When the economy slows down, steel haulers know it immediately. If the economy slows a little, steel orders drop and there are fewer loads of steel. If the economy slows significanty, steel orders end and there are no loads to haul. Steel haulers know in real time, and our precious inefficient government finds out what happened about a month after it took place. Companies that use steel have steel inventories. They can cancel outstanding orders and use the steel in their inventories.
I have a friend that is a steel hauler. His picture is here on this page. I talked to him this past Sunday, and I told him about this article. He sent a video that I'll link to here. It gives you a glimpse of the life of a trucker.
The good news is that he's hauling very good. The company normally does not lay off drivers. There are just less loads to haul. I stay in pretty close contact with him, and I'll report on changes.
He has a laptop computer that he carries with him and uses in the truck. He's computer savvy and has his own web site. He has a desktop computer at home, and has used computers for years.
He runs over the road east of the Mississippi. He normally gets home every weekend. The truck and expenses are provided by the owner, and he gets a percentage of the freight bill. He can retire very soon, if he wants to. The company has a retirement plan that the driver and the company put money into, but the whole account is owned and managed by the driver.