By Joe Rajkovacz
regulatory affairs specialist
Tooling down the boulevard, lost in thought, it’s easy to ponder this past year and the momentous challenges many truckers have faced. Just naming a few, record high fuel prices and trucking bankruptcies, stagnant base rates and a withering economy. The year 2009 will bring additional hardships that are sure to make you think you’re getting piled on. Some can be foreseen, some cannot. New environmental regulations that target truckers with their associated compliance costs are an example of foreseeable burdens.
While collapsing fuel prices are welcome, it’s little consolation when you can’t keep your wagon loaded. Trucking has never been for the faint of heart, yet the savvy will find ways to survive and even prosper.
A bunch of “old school” folks are still out there who survived the economy of the late ’70s and early ’80s with the additional stress of trucking deregulation. Wanna bet they’re looking around the industry today saying “Been there, done that”?
Successful operators have always viewed trucking as a business, and those same folks recognize that the industry is going through major changes. What we see in the future will bear little resemblance to what you see around you today.
Many talking heads will offer their own advice on how to survive, probably for a price. Reduce expenses, increase revenues, and change your business model is so obvious you’ll be left saying … “Duh!” LL