In September 2008, the OOIDA Foundation completed the fifth in a series of member profile surveys on owner-operator members of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association. These five trend-spotting surveys span a 10-year period. One of the categories included in the surveys is always trucker trivia.
Foundation Director Tom Weakley says most of the trucker trivia questions have remained constant; however, a couple of shifts are noteworthy.
The number of truckers who used to be construction workers has dropped, and the number who used to be factory workers has risen. Traditionally, trucking has pulled from construction because trucking offered a 15 percent premium over construction wages. Construction traditionally pulled from factory workers, and the research is seeing a change in those roles.
Truck driver earnings have not kept above the construction industry, and trucking is now pulling more workers from the lower-paying factory worker pool.
Another interesting trend is a growing percentage – 25.5 percent to 32.8 percent – of owner-operators who had fathers who were truck drivers.
One explanation for this would be that current owner-operators who were introduced to trucking and its lifestyle at an early age are more likely to stay with the profession during the economic downturns than those who were first-generation truckers and lacked the traditional knowledge of the industry.
– By Land Line staff