Rogan’s not the only former tour bus driver who’s found a more comfortable lifestyle in trucking during the pandemic. Now artists and their teams are struggling to find qualified drivers and that’s proving problematic as concerts resume — beginning with Foo Fighters’ recent Madison Square Garden gig and broadening to summer and fall tours like Green Day, Eagles and Harry Styles.

“It’s going to be wild. There’s going to be a massive shortage of drivers in the entertainment industry,” says Jamie Streetman, operations manager for Coach Quarters, which has 20 buses in its Nashville fleet and has carried stars from Aretha Franklin to Jay-Z.

“A lot of these guys, it’s not like they’ve taken a little leave of absence for a month. They’ve gone to little Jimmy’s graduation or Sally’s piano recital — little things like that mean a lot over a year.”

Another reason for drivers’ departures from the industry: Most tours are requiring vaccines for their entire crews, and Rogan and others refuse to get the shots. “F–k no,” he says, before launching into a rant about how he doesn’t trust the government and, if vaccines are so easy to produce, why hasn’t anybody cured cancer or AIDS? Rock LaRocca, another former driver who left the concert business for pandemic freight-hauling and refuses to come back, says half of his decision is due to vaccine hesitancy. He has asthma and a history of heart attacks and diabetes and “wants to see how it’s going to work out in the next couple of years.” For now, he’s able to live a more solitary life in his cab, wearing masks and gloves at truck stops and restaurants.

“Quite rightfully, everybody on tour is going to require everybody to be vaccinated,” says Steve Maples, vp of entertainment trucking for Rock-It Cargo, which specializes in moving tour freight. “That’s going to deter some people.”



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