What can I tell you about perseverance that you don’t already know? Not much. If you’re still a working owner-operator, you’ve endured some of the worst economic turmoil in recent memory.
What I can share about perseverance is some of our most recent research. In spite of all the reasons to sell or park your truck, 86 percent of you plan to hang on as an owner-operator. Furthermore, 29 percent of you plan to buy a new or used truck this year.
Those are pretty gutsy stances, considering fuel expenses, slowing freight, tight credit and absurdly low value on your used truck.
However, there are some bright lights. Though the Index of Leading Indicators continues to slip, it does not indicate a recession, and “economic activity continues to grow,” says the Conference Board. Two growing components of the index in February were manufacturers’ orders for raw materials and consumer goods.
During the Mid-America Trucking Show, Peterbilt General Manager Nick Panza said the economy is near the “bottom of the curve,” and that freight volume should grow 2 percent to 3 percent this year. Our Randall Publishing Co. editors, in a briefing at the show, explained why much of the shakeout of owner-operators and small fleets could be behind us.
I want to point out one other area of perseverance: the articles you read in Overdrive. The consistently fine work of our editors was recognized recently by American Business Media’s Jesse H. Neal Awards program. Overdrive was honored for its stories on the future of trucking in the January 2000 issue. Also recognized was Overdrive‘s sister publication, Trucking Co., for its series on the proposed hours-of-service revision.
This was only one of several editorial honors Overdrive has won in recent months. We expect many more as we persevere in our mission to provide business assistance to the true pioneers in perseverance.