National driver shortage could affect Sturgis Motorcycle Rally attendance

The American Trucking Association says turnover rates for drivers with small companies are over 70 percent and over 90 percent for larger carriers.

STURGIS, S.D. — While upwards of 700,000 to 800,000 people are expected to attend the rally, one group believes a commercial truck driver shortage could keep attendance down.

The American Trucking Association says turnover rates for drivers with small companies are over 70 percent and over 90 percent for larger carriers.

Lubo Lazaro is with Montway Auto Transportation which is the largest auto shipping broker in the country.

He says the driver shortage my have kept some bikers home, rather than have a delay in the delivery to the Black Hills.

“With that perspective, small trucking companies have come to the rescue to help alleviate some of these issues but they operate at higher costs, which in turn means higher shipping costs for the customer,” said Lubo Lazaro, the Specialty Moves Manager with Montway Auto Transportation. “In some cases, the cost of shipping a motorcycle on specific dates is so high that’s its not feasible for the customers themselves.”

Lazaro says that customers are affected by the following reasons:

 Considering Sturgis is scheduled for specific dates, many carriers do not have enough drivers to accommodate all dates and locations for pick-ups and deliveries.

Motorcyclists who live too far to ride to the event typically ship their bikes. However, a lack of proper commitment from transport companies to deliver their motorcycles to the rally on time will discourage attendees from using this option.

Carriers that can commit to the dates will do so at a higher cost, which discourages riders from booking the transport needed to attend the event.

He also says that the nation always has a need for drivers, but that the need has increased dramatically during the pandemic.

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