Thursday, April 23, 2009

TRUCK DRIVER SHORTAGE

The truck driver shortage is and has been a problem since long before I started looking at trucks. The fact is that many companies have a need for drivers who don't make waves and that will work cheaply. If you hire drivers and let them work for you and dictate their own salaries while you are struggling to find freight for them to haul, then you might find yourself looking for a new company to run.

It is to the company's benefit to keep fresh new drivers in the seat that work for a beginner's wage who do as they are told and deal with whatever complications come their way while not asking for more compensation.

I know if I ran a company and only needed to make sure that people were driving safely and getting to their appointments on time, I would not necessarily need to constantly raise pay scales. All I would need to do is keep new drivers who just did what they were told. There is nothing wrong with that after all.

I became an owner operator because I worked for several companies and was both tired of them going out of business, and tired of their lack of interest in their driver's welfare. Most of the drivers who work for companies come from trucking schools because there simply is no other option.

The fact is that there would not be a driver shortage if most of the trucking companies would keep their drivers and give their drivers a chance to succeed. Since this costs the companies money and the point of most businesses is to make money, the driver turnover persists. Today the average turnover at trucking companies is 120%. That is almost unbelievable.

If freight paid better, then companies could keep their drivers, but this is a vicious cycle. Freight does not pay well and thus companies are constantly fighting each other to win over their customers. There is only one way to correct this problem. IT IS EDUCATION to everyone who comes into this industry.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Trucking 2009

Well this is a new year and it has presented new problems for everyone. The economy is driving this industry as well as many others and it is taking its toll. Many industries are concerned about their futures and they are all making cut-backs. The full scope of this economy is too broad to dive into here, but in short confidence is waning.

That being said, you can still make a living in a truck. You have to be near perfect though. There is no room for mistakes. Accidents, tickets, missed delivery times, freight damage. It is sink or swim right now. With all of the freight rates falling on average in relation to the price of fuel, you have to make every dollar count.

There are many trucking companies who have made decisions which they are paying for right now. I know of one company which had purchased new trucks and trailers because the economy was so good, and now they are facing bankruptcy.

A single owner operator is in a completely different boat than an even small sized fleet. One driver can have no truck payment and low overhead as well has having no employees to pay. I solo driver/owner-operator can make a living today. If you have your own shop and can do your own repairs or even better, have an ASE certification allowing you to repair your truck at a state scale if you are put out of service, you can control almost every aspect of the maintenance side of your trucking operation. Of course, you should have some experience repairing trucks first.