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Missing business skills isn’t the problem
Your statement in “Your missing billions” column (Pulse, April 2009) about other people’s lack of business skills is stroked with a pretty broad brush. The trucking industry is in its worst decline financially in at least as long as I have been involved and that goes way back to when I bought a tractor in Philadelphia and leased with Riss International.
Some of the best and brightest minds in the industry are hanging on by a thread, so by that standard, should the average guy hang it up, as your column seems to imply? In my more than 30 years in trucking, it’s never been this bad, including the recession of 1982 and ’83. So lighten up on telling people they don’t have the basic business skills to sustain their businesses, good times or otherwise.
Guys are desperate: They are forced to choose between bad loads going to dead spots or deadheading from dead spots to a bad load, hoping they can get to a good spot, only to find they can’t.
I am not saying you cannot navigate your way through this mess, but it takes a lot more than great business skills to do so. Some nice niches are available, such as ODs and aviation, where I have prospered, but that’s atypical. The average guy or small fleet is struggling to make ends meet.
The real problem with this industry is that too many people in it deep down inside hate it but choose to stay and take what they can from it. Though I retired this spring, I really loved it.
– Gulf Coast Transport driver Odell
Haggerty, 42, in the Baltimore Sun
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