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Owner-ops hit hardest by poor roads, delays

July 6, 2015
50% of drivers delayed every week, survey says

new survey conducted by third party logistics company National Retail Systems (NRS) indicates that the worsening conditions of U.S. roadways may be contributing to the ongoing driver shortage, largely as delays due to road construction and repairs are affecting truck driver earnings.

“One of the more surprising things we found is that 31% of the drivers we surveyed are held up every day due to road construction,” Chris Saville, NRS’s marketing director, told American Trucker editor-at-large Sean Kilcarr. “On top of that, over 50% said they are held up every week due to those [road work] conditions. We were not expecting numbers like that.”

He added that NRS thinks experiencing delays of that magnitude may be aggravating the driver shortage, since delays reduce mileage and lead to higher fuel consumption.

“There’s a lot of frustration resulting from road conditions and not just for company drivers,” Saville said. “It’s particularly felt among owner-operators. That’s why we think it’s another factor fueling the driver shortage.”

Indeed, since owner-operators are individuals who own and operate their own vehicle, their profit margins are affected by delays and higher fuel expenditures, Saville said; making it too expensive to stay in business.

Kilcarr’s full report is available on

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