By Jack Fink

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – From empty store shelves to delays in buying and receiving merchandise, experts say supply chain issues will impact your holiday shopping season.

One key part of the supply chain problem is the nationwide truck driver shortage, which some in the industry estimate is about 80,000.

Brad Ball, President of the Roadmaster Drivers School said, “Trucking touches everything. So whether something originates by plane or by ship or by train, it all has to be moved by trucks.”

Because of the driver shortage, Ball said they can’t train students fast enough. “The trucking companies just can’t get enough drivers. So that’s why they’re calling. They’re saying how do I hire more drivers?”

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Roadmaster Drivers School says its phones are ringing off the hook, not only from trucking companies looking for drivers, but from people who want to learn how to drive.

Samantha King of Fort Worth is among the students. “I’m very excited. I’m ready to get to work.”

After realizing her office job wasn’t for her, King, a 29-year-old mom, will graduate this week from the driving school with a commercial drivers license.

She remembers what it was like when she first got behind the wheel. “It was intimidating, but after a few minutes, you get comfortable.”

Samantha King behind the wheel of a big rig (CBS 11).

King said she takes comfort knowing that driving a truck will put her and her four year old son on the road to financial security.

Ball said to attract drivers like King, trucking companies have recently increased salaries.

An entry-level driver can make about $50,000 their first year — and that can easily go much higher because everyone gets paid by the mile.

Ball said, “There’s a carrier who’s waiting to hire them the moment they graduate. So as soon as they’ve got their license, they’re off making money. Immediately.”

King said she has a job at a trucking company waiting for her.

“I do, I do. I’m going with Werner’s and I’m very excited.”

At Roadmaster in Dallas, about 60 people graduate every month, and each Monday, there are about 15 new students who begin the course.

The school has 17 locations across the country.

Because of the demand, Ball said it will open six new schools across the country, including one in Fort Worth, in the next six months.

Ball said tuition is $6,995, and that there are a variety of assistance programs for students.

King said the demand for drivers and the national need to deliver goods tax accelerated her decision to change careers. “That to me pulled my heart strings. I feel like I’m doing something that actually matters.”