Increase in Trucking Revenue, Investment in Trucking Safety?

Revenue in the trucking industry made quite a comeback in 2010, according to The Journal of Commerce’s list of the Top 50 Trucking Companies of 2010. The 50 largest trucking companies enjoyed a collective 9.4 percent rise in revenue from 2009.

This upswing brought revenue for 2010 to $85.4 billion for those 50 companies alone. This increase was welcome after a 17.7 percent drop in revenue during the recession in 2009. Last year, the top 50 companies in the trucking industry saw their best performance since 2004.

More Revenue, More Safety?

Claiming the cost would be too high, the trucking industry has openly opposed recent safety legislation that would amend the laws regarding hours of service (HOS) or hours a truck driver can drive continuously.

The legislation hopes to limit those hours to reduce accidents resulting from driver fatigue. Truck drivers, most of whom are paid by how much product they can move from one location to another, would likely make less money. The trucking industry has also opposed the legislation, saying it would not allow them to maintain the current systems, routes and schedules and that would result in profit loss.

According to, the average salary for a truck driver in 2009 was about $37,000. Perhaps a spike in revenue and the highest productivity in six years will persuade the trucking industry to absorb the cost instead of passing it to truck drivers, should the safety regulation pass. Safety on a daily basis is the responsibility of the individual truck driver, but overall safety should be a priority of the trucking companies and the industry as a whole. The trucking industry seems to disagree, but no price can be put on saved lives.

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