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4/23/2004
SPECIAL REPORT: Owner-operator online Cost of Operations Survey

For years, small-business truckers have faced the dilemma of whether to build “big company” accounting forms when they couldn’t compare their figures with any other company’s figures. That problem has been solved. Owner-operators can now receive a balance sheet, a profit-and-loss statement and per-mile figures by participating in an online cost of operations survey. This program will put tools in the small trucker’s hands to keep track of where every dollar goes.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, in cooperation with Wayne State University and the University of Michigan, is conducting this survey program. Participants can fill in information, sign off and come back as many times as they like to complete the form. When enough owner-operators have responded, they will also receive a spreadsheet showing the averages for other small companies in their type of operation.

Owner-operators wishing to participate can surf directly to the survey using the following link:http://www.ilir.umich.edu/tibp/ooida/input/.

"Right now, this is an annual summary survey, but we continue to look for ways to improve it," said Dr. Michael Belzer, Wayne State and University of Michigan researcher and president of Sound Science Inc. "I can see owner-operators entering their data monthly to monitor their per-mile costs and income, and then generating their annual report automatically."

The Owner-Operator Cost of Operations Survey invites all owner-operators to participate in this program. The more completed surveys collected, the more accurate the data averages will be in the participant feedback reports. According to John Siebert of the OOIDA Foundation, “The role of the owner-operator segment of trucking is huge due to its sheer size, but there has been little actual economic data to build an accurate picture of that role. We’re trying to increase the body of knowledge about this vital portion of our nation’s transportation infrastructure both for the betterment of the truckers and the nation’s economy.”

If you have questions or would like more information, you can call John Siebert with the OOIDA Foundation Inc. at (816) 229-5791, Ext. 156, or at the OOIDA toll-free number, 1-800-444-5791. John can also be reached through e-mail at foundation@ooida.com.

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