Are hopper bottoms profitable?

Discussion in 'Tanker, Bulk and Dump Trucking Forum' started by drifter60, Jan 10, 2022.

  1. drifter60

    drifter60 Bobtail Member

    Mar 4, 2014
    Corsicana TX
    Looking to do something different. Started out hauling grain 40+ years ago and was wondering if you can make any money doing it. There’s a small company based in my hometown and I was going to go talk to them. Nothing else, it’ll beat the 5 hour drive I have now to get to the truck in Oklahoma as I live south of Dallas, TX. Did the van, reefer gig and really don’t want that, also done tankers. Don’t mind being gone a couple weeks at a time, just like the idea of being based out of my hometown.
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  3. wore out

    wore out Numbered Classic

    Jun 5, 2013
    Depends is pay mileage or percentage based. Do they have their own contracts with some load board stuff to fill in or 100 percent load board.

    Do they haul only grain or general commodities?

    There can be long lines and wait times. Sleeping at the receiver to be early as possible so you can hit a wash out before reloading. Pet food plants straight suck I don’t care who they are or where. They treat every thing like it’s high grade plutonium.

    They are referred to welfare wagons for a reason, that said some do extremely well. Just depends on who you know, sometimes if you spit or......
  4. 201

    201 Road Train Member

    Apr 16, 2014
    high plains colorado
    Unless things have changed, hopper bottoms always were loaded heavy because it didn't pay to haul a legal load. I've seen some pretty big lines waiting to unload too. Also, with few exceptions, it's always empty coming home, although I DID see a hopper bottom at a gravel pit unloading a load of chips once. Unloading them was a hassle as you could imagine. Many farmers have their own hoppers for their own crops, but I wouldn't want to make a living with one. You can't beat a flatbed these here days. It's all I see out here.
  5. MacLean

    MacLean Medium Load Member

    Sep 12, 2017
    Could go oilfield hauling frac sand although you won’t be hauling light loads. I always hated relying on that valve to open. I know there’s a handle on the other side too but if you shear them off you’re dragging your load back.
  6. jamespmack

    jamespmack Road Train Member

    Mar 25, 2014
    I'm 50% hopper bottom, 50% covered wagon. But about 95% direct customers anymore. If I lost my direct customer for grain, my hopper would be forsale by end of the day.

    I do enjoy the people around the grain industries. But as mentioned somedays your the fire hydrant, somedays your the dog.
  7. Catmando

    Catmando Road Train Member

    Mar 15, 2021
    Just like @wore out said they don't call it a welfare wagon for nothing.. I pull my hopper maybe 90 days a year .. I sometimes wonder way I have it but it keeps my sanity.. I haul some fertilizer in the spring and some in the fall if I have time or need to stay close to home..
    I ran into a Guy I know the other day at the hometown cafe he was telling me how he talked to a guy that was pulling a hopper bottom out on the east coast .. was hauling dog food ingredients out and loading out back out of the same plant.. claimed he was making bank ...
    IDK maybe he was but there's a commodities broker about 4 miles from home I go by his yard every time I come home or go to town ... from the looks of his drivers & equipment.. I'd say he's not flush with cash..I know he has cut his fleet down a lot in the last 5 years
    Like it was mentioned in other posts every farmer and his dog have trucks and trailers around here.. so they haul their own .. and some of them like to play Billy Big Rigger so they will haul what ever they can get to fall out of the traps cheap just to keep the truck rolling they do.'t care about making a business out of it.. its just bragging rights for them
    201 and Speed_Drums Thank this.
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