Channel 19

Todd Dills

What are owner-operators’ top five problems?

| March 19, 2012

Readers, I’m beginning research on a story I’m preparing for Overdrive‘s June issue on which I need as much owner-operator input as is possible. It’s one that will probe the five biggest problems owner-operators face in the industry today, offering practical and forward-looking ideas/examples toward solutions to those problems.

My main problem, at this point, is how exactly to determine what the top five problems are? There are many pressures on owner-operator businesses today, from the longstanding difficulty of detention at shipper and receiver docks to the unsettled hours-of-service regulations to the many other safety regulations coming down the pike — and CSA’s hard-edged computation of them all into numerical safety rankings. That is to say nothing of fuel and freight rates.

So please take a moment to review the concerns listed in the poll here and vote for your personal top concern. If we’ve left out anything as you see it, tell me in the comments to this post, and feel free to elaborate on your choice there by listing your total top five. Any commentary on solutions to each of the problems is greatly appreciated, too. Contact me directly via email (tdills [at]] if you’d prefer to share that way.

And thanks, as always. Here’s that poll.

I’m on the road today in Minnesota and Wisconsin, and will be through Wednesday, visiting with both the owner-operator and company driver of the year and making a stop to see Bryan Dax’s Diamond Reo Red Giant up close. Keep an eye on my Twitter feed and/or Facebook page for photos and updates from the road. Hope to see you out there. . .


    Good post Todd. I only have one problem. It’s really hard to nail down just one of those listed as the big problem when there are so many there that apply almost equally. I have posted a link to this in the forum section of Dispatch Me Home Social Site.

  • Marcus

    Agree with Bandit above…maybe rank 1-5

  • Todd Dills

    Bandit, Marcus, that’s why, in the post above, I asked everybody to take some time to consider their own top five and list them in the comments here in addition to voting the above poll. So, hey: go for it! We’ll be considering all input in determining the problems to focus on in the upcoming story.

  • George Clark

    This an excellant post Todd. Here we go. no.1 Rising feul cost.
    no.2 High cost of Emission equip.
    no.3 Hours of Service Rule.
    no.4 Detention time at Shipper/Rec.
    no.5 Freight pricing.

    Now I haven’t been on the road in 7 yrs because of personal reasons and an injury. This is from my expereince of being an o/o after my first couple of driving years from there on to “95 to “02 and a company driver after that till “07.

  • tdills

    Appreciate the input, George!

  • Don Lanier

    Fuel Costs
    Intrusive Sleep apnea and other legislation/ Mandates
    Hours of service/EOBRs
    Quality Healthcare
    Better Pay Better Rates

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