Are Better Times Coming? What’s Your Outlook on 2004?

Well…The New Year is just around the corner and so are many new opportunities. This year, in particular, is going to offer a lot of change for the trucking industry. With the continuous improvement of the economy as well as the new Hours of Service Rules taking effect….2004 should be interesting. Are you ready?

Before we look to the future, we’ll take a quick look at the past. 2003 was definitely an interesting year. The year started out with our country on the brink war, which became reality in March. The war caused many issues in the stability of the trucking industry…many of which are still affecting us today. As the year progressed and the war became more and more a part of our daily lives, rather than something new, the industry as a whole began to feel a slight surge of improvement. As the year is winding down, one can almost feel the up and coming ‘rush forward.’

2004 should be an exciting year from many different perspectives. One publication alluded to the first quarter as ‘the Perfect Storm.’ With the new HOS Rules taking effect in January, many analysts are curious as to whether carriers have prepared themselves for possibility of the driver shortage that could await. Driver recruitment should return to its ‘battle field’ mentality as it was only a few years ago. If the driver shortage returns, truck driving jobs will be readily available!

How does this affect you? In the past, driver shortages have resulted in many different hiring practices and driver retention programs that benefit you, the driver. For example, many companies are already beginning to increase their pay per mile and sign-on bonuses in order to attract drivers in search of new driving jobs and help in keeping the ones they currently have happy. Why is that? Well, they know that how they position themselves for the temptation of drivers leaving their current carrier to find a new one that pays better and offers a sign-on bonus will play a large role in which companies survive the upcoming hiring surge effectively and which trucking companies are hurt because of it. Driver shortages typically indicate a favorable time to be a driver. Companies do everything they can to keep you happy!

Truck driver recruiting and driver retention are only a small portion of what should make for an interesting 2004. Most analysts are predicting continuous economic improvement which benefits us all in some form or fashion. So, get ready because more favorable times are coming. The staff here at would like to wish you the best of luck with all of your ventures in 2004. Drive Safe!


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