For a decade smaller fleets had grown rapidly, attracting drivers that large fleets were not able to reach or hold. That pace continued into early 2020, where small fleets added drivers at a rate of a 2:1 ratio over fleets of 500+ trucks. As with almost everything that changed in 2020.
The highest number of drivers was reached in early 2020, and then the pandemic wiped out almost 163,697 drivers. Most gains, as shown by FMSCA data in early 2020, have not returned, however larger fleets (101-500+) were able to close the year with a 7.1% net driver gain. Although as a whole, 2020 closed with 7,096 fewer drivers than the end of 2019, equating to a 5.3% decline from early 2020.
In comparison to the driver market, the equipment market saw significant net growth. The close out of 2020 saw nearly 500,000 more tractors than drivers. This equated to equipment growth closing out at 23% higher in 2020 over 2019.