channel 19

Todd Dills

Reader: ‘I see trucking improving’…

| May 08, 2014

employment numbers April 2014That only tells a small part of the story, however. Specialized operator Jim Stewart, over in Overdrive’s LinkedIn groupcommented to that effect followed this news item, spelling out employment numbers, which continue to grow in trucking. Still, the industry, on a pure size basis measured by payroll jobs, is about 4 percent behind its peak in January 2007.

That might not be a bad thing, as other metrics have been looking better lately, of course — tight capacity is driving rates up, as reports from the spot market over the last several months have shown. Here’s how Stewart put it:  


Hours and recorders: Give safe drivers some freedom

You shouldn’t have to invest in electronic logging technology to continue proving that you're safe.

Yes, I see trucking improving. The companies are finding it harder to attract good people to this lifestyle of heavy-handed oversight by every government and state agency that wants a piece of a trucker’s bottom line. It’s beginning to effect rates somewhat to an extent that I no longer have to explain twice daily why I need the extra money to move the customer’s load from point A to point B. Amazingly, now I’m finding service is fast becoming a priority once again. It’s about time! Maybe driver wages will soon begin to catch up to today’s standards instead of remaining stuck ten years behind. 


POLL: What is driving tight capacity in truckload today?

The economy is improving, and capacity is tight, which means rates are gaining. Is driver pay lagging behind those improvements? Or is one of several ...

Catch his full comment here, which gets into different dynamics in the intermodal sector, where low-ball rates from Stewart’s vantage still rule the day. (Might not tell that to Elvin Hilton, whom I met Monday and who seemed to be doing well with inland/non-port intermodal.)

In any case, sound off on the capacity issue in truckload here. While most of us might agree, I’m guessing, on the result — better rates than what we’ve seen in the recent past — what’s the primary driver as you see it? Vote in the poll here. 

  • Tom AndSheila Hurd

    I am getting some of the best flatbed rates I have ever seen right now, finding drivers who want to deal with the regs and OTR is hard but in the end it will drive rates higher and higher until it shuts down the economy or the general public demand changes to reduce the cost of toilet paper

  • g

    Real truckers are into FREEDOM….no amount of “increased wages” is going to bring alot of these Skilled Journeymen BACK to trucking. They have no interest in this NEW TRUCKING……they dont NEED or want babysitters….cameras, electro logs…..plain and simple. You better HOPE some new SUCKERS will go for this new High Tech, Highly Regulated,
    Totally Monitored……Trucking you are designing. It has really NO APPEAL to most of the Experienced Truckers and they are Leaving Trucking.

  • g

    Finding a Flatbedder is going to get difficult. They can get a questionable dock bumper/Zombie to work with all these SHACKLES on…..but they know Nothing about Flatbed Operations…..I have seen green horn Flatbedder “kids” drop the entire load on flat interstates in dry weather at high noon…..crap scattered all over the highway…..this will become the norm as Journeymen give up on trucking……

  • Jack Lockhart

    E logs is A joke its not about safety it to control how much money truck drivers make .The tree huggers in Washington that make the laws has never driven A truck in there life the 14 hour rule the 1/2 hour break makes A driver push on because they can’t stop because the 14 hour rule they need to go back to the way we used to log

  • martymarsh

    Right on the money, but they have to learn the hard way.

  • g

    Trucking is becoming More stressfull with each new Rule and new Gadget to Monitor the Chump/Slave/ driver boy…….PAY will have to INCREASE dramatically to keep anyone interested in being A Monkey On Wheels for the “corporation”……UPS money for UPS monitoring. ROBOT DRIVERS cost alot more than oldschool drivers……Always there is a PRICE to be PAID when the JOB becomes MORE of a HASSLE. Labor is part of the marketplace equation too….you corporate CHUMPS…good luck finding absolute SUCKERS to be part of this rediculous joke.

  • g

    Shackled Trucking is what this has become. They could hire guys from who are currently IN Prison to drive these trucks….they are monitored and watched on CAMERA…maybe this is part of the NEW TRUCKING plan? strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.