We looked into investments in the crystal ball industry, but we didn't like the way their futures were looking. (Groaner, right?)
But despite our lack of fortune-telling credentials, we do have some predictions for the future of owner operator jobs in trucking. How accurate do you think will we be?
1. Lease purchase programs continue to make being an owner operator feasibleWith the cost of trucks being so high and the technology changing so quickly, we predict that lease purchasing programs are going to continue to grow both in availability and popularity. The good news is that lease programs are a great way for company drivers to become their own boss as an owner operator in an affordable and smart way while minimizing the risk of taking on a rig.
2. The trucking industry will become more and more tech savvy
We all know about the e-log mandate coming up in December, but beyond e-logs, we think that as technology advances, trucking is very likely to go paperless, or almost paperless. If you've been resisting the tidal wave of technology, it might be time to give in and learn more. We expect that most companies will move to online reporting and notification systems in coming years.
Technology enables drivers and companies to share information quickly and accurately across the country, or even the world. Improved technology wouldn't just make it easier for shippers and receivers, but also for OTR drivers. Just imagine how quickly you could have questions answered with fingertip access to a worldwide trucking community and better communication with your company!
3. Companies will offer better retention programs
We hear it every single day. Drivers need support. The best trucking companies out there are recognizing this and working to improve their company culture in order to retain their employees. We hope that this will become the norm in coming years. One important, and often overlooked part of retaining drivers is listening to their ideas and being willing to change company policies as times change. We predict that companies will be forced to recognize that independent contractors are full business partners; If they are successful the trucking company is successful.
4. Advances in technology could allow owner operators to expand their fleet
Some OTR drivers are nervous about advancements in driving technology such as autonomous trucking, but we think that if done correctly and cautiously parts of autonomous truck driving could benefit owner operators. New technologies such as collision avoidance, rollover stability, ABS braking, and the increasing availability of automatic transmissions, could allow owner operators to expand their fleet by being able to train less experienced drivers to become independent more quickly.
5. Owner operators will be better paid
Trump's easing of some government regulations on emissions and the reining in of the EPA rulings, should hopefully lead to more money in the pockets of those who actually transport goods from place to place. The continued driver shortage means more work to go around and higher demand; and it could also mean higher pay as the demand for drivers continues to rise.
Will all these predictions happen? We don't know, but we think the future looks great. One thing we do know is that K&J Trucking will still be here caring for our drivers; the best drivers in the business.
If you want to be a part of our team, we have trucking jobs. We are currently hiring full-time and part-time owner operators and company drivers in Sioux Falls, SD; Guymon, OK; and Kearney, NE. If you're outside that area, go ahead and contact us anyway and we can see if we might be able to work together. Click below to start the conversation!