For years, independent owner-operators formed the proud backbone of the trucking industry. In the face of growing regulations and shrinking margins, the traditional owner-operator model is on a slow but steady path toward extinction.
Pressure from All Sides
In order to stay competitive, independent truckers are forced to offer increasingly low rates that result in unsustainable margins. Any remaining profit is being eroded by additional expenses for eco-friendly equipment, electronic logging devices and other mandated requirements.
The plight of the independent owner-operator has a trickle-down effect on carriers, whose profitability relies on the model. Hiring drivers as independent contractors lets carriers avoid tax withholding, heath insurance and other expenses attached to direct employees.
What Separates an Owner-Operator from an Employee?
Most owner-operators fiercely value their independent status, but the line is becoming blurred. Over the last year, FedEx has spent nearly $500 million settling lawsuits charging misclassification of company drivers as independent contractors.
Large shippers are not exempt from these questions. Retail giant Macy’s hired drivers as independent contractors through their logistics management company, although the drivers were required to follow a dress code and other company standards. Macy’s ultimately settled a resulting class action suit charging that drivers were deprived of overtime due to misclassification.
Save Time and Money with an Electric Semi Trailer Mover
Time is a valuable commodity in the transportation industry. Maneuver trailers quickly and safely with an electric semi trailer mover from DJ Products. Visit our website and use the convenient online chat feature for immediate assistance from one of our friendly and knowledgeable sales engineers.