Trucking industry looking to hire fresh faces

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - We drive past big rigs all the time on highways, but what you may not know -- there's a high demand for those semi drivers, in an industry that's looking to hire.

According the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics the average age of a truck driver is 48 years old. That number has some in the industry worried about the future.

The sound of honking horns and a view of the open road are just some of the perks truck drivers say they get when they're out on the job.

“Trucking is a great life it’s what I’ve been doing since I got out of high school and I wouldn't want to do anything else,” truck driver Andrew Axelson said.

For Axelson, getting behind the big rig has meant a stable job and support for his family.

“Starting out you can make $40,000 a year a lot of people starting out have a seven year degree and don't start out making that much money,” Axelson said.

Its drivers like Axelson that make up the core of truck drivers in this country, but industry leaders say they are looking to bring in fresh faces to fill empty drivers seats every day.

“We are definitely looking for the younger generation. Just keep your driving record clean and it's a great opportunity,” Chuck Karnitz with Quad Graphics said.

Industry leaders say the trucking lifestyle of being away from home might be linked to the decline in young drivers.

“People don't know until they’re in the situation having a truck driving family that that's the kind of life you live and you adjust to it,” Axelson’s wife Stacey said.

Axelson says its small adjustments that keep the wheels turning on his big rig, to make sure business continues to roll as usual.

“They are the people that make sure we have goods and things on the shelves when we need them to be,” Big Rig truck show organizer Linda Biddle said.