Episode 12 of This Week in Trucking

How Much Owner-Operators Really Make + Truck Parking Debate | Ep 12

This week we went through updates to diesel prices, the freight market, a bit of controversy involving Truck Parking Club, and what you can expect to make as a single truck owner-operator in the current market.

Plus, we answer a listener question about how brokers might evaluate you as a carrier based on the age of your equipment.

Subscribe on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

Like and subscribe to This Week in Trucking on YouTube.

Episode Highlights

Diesel Prices

  • The national average diesel price dropped by about six cents this week, now sitting at $3.516. This is a slight decrease from last week’s $3.577.
  • Diesel prices are lower in most regions except the Rocky Mountain states, with the Midwest seeing the largest drop at 11 cents and the West Coast down by 8 cents.
  • Seasonal and geopolitical factors have contributed to this decline, contrary to some expectations of price spikes.

Gasoline and Diesel Fuel Update – U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)

Freight Market Updates

  • Freight rates saw a slight increase, with dry van rates moving up by one cent to $2.03 per mile from May’s $2.02.
  • Flatbed rates also increased by one cent, now at $2.54 per mile, while reefer rates slightly decreased to $2.41 per mile.
  • The market remains steady, but capacity issues persist with around 90,000 more carriers than needed, preventing significant rate increases.
  • The diesel price drop may slow down the exit of carriers from the market, maintaining the current capacity glut.
  • Rejection rates are hovering around 4.3-4.4%. A 7% rejection rate would indicate market equilibrium.
  • The manufacturing index, a key economic indicator, showed a contraction in May at 48.7, down from a slight expansion in March.

DAT Trucking Industry Trendlines

Truck Parking Club Controversy

  • Truck Parking Club, a startup that acts like an Airbnb for truck parking, has faced criticism for inadvertently monetizing previously free or rewards-based parking spots.
  • The app has added over 1,700 parking spots this year, surpassing federal infrastructure goals and traditional truck stop developments.
  • Some drivers, including Michelle Kitchen, a board member of Real Women in Trucking, have expressed frustration over losing access to free or rewards-paid parking due to the app.
  • Truck Parking Club is working on integrating a rewards points payment option to address these concerns.

Truck Parking Club turns free spaces paid: Is this the future of parking? | Overdrive

Single Truck Owner-Operator Earnings

  • This week, we broke down the earnings of a single truck owner-operator. Key points included:
    • The operator had no truck or trailer payments, which means more in net income than other drivers.
    • Gross earnings for the week were $6,700 with $1,353.62 spent on fuel.
    • Tolls amounted to $394.
    • Including insurance and hypothetical truck and trailer payments, the net income would be approximately $3,452.05.
    • Factoring in maintenance costs at around 20 cents per mile, the adjusted weekly income would be about 2,896.25.
    • The operator worked extensively, taking multiple loads, including partials, to maximize earnings.

Related article: How to Calculate Your Cost Per Mile