Concern grows over potential shortage of truck drivers as COVID-19 pandemic forces RMV closures across Mass.

A lot of supermarket shelves have gone empty recently, and when that happens they rely on trucks to deliver the next shipment. But there is a growing concern for those truck drivers to be able to make the deliveries.

“I had a rough past, I couldn’t really get a job,” said Drea Skoniecki of Derry, N.H. “My whole life everyone has been telling me I’m a failure. I love to drive.”

Skoniecki will soon have his commercial driver’s license to work in an industry that is in high demand.

“I already have a job, my boss is funny, he’s like, ‘I’m just waiting for you to get your license,’” Skoniecki said. “Hopefully by next week I’ll be driving.”

Truck drivers are the essential employees who get groceries and toilet paper to the rest of the essential employees. But now there is concern there could be a shortage of truck drivers.

Right now the U.S is 60,000 CDLs short. RMVs would issue 40,000 each month, but many across the country are closing.

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Now it would only be a matter of time and a few sick calls before food, toilet paper and even medical equipment deliveries slow down, and not because people are hoarding.

“If more and more states continue to shut down their registries and they do not provide testing to the people who do have CDL permits, eventually in a couple of months it would have a major impact,” said Don Lane of the New England Tractor Trailer Training School.

In Massachusetts, RMVs are doing appointment-only reservations at its eight open locations. But the rest of New England has fewer options.

“New Hampshire is not doing real tests, but Massachusetts is picking up those tests,” Lane said. “Connecticut is a major issue right now because they do not have any RMVs open so no one can get a new CDL.

“In Rhode Island they can get the CDL permit and they can test in Massachusetts.”

Now drivers are asking for more locations to get CDLs so the Bay State doesn’t get bottlenecked.

“People will be blasting by us on roads and cutting us off and they’re like oh truck drivers yada yada,” Skoniecki said. “Whether it comes to the country on an airplane or boat, it comes to us on a truck and we have to deliver it to the stores, so without us truck drivers what does the world really have?”