Ask The Trucker

Raising the Standards of the Trucking Industry


Independent Truck Drivers Have It Tough


By []L. Winslow 

It has never been easy to be an independent truck driver and with the high fuel prices, high cost of insurance and over regulations and bureaucracy; including out of control taxes it is a wonder that there are any Independent truck drivers left at all.  And the ones who are left are upside down in truck payments and are not making very much money.

At the online think tank we talk a lot about logistics, distribution and transportation and we are quite alarmed at the challenges that the independent truckers have to deal with.  Recently one independent truck driver told us;

“The past 10 years of my life have been pretty tough, if you ask me. I have been a CDL driver since 1984 and never really found a  driving job I wanted to keep, so I have jumped many times to different positions, hoping the next will be better… and its not.”
Indeed, I am deeply troubled with the Trucking Industry in the US and the number of “Independent Truck Drivers” who have been forced into BK and trucks repo’ed. And I often will tune into Rolly James or George Noory and listen to the complaints about the Mexican Truck Driver issues.

I remember once talking to an OK State Trooper and he said that he could flag 95% of the trucks from Mexico with Out of Service tickets. It is amazing. Even worse we have pollution laws here and then our old junk gets shipped to Mexico and they buy it and then drive it here, but no American driver could, it would not pass a single weigh scale or an inspection.

Anyway, I understand all these issues having been in the Trucking Industry. I see the same problems with Independent Truck Drivers and Owners as the American Farm Family in America. There are issues, and no it is not funny at all; I see this in many industries, then watch the larger companies force undo restrictions on the small business person, who then cannot compete, even if they lower price.

Then what do we get? Well, we get the larger companies cutting costs to bare bones, hiring mal-contents and newbies and increasing accident rates, although they try to hide them at the GAO reports and modify the statistics at the DOT and then we get more restrictions and regulations.

Meanwhile the Rail Industry has taken a bite and in Dec. we watched the truck load rate fall 2% and no one said anything. Stock market just reflected that, anyone should have seen that coming after studying the trucking industry since Mid October?

Fuel prices do not help either, it gives an advantage to rail which can bulk buy in advance and the last big trucking company holds out to raise rates, starves the little guy, of course FedEx is the weather vain, and when they raise rates dominoes are in motion. Companies which need shippers then go hunting for best rates and that sexy sales lady waltz’es in and sells your rear end out of a job or takes the account from your best company clients. Yes, I see all that.

L. Winslow is an Economic Advisor to the Online Think Tank, a Futurist and retired entreprenuer. Currently he is planning a bicycle ride across the US to raise money for charity and is sponsored by and all the proceeds will go to various charities who sign up.

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© 2007 – 2008, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

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By: Allen Smith

Allen Smith is a 37 year veteran who started at an early age in a household goods family moving business. He began driving straight trucks in 1977 and moved to the big rigs in 1982. His experience within the industry includes; owner operator, company driver, operations manager, and owner of a long distance HHG moving business, taking many of the long haul moves himself when needed. Allen Smith, a truck driver advocate who is driven by the desire to help others succeed within an industry where injustice, unrewarded sacrifice, and lack of respect and recognition exists. Allen and his wife Donna are hosts of Truth About Trucking ”Live” on Blog Talk Radio. Other websites include AskTheTrucker, TruckingSocialMedia, NorthAmericanTruckingALerts, TruthAboutTrucking, and many Social Media websites. In 2011 Allen and Donna hosted the first Truck Driver Social Media Convention, designed to create unity and solutions for the trucking industry. This is now being extended through the North American Trucking Alerts network as those within the industry join forces for the betterment of the industry. Allen strongly supports other industry advocates who are also stepping up to the plate to help those who share honesty, guidance and direction. He believes that all those involved in trucking need to be accountable for their part within the industry, including drivers, carriers, brokers, shippers, receivers, etc… The list of supporters and likeminded people grow daily, networking together and sharing thoughts and ideas for the betterment of trucking. He has coined the popular phrase "Raising the standards of the trucking industry"

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