As I have shared time and time again, for a person to have the drive and desire to start his own trucking company, with one truck, in a pretty tough industry, is admirable to me. Over the last 45 years, I’ve had the opportunity to interact with hundreds of independent contractors. These hard-working folks that typically run family businesses, are often signed on to an existing fleet. In trucking, some safe driving experience, and a will to work for yourself, are the keys to starting your own business. Often the carrier will aid in the capital expenditure of asset acquisition, some business principles, and best practices. But the most important aspect of this particular dream is that the new start up truck driver can leverage their business on a turnkey sales group that is acquiring loads and freight!
Government entities and plaintiff lawyers fail to realize some basic facts of start-up businesses. Often the start-up business including independent contractors have a high failure rate. For some reason if you fail as an independent contractor you should have chosen to be an employee when you desired to drive. But if you choose to be an independent contractor and fail, the law of minimum wage can be applied retroactively? These rulings will inhibit the fleets from aiding these hard-working folks that want to pursue the American Dream.
As an independent contractor, I would have loved to have a network of salespeople selling my business and feeding my top line revenue. Instead, I can guarantee you when first starting out, I never covered minimum wage for the amount hours I worked, nor did I received a legal or Supreme Court ruling when that business failed. I guess the new trend of giving all participants in any kind of sporting event a “participation trophy” has also bled over to business. What a sad state! Business only has room for winners and losers, and there are plenty of independent contractors that are winners – those that work hard in the business – and have been rewarded with a profitable business. And in some cases, they have taken that one truck, and have grown it to over 7,000 trucks!
We keep sliding down this slippery slope of inhibiting the carrier’s ability to grow and recruit the independent contractor’s American Dream. It’s a shame that we don’t recognize the silent majority of independent contractors that have worked hard and built their businesses over long miles and years in a very tough business! I applaud you all and hope this industry will still strive to help people attain the American Dream of owning their own business!
– Jack Porter