Challenge No. 1: Adapting to change

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I came away from the wide-ranging discussion last Thursday centered around owner-operators’ top business challenges in today’s environment with this perhaps less-than-stunning conclusion about the many interconnected issues the independent must contend with: Smart operators do and will continue to adapt as government and the industry throw regulatory and competitive hurdles in their paths.

On fuel, rates, detention pay, equipment prices, and the increasingly inflexible hours/EOBR regulatory mix, while there is no shortage of justifiable objection to the way things are going, owner-operators will survive by choosing adaptations to maintain profitability and thus long-term business viability, sticking to their guns on rates while investing in technology when the time is right to save fuel, time and/or hassle with the inspectors.

Deciding exactly which way to go to adapt — and when to take take that route — is no doubt the biggest challenge going.

If you missed the discussion Thursday, Aug. 16, on the Truth About Trucking program, the whole was marked by debate over different ways to deal with the problems I’ve been covering this month, with a big part of it on EOBRs. Chiming in were folks like featured guests Tom Blake and Jeff Clark as well as past Channel 19-featured owner-operators Linda Caffee, William McKelvie and Tim Philmon, among others.

You can listen to the archived two-hour discussion, if you missed it, or download it to podcast, via this link.

Not much more to report  at present — I’m fast on my way to Dallas for the Great American Trucking Show today. If you’re going to be there, too: get in touch with me via Twitter or Facebook. If you can’t be in Dallas, stay tuned to for show-special news, hot trucks, videos and more. It ought to be a great show — don’t miss our Friday live stream of Partners in Business on the main page!