Imagine how much money we can make if we stop being an owner operator and start our own company!

Truck driver in a blue truck

The trucking company is taking advantage of us! Look at that rate that we just saw!”

I have heard comments like this so often over 33 years in the business.

So what do these people do? They’ll go on their own, get authorities and try to haul freight themselves.

I have breaking news for you folks. There’s no goldmine in trucking. If you work hard, watch your pennies, are flexible in your business approach and have a healthy dose of luck, you can make a living.

Trucking has been good for me. Not easy, but good. I’ve raised a large family and paid my bills. I’ve done many jobs in trucking and even had my own company. I never thought I could get rich but I just liked doing my own thing.

My background helps me in being a better company driver, as I am now. I know there’s no pot of gold so I do my best to help keep costs down.

There’s a trend I’m seeing these days. It’s been around for a long time but it seems to be ramping up.

I’m talking about tractor service companies. It bothers me. Why? I’ll name a couple issues.

First of all is insurance. In a claim situation, the tractor bears the brunt. Remember the deal with the trailer carrying the mail in BC that ended up by the river? It made it into the Highway Thru Hell show. The tractor service company didn’t have enough insurance coverage, the contracted carrier said it wasn’t their issue and Canada Post just wanted their mail back. It took a long time to resolve.

The next issue is pay. If you are a tractor service doing long trips working for a contracted carrier, you aren’t making any money. I’m going to simplify this. Why is a carrier using a tractor service? I know they’ll say they need to because they can’t find drivers, but there’s a driver in that tractor right? Why didn’t they hire them? Driving record too bad? Then why do companies lower their standards and let them pull for a tractor service?

What do you see when a tractor-trailer is in a crash? The big name on the trailer. So while they’re not paying the whole claim their reputation is taking a hit.

A tractor service to a company is a way for them to cut costs. If it wasn’t, you would see the odd tractor service truck pulling their trailer. It’s meant to be used in a pinch.

That’s not what I see today. I see tons of startup companies doing tractor service. I’m not against the practise, I just want you to think about why companies are doing this and getting you to set up a company to do that.

In my opinion it is another form of Driver Inc. A large carrier is escaping some of the responsibilities and still getting their freight moved. I’m sure the shareholders love it.

I have known some people doing this for less than what an owner – operator makes and I’ve tried to warn them off to no avail. Here’s a shocker… none of them are in business today.

I’m all for you starting your company if that’s what you want but be careful when you’re getting pushed to do something. There’s no goldmine so make sure you’re not giving all your gold to someone else.