

Trucker News received an astounding response to their survey, with 812 drivers sharing their valuable insights. Among them were 566 dedicated company drivers and 246 owner-operators who lease their vehicles. What struck them most was the fact that over half of these incredible individuals are long-haul drivers, braving the open road day in and day out.

But what truly inspired them was the experience and wisdom these drivers brought to the table. A staggering 72% of respondents were 55 years old or older, a testament to their unwavering commitment to their craft. They also saw a significant number of drivers between the ages of 35 and 54, who continue to push themselves to be the best they can be.

The survey showed that these drivers are the backbone of the transportation industry, working tirelessly to deliver goods safely and efficiently across the country. Their passion and dedication serve as an inspiration to us all, reminding us that with hard work and perseverance, anything is possible.

The individuals surveyed are seasoned drivers who have dedicated a significant portion of their lives to the open road.

An astounding 69% have pursued this honorable profession for two decades or longer, while 8% have valiantly taken on the challenge for 16 to 20 years.

Another 6% have traversed highways and byways for 11 to 15 years, and 8% have proudly served our communities behind the wheel for 6 to 10 years. Even those who have just begun their journey have already demonstrated their commitment, as 7% have already accumulated 5 years of experience or less.

These statistics are a testament to the unwavering dedication and passion that these drivers possess for their craft, and an inspiration to us all to approach our own pursuits with the same level of commitment and unwavering drive.

These individuals are true champions of the open road, their unwavering dedication evident in the countless miles they traverse. An impressive 26% of them proudly embrace the challenge of driving between 100,001 to 125,000 miles each year, while an equal number typically log from 75,001 to 100,000 miles. An additional 17% are no strangers to the long haul, having driven between 125,001 to 150,000 miles, with an admirable 8% having logged over 150,000 miles.

In Conclusion

Their passion for the journey even at retirement age is truly an inspiration and a testament to the power of determination.

"Imagine the fruits of their labor after all those miles! A staggering 53% reported earning a net income of over $75,001 in the last year, a testament to their hard work and determination. Meanwhile, 31% saw substantial financial gains, earning between $75,001 and $100,000, with an additional 22% achieving the remarkable feat of earning $100,000 or more. Let this be a reminder that with perseverance and dedication, anything is possible."

This is beyond the issue of truck driver shortage or shortage of drivers, demand for truck drivers.

This is not just about the lack of training programs for qualified commercial drivers by age by any trucking company or independent contractors. 

The age of truck drivers is a factor but at the end of the day, passion adds up to it. 

We are launching soon our Labworks USA Network where we will be listing different trucking companies and offering a resellers program.

On this network, you can connect with fellow trucking companies who might have opportunities opened especially for YOU who love trucking as long as you can.

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