Truckers are a crucial cog in US economy, but there simply aren't enough of them - Fleet Advantage's Mike Meehan contributes in the latest article in US News on the current state of the trucking Industry and the driver shortage.

A seemingly innocuous spin behind the wheel of a U-Haul 22 years ago completely rerouted the life of Brett Aquila, then a 21-year-old warehouse employee living near Atlanta.

He'd found his calling as a truck driver.

"They needed someone to jump in a little U-Haul truck and haul a load of freight downtown and back," Aquila says. "Boom. That was it. I went home that day, and I called J.B. Hunt and I said, 'How much do truck drivers get paid?' And they said, 'About $700 a week.' I said, 'Holy crap, I'm making about $225.' And about two weeks later I was in school."

Advanced computer systems and data analysis are increasingly being used by firms within the trucking industry and within the rigs themselves, helping reroute freight based on traffic patterns, recording the number of miles a rig has driven, and everything in between. This use of big data could potentially allow a fleet to optimize efficiency enough to operate at full capacity with fewer drivers, or let a company save enough money to raise wages and attract more workers.

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