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  1. #1
    Bobtail Member
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    What would a yard spotter charge per hour?

    I am looking for some opinions here... we have a need for 2 yard spotters on our drop yard. I am looking for someone with a single axle tractor to work 12 hour shifts. they would be spotting trailers to the dock and pulling loaded trailers to our drop yard which is 1.5 miles away. Typically the spotters drive 30 - 40 miles per day/night, move 20 to 25 trailers per shift and do yard checks listing an inventory of trailers & their location. The trailer loads weigh an average of 20,000 lbs. so a single axle would be fine. The truck will have to be street legal to travel to the yard. Yard tractors are not required as we presently use older city tractors now. We use swing door trailers so the Ottawa type yard tractors don't help much. My drivers prefer using old city trucks since they have to climb down to close doors anyway. What is a fair price for this type work and how should it pay...PER HOUR ?? for driver and their own truck. We are no longer going to use company employees and are considering using owner operators for this shuttling.


  2. #2
    Road Train Member passingthru69's Avatar
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    Well what were your costs break down using your own trks?
    I think you might be running into a high dollar deal there, but you will find somebody who will do it cheap.
    Me, if I was going to do it. I would probably be billing 35/40 dollars an hour on a 10 hour mim. 5 days a week. Then Sat. / Sun. rate would be more. Like 50/60 per hour 8 hour mim.

  3. #3
    Road Train Member STexan's Avatar
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    So long as you have ample space to where the trailers don't need to be jammed in with only a foot on each side (meaning they can't get to the side to dolly the gear up/down, thus requiring a yard truck with lift). But if it requires a dependable tractor to be purchased that will require maintenance, and possibly tractor rental in the event the truck needs repair.

    If I was bidding such an operation and assuming a standard single axle tractor would work long term. I'd negotiate the best possible month-to-month lease (or perhaps 3 year lease if I was confident in the contract/business) rate at a nearby truck leasing outfit, bill that back to the client, plus $12,000 month for driver labor costs (hourly w/ overtime, workmens comp, etc) (assuming this is a 24/7 operation) I don't doubt you'll get a quote for far less, but it won't be able to last long term.

    If trailers are going to have to be dollied up/down 5 times an hour for 10 hour shifts, 7 days a week??? I can almost promise you someone can expect some workmens comp back/shoulder issues. Meaning someone is going to have to be available to "fill in" for who knows how long and will a new hire have to be made?? Dependable and trustworthy labor is hard to find and one "sick" call-in puts a whole new dynamic in the situation. All I'm saying is, whoever takes the contract has to be prepared to deal with many costs and issues in a 2 person position, regardless of how the contract is approached.

  4. #4
    Bobtail Member
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    yeah, I think our company is trying to get away from using their own company drivers for this. I was curious what owner operators would charge to do something along this line of work AND furnish their own tractor. The OTTAWA type yard tractors don't work very well here. We tried them and with the climbing up & down to open & shut the trailer doors it was a real PIA. Also the landing gear must be raised extremely high to clear the storm drain and it feels really scary to raise the trailer that high. I know there are several companies that specialize in yard spotting but, I don't want to call one of them yet ..I don't have time to listen to their sales pitch! I just want a rate right now.

  5. #5
    The Legend CondoCruiser's Avatar
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    I'd guessdamate a single truck working 24/7 would cost about $600 a day.

    The type tractor has nothing to do with the doors. You use a yard dog for a quick hookup and not have to crank landing gear up and down all day long.

    It might even be beneficial to do a Ryder lease on a tractor.

  6. #6
    Bobtail Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by CondoCruiser View Post
    I'd guessdamate a single truck working 24/7 would cost about $600 a day.

    The type tractor has nothing to do with the doors.It DOES when you have to haul them 1.5 miles down the road to the drop yard. You use a yard dog for a quick hookup and not have to crank landing gear up and down all day long. The nose of the trailer would have to raised be over 17 feet to clear our storm drain. The drivers have to slide their tandems forward ALL the way to keep their landing gear from dragging.



    It might even be beneficial to do a Ryder lease on a tractor.
    We are trying to get OUT of the trucking biz , not get more lease units! Thanks for the input though. Right now our current cost to do this ourselves runs 644 dollars per day .

  7. #7
    Road Train Member LandShark's Avatar
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    Wouldn't do it for less than $20.00 per hour and I get two 15 min breaks and a one hour lunch.

  8. #8
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    I'll do it for $643.50/day.

  9. #9
    The Legend CondoCruiser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bubba T View Post
    We are trying to get OUT of the trucking biz , not get more lease units! Thanks for the input though. Right now our current cost to do this ourselves runs 644 dollars per day .
    Lol, I was refering to the one wanting to jump in the business. They could do the lease and avoid a bunch of hassles, hire someone and still do pretty well.

    Do you have plans selling your equipment to the person taking over?

    Are you a 5 day or 7 day operation?

    Round it off, $650 would be a fair amount. I just did a quick estimate.

  10. #10
    Johnny be Good Johnny99's Avatar
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    If there is a logistics company in your area check with them. I worked as a casual for a driver leasing co and they sent me to GATX Logistics doing that for Sears Distribution. It won't be cheap.

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