I can’t think of a brighter beginning to the new year than the news that many large carriers are introducing better owner-operator pay packages this month. This is no great surprise. The on-and-off economy of the past two or three years ended 2003 more on than off, increasing demand for stable contractors. And the expected loss of productivity due to the new hours-of-service rule only heats that demand further.
Besides that, though, the scrappy owner-operators who’ve made it through the past few years have some financial catch-up to do: