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3 Reasons Smaller Carriers Will Always Be A Part of the Semi-Truck Industry

With all the new regulations taking effect in the trucking industry, some believe that smaller carriers will be driven out. They cite the cost of implementing things such as ELDs and compliance with the GHG rules. However, others are saying that small carriers actually won't be exiting the semi-truck industry anytime soon. This contrary view is due, in part, to three unique factors, namely, that they are the majority of trucking companies, median age of drivers, and increased need for capacity and drivers.

Majority Rules

According to Fleet Owner, the vast majority of trucking companies are, by definition, small carriers. In fact, they say that 90 percent of all fleets operate 6 or less trucks and over 97 percent operate less than 20 trucks. When you take those figures into consideration, it is difficult to believe that most, or all, of them will leave the industry permanently. It is more likely that they will continue to be the majority. However, that some will certainly drop out of the game, either due to the fact that regulatory compliance costs are too high, or that they simply cannot compete in a tight market.

Aging Drivers

The average truck driver is over the age of 45. While this isn't a huge surprise, the reality is, these individuals are generally only trained to do one thing, drive truck. Leaving the industry in search of a job that pays the same, or close to the same, as long-haul trucking, for example, is difficult at best. In today's climate, it's much safer to remain working in a proven field than to take a leap of faith and attempt to enter the job market again. The seasoned veterans of the road that are employed by small carriers are, therefore, more inclined to stay put.

Increased Demand

As ELDs are introduced into the industry, there will be an increase in demand for both capacity and drivers. In the past, it was easy to skirt around the hours of service regulations by simply putting erroneous information on the manual log sheet. ELDs will eliminate this, ensuring that every driver is in full compliance. In some cases, this behavior was ignored, if not encouraged, by carriers. Now, companies that once overlooked logbook manipulation will, instead, have to hire new drivers and put more trucks on the road to log the same number of miles.

At Michigan Truck Sales & Equipment, we fully support small carriers and their drivers. We know that they are the backbone of the trucking industry, and we respect their hard work and dedication. If you own a small fleet and you need new vehicles or equipment, please contact us. We would love the opportunity to help you grow your fleet so that you, your drivers and your customer base will prosper into the new year and beyond. 

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