Walmart’s Innovative Solution to Truck Driver Shortage: Training Its Own Employees

Thang Truong
Thang Truong
Updated on:

In response to the truck driver shortage experienced last year, retail giant Walmart took a novel approach by offering its vast workforce of 1.6 million employees the opportunity to learn how to drive a big rig for the company. This initiative included attractive first-year salaries of up to $110,000 and a comprehensive 12-week training program.

An Opportunity for Career Advancement 

Among the first batch of graduates from the training program was Ashley Milacek, a 35-year-old Walmart Supercenter employee. She saw the truck driving offer as a chance to nearly double her salary and took on the challenge. Milacek, who had been working at Walmart since 2014, transitioned from a general merchandise manager to a “Walmart Private Fleet Driver.”

Nationwide Training Centers 

Walmart established seven training centers across the U.S., with over 70 employees graduating this week. The Sanger distribution center in Denton County, Texas, served as the training ground for Milacek and eight other employees. The program has so far produced 190 new drivers for Walmart, which has a total of 13,500 truck drivers.

Addressing the Truck Driver Shortage 

The American Trucking Associations reported that the trucking industry still faces a shortage of nearly 78,000 drivers, despite a record high of women drivers and seven consecutive years of increase. Walmart’s regional delivery territories allow the company to offer drivers consecutive days off and weekly home time, making the job more appealing.

Graduation and Beyond 

Upon graduation, the new drivers donned the official Walmart driver uniforms instead of traditional caps and gowns. Fritz Keel, the director of fleet development at Walmart, led the program’s curriculum design. Milacek shared that her family and former co-workers have shown excitement and curiosity about her new career path.

The Potential Impact of Walmart’s In-House Truck Driver Training on Commercial Truck Insurance Costs”

Walmart’s innovative approach to addressing the truck driver shortage by training its own employees to become drivers could potentially have implications for commercial truck insurance costs. Insurance premiums for commercial truck drivers are influenced by several factors, including the driver’s experience, training, and safety record. Therefore, Walmart’s in-house training program could potentially impact these costs in several ways.

Learn more at the best commercial truck insurance companies

 Enhanced Driver Training and Experience 

One of the primary factors that insurance companies consider when determining premiums is the driver’s level of training and experience. With Walmart’s comprehensive 12-week training program, drivers are likely to be well-prepared and knowledgeable, which could potentially lead to lower insurance costs. The program’s focus on safety and proper handling of big rigs could result in fewer accidents, which would positively impact insurance premiums.

Consistent Training Standards 

By training its own drivers, Walmart can ensure consistent training standards across its fleet. This consistency could lead to fewer accidents and claims, which would be viewed favorably by insurance companies. In the long run, this could potentially lead to lower insurance premiums for Walmart’s fleet of trucks.

Employee Retention and Stability 

Insurance companies also consider driver stability when determining premiums. Drivers who change jobs frequently can be seen as a higher risk. By offering its employees the opportunity to transition into truck driving roles, Walmart could potentially increase employee retention and provide a sense of stability that insurance companies may find appealing.

Potential Challenges 

While there are potential benefits, it’s also important to consider potential challenges. For instance, new drivers, regardless of their training, are generally considered higher risk than more experienced drivers. Therefore, insurance costs could initially be higher for these newly trained drivers. However, as they gain experience and maintain a good safety record, these costs could decrease over time.


Walmart’s innovative approach to addressing the truck driver shortage not only provides a solution to a pressing industry issue but also offers its employees a unique opportunity for career advancement. As the program continues to produce new drivers, it serves as a testament to the potential of in-house training and development in large corporations.

Thang Truong

Thang Truong covers small business insurance and small business success at BravoPolicy. He is a licensed P&C insurance agent. Previously, he held product leadership positions at, Capital One, NerdWallet, and Mulberry Technology. He holds a MBA degree from UC Berkeley - Haas School of Business.

More Stories

California’s Legislative Move to Bridge Insurance Data Gaps for Zero-Emission Trucks

California is making strides in its commitment to environmental sustainability, with a new bill in the statehouse aimed at addressing insurance data gaps for heavy-duty trucks and truck fleets that utilize advanced fuels and related technologies. This move comes as part of the state’s broader initiative to transition to zero-emission vehicle truck standards. The Clean […]

Workers’ Compensation Insurance: A Beacon of Stability Amidst P/C Sector Volatility

In 2022, the underwriting results of workers’ compensation insurers outshone the rest of the U.S. property/casualty (P/C) commercial sector. This success is attributed to the long-term decrease in workplace accidents and a reduction in fraudulent claims, as reported by an industry segment report from A.M. Best. Favorable Loss Reserve Development The report highlights that the […]

Arizona Beverages’ Victory: A Landmark Case for Business Interruption Insurance

In a recent landmark case, Arizona Beverages USA LLC emerged victorious in a lawsuit against a Hanover Insurance Group unit. The dispute centered around coverage for business interruption caused by a computer breakdown. This case has set a precedent, providing clarity on what constitutes extra expenses incurred by insureds to avoid or reduce business interruption. […]

J&J’s $18.8M Case: A Reminder of Product Liability Insurance

In a recent legal case, Johnson & Johnson, a multinational corporation known for its consumer goods, was ordered to pay $18.8 million to a California man who claimed to have developed cancer due to exposure to the company’s baby powder. This case serves as a stark reminder of the potential financial implications businesses may face […]

Insurance Coverage Denied for Nonexistent Building: A Look at the Impact on Commercial Property Insurance

In a recent ruling that has sent ripples through the business insurance sector, a federal appeals court upheld that an insurance policy cannot cover a building that was non-existent at the time the policy was issued. This decision, favoring a unit of Hanover Insurance Group, has significant implications for businesses and their commercial property insurance […]

OSHA’s New Initiative: Enhancing Safety in High-Risk Retail Establishments

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has recently announced a national emphasis program aimed at mitigating workplace hazards in warehouses, processing facilities, distribution centers, and other establishments classified as “high-risk retail.” This initiative is a response to the growing concerns over the safety of these workplaces, which have seen a surge in accidents parallel […]

The Changing Landscape of Opioid Use in Workers Compensation Cases

The issue of opioid use in workers compensation cases has been a topic of concern for many years. However, recent data suggests a shift in the trend, with a decrease in opioid prescriptions but an increase in prescriptions for managing opioid dependency. This article delves into these trends and discusses the importance of workers compensation […]

A Landmark Victory: Dentist’s Insurance Claim Sets Precedent for COVID-19 Business Loss Coverage

In an unprecedented legal victory, a Pennsylvania dentist has successfully claimed insurance for business losses incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This landmark case, involving Dr. Timothy A. Ungarean, DMD, D/B/A Smile Savers Dentistry, PC, has set a significant precedent for similar cases in the future. The state Supreme Court’s decision to hear this case, […]

The Struggles and Triumphs of Childcare Providers: A Case Study of Rockin’ Round the Clock

Childcare providers play a crucial role in society, nurturing and educating children during their most formative years. However, the challenges they face are often overlooked. This article explores the struggles and triumphs of childcare providers, focusing on a specific case study: Rockin’ Round the Clock, a childcare center in Ohio. The Challenges of Childcare Providers […]