Today’s owner operator is facing diminishing returns…. that’s the ‘economic phrase’, which best describes the plight of the independent trucker.
As operating costs continue to rise and freight rates sit flat, shippers don’t want to pay more, trucking exec’s can’t afford to pay more and the revenue loss runs downhill until it hits the bottom guy, the owner operator.
They are still in demand because trucking companies don’t want to run company trucks at a loss if they can convince these operators to keep on going.
Comfortable Retirement? Not Likely
But the fact remains that the large majority of operators aren’t paid well enough anymore to support their excessive costs.
Let’s not forget as an owner operator, you should be making enough to replace
your equipment when need be and be putting away money for your retirement years. But sadly, those days are gone.
If you are lucky enough to keep ahead of the repair bills on the road and the cost of living, you may be lucky enough to die before you go bankrupt!
Being a Company Driver: A Better Option
Certainly there’s no chance of retirement with a bankroll anymore. Operators are living pay cheque to pay cheque and often wondering ‘why own the truck anymore?’ The resale value on a truck is negligible.
Think about it… you could be driving a company truck without the headaches associated with operating costs. If you’re driving for the right carrier, you can potentially take home as much or more at the day’s end.
Trucking companies are always in need of company drivers that won’t wreck their trucks.
These days, that is a very viable option for truckers. The return on investment with owning your own rig, isn’t as great as it once was. In fact, it’s becoming a path for financial disaster.
Not Enough Money to Attract New Blood
Fortunately, there are very few new guys out there with stars in their eyes who want to buy their own truck and see North America from the driver’s seat. In fact, there seems to be very few young people interested in a trucking career at all…. and wisely so.
After figuring out the hours spent working and the cost of living on the road, the pay cheque isn’t big enough and most drivers can see that. There’s better money, benefits and hours in almost any other trade.
That’s part of the problem too… trucking isn’t really considered a trade as such, though it is, it’s considered just a ‘job’ and not a great paying job at that.
The best and brightest guys aren’t gravitating to the trucking industry because of the lack of money and that doesn’t bode well for the industry.
The poor pay is a clue to tell us something about the new drivers that do end up in the driver’s seat and that’s not good either. It reflects on the entire industry.
There’s lots of press lately on the current truck driver shortage and the every increasing expected shortages in the near future.
There’s no shortage of task forces to study the issue, just a shortage of money to solve the problem.
Truckers Are Taken For Granted
The industry’s issues won’t be solved until trucks start to grind to a halt and goods begin failing to get to their markets.
By then, they’ll have to figure out not only how to solve the shortage problem, but how to solve the damage done as well.
It won’t bounce back overnight because drivers will have then already found alternative jobs.
The issue is very similar to the Great Depression… everyone sees it coming, but those able to stop it won’t do anything, until it’s too late.
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- Company Driver Job vs O/O
- O/O Common Questions & Answers
- Spec’ing a Truck