On May 25th 2017 our congress passed H.R. 2547. This legislation was designed to smooth the pathway for our nation’s veterans to become professional truck drivers. According to the Department of Labor, the demand for new truck drivers in the U.S. will continue to grow far above and beyond any other vocational employment paradigm in the nation. In passing H.R. 2547 our congress sought to assure the commodity transport needs of this nation are met into the future in addition to providing an easier path forward for our veterans to secure a place in this vital and expanding field.
Currently in America, the highest paid truckers are those who own and operate their own trucks. Unfortnuately, getting to that position is frought with trip wires. In the ever tightening market to get these ever more sought after professional drivers numerous transport corporations are engaging in a plethora of tactics to lure in new drivers, some admirable, many not so.
Another impediment in the climb to being an independent owner operator for new drivers is the trucking insurance industry which mandates a minimum of 2 years of clean driving before they will insure them to drive for many transport companies solo or even independently. This confluence of interests limits the thrust potential of those newest to driving right out of the gate. Coupled to the same need of many in other professions to repay school loans, and, to become employed at a rate conducive to a reasonable quality of life is seen by many as one of the larger challenges in America to all too many graduates in many realms today.
While there are many driving jobs out there which in fact pay the median American income in the trucking industry to drivers who are not independent, the never ending strive to provide more dollars back to investors is currently leaving the newest of truck drivers bereft of the opportunities available to the generations who got in before them. Coupled to the cost increases of the facilities and support staff, along with the higher insurance rates and the need to pair new drivers with seasoned drivers through their probationary terms ever less is left in wages for these new truck drivers.
Interviews with many independent drivers will yield two conclusions. First, many used the combined income of their earnings and those of their spouse to fuel their climb into the ranks of being an independent owner operator. Secondly, the window to that opportunity is being closed by stagnant wages in the non independent driving realm by the very same confluence of interests that rarely align on behalf of the drivers. Insurance regulations, federal regulations, local regulations, and business interests are all putting limits on advancing to the level of owner operator unlike anything seen in this nation to date and are in fact having a more detrimental impact on the industry wages than even the huge demand increase projections can offset.
In short, getting a class A CDL has become only a modest, though more costly threshhold to the additional requirements needed to ascend into the coveted ranks of a highly paid owner operator.
So what are those additional requirements needed to provide the thrust levels to surmount the road blocks to being an owner operator after obtaining a class A CDL? Well to start with, the drivers themselves need further hands on, real time intructions on not only just the safe driving aspect of their vocation, they need to learn about everything the support staff in those large transport companies need to know to keep those wheels turning at the profit margins needed to insure success. Everything from weaving their dispatches into a profitable transport Itinerary, to equipment maintenance cost analysis and scheduling to good fiduciary practices in their per diem. They need to have the yard lines across the owner operator field drawn out in no uncertain terms. They need to understand the issues of buying a used truck to start with and the things to watch out for to ensure that first used truck buying experience is not their last truck buying experience. In addition, they will need supervised probationary time with a seasoned driver as well. They will need something else though, they will need to drive with an organization whose primary interest is in seeing THEM into the ranks of owner operator as a primary mission, not one second or third in line to other business madates such as paying off investors, maintaining facilities and executive level salary increases for those on the top of the corporation. And most very important, a firm capable of allowing the life/work balance needed to insure success in both areas of life beyond the needs of a corporation’s desires for higher profits. A program designed around the driver’s acquisition of their very own first truck to propel them up into the driver’s seat of the destiny they seek is paramont.
Many tranport firms are luring drivers in with just such “programs”. The only probelm is that the real objective of all too many of those programs is not to see a driver advance to the realm of owner operator, but to de-couple their own corporations from the costs of buying and maintaining their fleets and their drivers. Once these agreements are entered into by a new driver, the truck can not be used to transport anything outside of the company’s own contracts. In addition, the scheduling these drivers get coupled to the additional costs they take on more often than not are designed to ensure the driver defaults in one way or another and in doing so forfeits all of the money they have put into the agreement. The list of court actions to these practices is very long and growing. Many a bright eyed newbie driver have been taken off by these practices which themselves are running riot in the industry today. In short, these programs are too often designed to dash the dreams of being an owner operator, not to support them. And why not? With the higher costs associated with bringing in owner operators to haul and the market shares many transport companies are losing to owner operators it is merely a smart business move.
BTGG’s program begins where the driving school’s end. It takes the drivers to that level beyond that which is conducive to the best interests of those large transport corporations and puts the ability to succeed in the industry fully into the hands of the drivers themselves. No more of the transport corporational governance of their success. No more of those taking the low paying runs because somebody who was there before them are owed the higher paying runs for their first five or more years. No more of those hundred dollar paychecks because the tuck they are driving to own broke down and the costs are coming from their pockets despite the title of the rig being held by the corporation who skimped on the maintenance. There is no shortage of miles available to the independent truckers in today’s transport driven America. In fact the opportunities for high wages has never looked better for the independent trucker of today. With higher earnings and the ability to chart their own destiny across the nation and their future beyond the constraints put in place by too many transport firms limited by their own financial mandates and contractual agreements, independent driving futures have never been brighter. The BTGG program will accept veterans right out of driving school and pair them up with seasoned drivers who will not only take the wheel when needed, but take command of a total curriculum that will deliver everything needed to the student to ensure as immediate rise to the position of owner operator as can be legally had. Everything including a financial path agenda under the total control of the student, dispatch coordination and training, truck ownership contract guidance, and the paid miles needed to insure a two year path to student ownership of their very own truck will be delivered. This is not a program to give students the time and miles they need in order to be turned over to some major transport company for employment. This is a straight and limited program targeted at increasing the numbers of independent, veteran owned trucks turning high profits over the roads of America for those veterans and their families. This not about the dividends to corporate investors. This is not about corporate promotions or pay increases for high level corporate officers. This not about financing some grand corporate acquisition scheme. This is about improving the quality of the lives of our veterans engaging in the transport industry and their families.