U.S. truck drivers are required to get a physical every two years – to ensure that they are physically fit for the job. Brent Witte, with Witte Brothers Exchange, Inc. in Troy, said in many states that information can be submitted online. Witte said in Missouri, truckers must go in person to the Department of Motor Vehicles to complete this process.

A truck driver travels on I-70 near Mineola Hill in east-central Missouri’s Montgomery County in 2019 (photo: Missouri Department of Transportation)

“We can save a lot of time and a lot of hassle, including people all waiting in line at the DMV, keep people on the road moving goods and services, rather than standing in line at the DMV. We’re in the mobile world and with the internet, you’re able to upload that into the system and pretty much trouble-free on the government side, and much more easier and convenient for every person that has a commercial driver’s license,” he said.

Witte said the opportunity cost is great.

“If you have to take an extra day off work to do this, you already are losing that and if you’re averaging $250 a day in earnings that costs money,” said Witte. “Once you miss a whole day, especially in our world, is that you’re going to be driving 300 to 500 miles a day, so that takes you pretty much right out of a day’s worth of earnings.”

He said the state should change this requirement.

“It is our top priority to actually just bring some common sense efficiency to everyone involved, government as well as private citizens,” he said.

Witte said during the pandemic, the Missouri Department of Revenue allowed truck drivers to email or fax this information to the agency, but the state has reverted back to the in-person requirement.

The U.S. has been dealing with a truck driver shortage for a while. At Witte Brothers Exchange, it sponsors students to go through its driving school and pays for most of the costs of schooling, as long as the students work for the company for one year.

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