Inside Track

Brad Holthaus, publisher
bholthaus@rrpub.com

If you’ve been in this business a long time, you know things have evolved. Being an owner-operator isn’t like it was 20 years ago or even five years ago. Changes in technology, rates and regulations have altered the feel of running an owner-operator business, including what it takes to be profitable.

Overdrive has diligently invested to track those changes by commissioning our Owner-Operator Market Behavior Report every year for more than a decade. The report is by far the most detailed study on the operating methods, buying habits and personal characteristics of the nation’s owner-operators.

For example, the 2007 report, prepared by Commercial Motor Vehicle Consulting, contains facts as wide-ranging as these:

  • Leased owner-operators controlled 158,000 trucks in 2006.
  • Owner-operators with a two-year college degree who keep detailed records of operating expenses earn $63,700.
  • Of those with an average length of haul more than 500 miles, 45 percent return home about once a week.
  • When it’s time to replace a transmission, 18 percent of owner-operators do it themselves.
  • Those in long-haul applications rank reliability slightly higher than fuel economy when buying a truck.

Advertisers often buy our report to better enable them to reach this thriving market. More importantly, our editors use this information to add depth to their stories, such as this month’s Dollars & Sense column on the importance of debt-to-revenue ratios. Efforts such as this make Overdrive the leader in its field.

The Business Manual for Owner-Operators
Overdrive editors and ATBS present the industry’s best manual for prospective and committed owner-operators. You’ll find exceptional depth on many issues in the 2021 edition of Partners in Business.
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