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Indian truckers to zip on US roads

After nurses and paramedics, it is now the Indian truck drivers who are in demand in the US, reports Ashok Das.

india Updated: Feb 04, 2007 02:12 IST
Ashok Das

After nurses, paramedics and vets, it is now the truck drivers from India who are in demand in the United States. The first batch of 79 lorry drivers, hired by a US company to meet the acute shortage of drivers in that country, would leave for America next week.

The drivers were selected from 200 aspirants, who were trained for four months at the state-of-the-art driver training facility at Ambapuram, near the coastal city of Vijayawada. The training included mastering the Yankee truckers’ lingo, manoeuvring the monstrous US trucks and learning how to integrate with American society.

According to the US firm, Gagan Global LLC, which has recruited the drivers, there are 20,000 vacancies for drivers in the US. On an average, a driver takes home $5,000 per month besides other benefits, yet there are few takers for the job in United States, as it involves staying away from home for too long.

This is the reason why American companies are seeking drivers from other countries. Since India has a large pool of drivers who can speak English, the companies are targeting the country.

“Though the US consultancy had actually sought 3,000 drivers, we agreed to recruit and train 200 of them initially,” said an official of the Overseas Manpower Consultancy of Andhra Pradesh (OMCAP). The curriculum for training at Ambapuram was formulated by the Western Truckers School, Hyderabad, as per US client specifications. The drivers were provided driving training on US model trucks and were educated about the traffic rules in that country.

Email Ashok Das: ashokdas2000@rediffmail.com