Should I stay or should I go?

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In the immortal words of The Clash …

Should I stay or should I go now?
If I go there will be trouble,
If I stay it will be double.

cucumbersEvery single owner-operator out here is asking themselves these questions right now. Quite frankly, we know more who are leaving than staying. It’s always better to avoid the trouble you know than to wait around for trouble you’re unfamiliar with.

Trucking life is the life of a gambler. You gamble that you’re going to make enough money to cover the expense, which seems pretty straightforward when you’re negotiating rates, until you walk outside to start the truck and find a puddle of oil-tinged antifreeze underneath it. A money-making 5,000-pound load can quickly turn into a black, money-sucking hole that makes you want to walk off into the woods and never return.

Then there are the good days, when all the planets align and you roll into a job site, on time, engine purring like a kitten, and are treated like a hero for bringing the equipment or supplies people need to complete their project. You walk away counting your money and think, “This ain’t so bad.”

Unfortunately, it’s becoming more and more difficult to have the good days. The completely ass-backward approach the industry has to obtaining and retaining drivers, coupled with the ever-growing list of ridiculous mandates that have absolutely nothing to do with safety and everything to do with control, make the good days fewer and farther between.

Here’s a little tip for the “powers that be,” if you want to grow cucumbers, you don’t plant chicken turds. You plant cucumber seeds and you learn to spread the chicken poo thinly enough over the topsoil to encourage those seeds to grow. You don’t heap piles of poo on top and expect a bumper crop of cucumbers, it just doesn’t work that way.

Darlin’ you got to let me know,
Should I stay or should I go?

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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