November 20, 2022How to Find Work as Owner-Operators
The freedom of being an owner-operator has drawn many truckers to create their paths with their trucks, making their own rules as they go. Opportunities for owner-operators soared as the country started to buy more goods, but recent changes may have become the roadblock in what was supposed to be a smooth ride. If finding work as an owner-operator has seemed difficult lately, there are still ways to get around it.
Changes Affecting Owner-Operators
Assembly Bill 5 was designed to prevent the misclassification of workers and essentially protect workers and their wages, but it posed a threat to those who classify themselves as independent contractors. The AB5 timeline is long and filled with pushbacks from owner-operators concerned about their title as independent contractors and what that would mean for business. Spikes in demand for goods also started a demand for more trucking. When the country shut down during the coronavirus, many people were stuck at home with not much to do, and with stimulus checks in hand, they turned to shop. With the whole population turning to Amazon and other online stores, the supply chains were booming, and goods flowed fast. A rise in demand for goods leads to increased demand for those who move the goods. Truckers saw an opportunity to jump on board and become owner-operators with their own trucks and their own rules, ready to take on the loads.
How Other Issues Affect Owner-Operators
After the pandemic slowly winds down, things start to open and go back to a state of ordinary. Still, difficulties created by an influx of consumer demand and the effects of a nation dealing with COVID start to affect not only owner-operators and trucking in general but the whole country. During COVID closures, truckers were considered essential workers and were driving hard to keep up with consumer demand. Drivers faced roadblocks when vaccine mandates started rolling out, sparking trucker protests in Canada by those who move freight between Canada and the United States, slowing down supply chain flows. Truckers also felt the effects of an uncontrollable supply chain boom when it became more challenging to get truck parts on time when requiring maintenance. For owner-operators having a functional truck is the job. If your vehicle is out of commission and waiting on parts, it can halt work. In other news, recent increases in inflation exceeded 8%, the highest surge in 40 years. The spikes in inflation are forcing consumers to keep their wallets shut and stop excess spending for the time being. Now, people are spending less. With no more stimulus checks or extra unemployment assistance, only essential items are important, causing a dip in goods demand and a slowdown in the supply chain. New owner-operators who got on board when freight demand was booming started seeing a decrease in available spot loads, fuel prices, and higher maintenance costs.
Solutions to Changes in Trucking Affecting Owner-Operators
Some solutions available may ease the effects of changes on owner-operators and truckers in general. The prospects for the coming holidays are promising; although consumers are not buying as before, many people are saving what they have for the holidays. This small surge in holiday buying may increase goods demand, but whether those effects will trickle to spot loads and up availability is unknown. The hopes for a greener future are also pushing for electric trucks, a change that will end fuel price increases but poses disadvantages. The transition to electric trucking will not happen soon but shouldn’t be overlooked. Another solution for owner-operators is to work with another trucking company, either for good if the pieces fit or at least for the time being until things pick up.
Owner Operators Can Find Work with a Trucking Company
For owner-operators who may be having trouble finding work, bring your truck to a trucking company for a while. Armada Trucking Group offers positions for owners with the ability to tailor schedules to fit your road freedom preferences. We work with over 300 brokers, so there is always freight available with Armada. With issues concerning owner-operators’ ability to find work, a trucking company like Armada Trucking Group might be a good option, whether long-term or short-term; it’s up to you.