Only those with voices in their head need apply

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“After three hours of Googling, I still don’t know if I want to be a trucker.”“After three hours of Googling, I still don’t know if I want to be a trucker.”

If I didn’t know anything at all about trucking, and was doing some internet research about the industry as a potential career choice, the one thing I’d take away for sure is the distinctly psychotic/split-personality press and information that is generated about it. Consider the internal conversation one may have while doing a little internet research.

First article in the Google search of trucking news screams about “looming” digital regulation, and how it’s going to kill small business trucking. (Hmmm. I’m looking for a job that’s steady and long-term, maybe trucking isn’t for me.) Article goes on to say smaller firms and independent outfits are the backbone of the industry and will take the hardest hit financially, to the point of bankruptcy for some. (Ummm. Wow. That seems really counter-productive. Who the hell is running the FMCSA? This trucking thing is not sounding all that great.)

The next article says the ATA predicts a bright future in 2017 for the trucking industry. These folks predict freight of every kind will increase by as much as 35 percent. There’s a need for truck drivers, they speak of a “shortage.” (OK, now we’re talking. When there’s a shortage of something it usually costs more. Trucking is sounding a little better, maybe it’s a name-your-price game.)

Article number three dictates that a weak demand is predicted into 2017, and the very same folks who predicted an upswing for next year have an economist saying the “flip flop in freight and demand makes it difficult to determine any real or clear trend in truck tonnage.” ( Wait, aren’t you the same people who just said you had data that predicts an upswing? Who the hell is the ATA? How much money am I going to make?)

Scrolling on, there’s an article about Uber connecting drivers with freight. Otto and Uber plan on building relationships with independent truckers, and supply them with a platform to keep their trucks full and running efficiently. (I am super excited about this. I’m young, I use the interwebs for everything, and Uber is my jam when I’m in the city. I can relate to this. But wait, didn’t the first article say the new mandates are going to kill the small business truckers Uber will need to make this project work?)

Next article says trucking companies slashed jobs in September. (That’s no good. Hold on a minute. If there’s a driver shortage, how in the world are trucking companies slashing jobs? That don’t make no sense. )

On down the list to “Robots could replace 1.7 American truck drivers in the next decade.” (Well no wonder they can’t get young people to invest fifteen thousand dollars in training and licensing. Crap. Ten years is a brief moment in a lifetime career choice.)

Very next, and last article on the page, says a large carrier just increased mileage rates up to thirty eight percent for their independent contractors to $1.38 a mile. They did it because the company thinks a fair and equitable rate is what attracts quality drivers. ($1.38 a mile sounds like a lot of money, but didn’t the first article mention long, unpaid wait times and mandated electronic logs? And what stone age company doesn’t understand a fair and equitable rate is what attracts superior employees? I’m not sure I know any more about trucking than I did to start with, three hours ago, when I began this search on the most acceptable form of reference in society today, Google. I’m going to watch cat videos and think about my career choices for a while…)

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