Driveaway companies,

Discussion in 'Expediter and Hot Shot Trucking Forum' started by KANSAS TRANSIT, May 31, 2018.

  1. Shep Shiloh

    Shep Shiloh Medium Load Member

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    I've been seeing ads for Victory Drive-A-Way all over Elkhart and they're building a new terminal.
     
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  3. Brandonpdx

    Brandonpdx Road Train Member

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    I've talked to them since they are right down the road and might give them/it a shot if a couple of other deals don't pan out. I think I might be done with towaway hauling with my own rig at least for now and there could be similar money and schedule flexibility available without the truck hassles. I've ran some theoretical numbers and scenarios...basically you get your gross settlement for the trip, minus the fuel it takes to get it there and your transportation costs home and whatever is left is essentially what you're paying taxes on. It's more cut and dried than running your own truck, where you're never quite sure where the maintenance and repair bills will leave you at the end of the month/year.
     
  4. KANSAS TRANSIT

    KANSAS TRANSIT Road Train Member

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    Just one thing to keep in mind, as hard as they are pushing EVs, esp for most of what used to be the Driveaway sector, (buses, vans, delivery trucks, step vans) I "could" see that line of work shrinking quickly in the near future, because you ain't driving those EVs more than 100-200 miles tops, most of them will be trucked, It was a leading factor in us taking the steps we did recently? jmho
     
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  5. Brandonpdx

    Brandonpdx Road Train Member

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    Probably, but I don't see plug in electric rigs like that taking over the market any time that soon. Maybe in like a decade a major shift like that will have taken place. I agree those would not be a great idea to try to driveaway transport, at least not with the current EV charging infrastructure. Maybe that will change at some point. There are already people who do cross country trips in their Tesla sedans.
     
  6. Brandonpdx

    Brandonpdx Road Train Member

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    Driveaway seems like a more specialized type of work than towaway transporting that won't appeal to most people. Most of the guys I see doing towaway work with their own truck wouldn't be cut out for it. First of all living near a major airport almost seems like a requirement. I can get home from O'hare with no car for about $70...done it before. You also need to be at least tech-savy enough to know how to use Uber/Lyft and book a flight or hotel room from a smartphone. And you need to be able bodied enough move around on foot with a suitcase and very comfortable using public transportation. These oldsters or 400 pounders with their diabetes socks hauling RV's with their truck...no way.

    But as far as money, I was told anywhere from $.85-1.15/mi with the base rate and fuel surcharge IIRC the conversation I had with Victory. You can make more money with a truck doing towaway but you can also lose more. I don't think most guys doing towaway are making enough to justify the truck payments on new ones or maintenance/repairs bills on old ones.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2021
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  7. brian991219

    brian991219 Road Train Member

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    You are fairly accurate with this post. I have been involved with driveaway as a consumer and a driver for several years now. I see all sorts of drivers come and go, some great but most not so good.

    It does take a special breed that can hop in a different vehicle daily, not be able to "get comfortable" or adjust muchnof anything, live out of a duffle bag and be very creative with their return travel. As a contractor your single most expensive cost will be your personal transport to/from assignments and home. Most driveaway companies understand this and most drivers contract with multiple companies simultaneously so they can try to reduce or eliminate deadhead miles.

    Air fare right now is almost prohibitively expensive, so much so that our dealership had to raise our internal rates to cover the near 40% increase in getting our drivers home or to the next truck. One way rental cars are non-existent at the moment and buses have just begun to return to pre-covid schedules. Getting around without loading a tow car has been so problematic that we just bought tow cars for all the company drivers.

    We use mostly our own employee drivers, inclusing myself when I can, with a few independent contractors or outside driveaway services. Using the independents is a crap shoot, a few like what they do and are good at it but most are miserable.

    You may be successful given you have run your own towaway service so you know how to inspect specialized vehicles, trip plan and treat the gig as a business not just another job.

    Personally I enjoy the challenges of driveaway but I am spoiled given I only work for a few dealerships directly and it is very specialized equipment so they pay top dollar. I did contract with Bennett, ATC and Truck Movers for a while as a driver. Out of the three Bennett was the easiest to get what I wanted out of but truck movers had better trucks since they were exclusively brand new units.
     
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  8. brian991219

    brian991219 Road Train Member

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    Maybe but I doubt it will be quick. True, there will be more haulaway of some vehicles but not all are cost effective to haulaway, many will still need to be driven away even if it means increased transit times or other creative refueling solutions.

    When CNG/LNG vehicles came out the fueling infrastructure was so bad we would be called to tow them along certain parts of the trip, basically the dead spots with no fueling stations. They would then refuel and continue on as a driveaway. I can see this happening with electric units as well until the range is extended.

    I can see the shift to electric reducing the number of single units but for the deck sets I can picture a diesel powered chassis as the mule pulling two or three electric chassis piggy back. Given that the major driveaway companies are already accustomed to return shipping of their saddles and other accessories I could even see them strapping diesel powered generator sets to the bare chassis to provide "shore power" or in-motion recharging/alternate electric source to power the truck while in-transit over long distances.

    You are correct that the market will change, it is inevitable, but I think it will be more gradual. Driveaway has been the go to method of delivering commercial vehicles since the dawn of time. It will take a lot for that to change.
     
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  9. Brandonpdx

    Brandonpdx Road Train Member

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    Flights to and from major hubs like Chicago, LA, Denver, Atlanta. Seattle etc actually aren't that bad. I could theoretically leave Indiana on Monday morning and be in say, Los Angeles or Seattle by Wednesday night. Deliver the vehicle Thursday, get a hotel room that night and a flight the next morning and be home Friday night. In reality schedules would have to be more flexible than that most of the time but I started playing around with some numbers and realized I could probably pull this off as long as they had enough vehicles going to major cities like that. Shorter hauls or more obscure destinations wouldn't work as well and would need a tow car, which I have no interest in dealing with. Part of the reason I am considering this is because I like the flexibility of independent contracting but am sick of dealing with the truck. A tow car is just another piece of equipment to fix and maintain. Less expensive to run than a truck but still.
     
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  10. KANSAS TRANSIT

    KANSAS TRANSIT Road Train Member

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    I think a lot of lessons were learned from the CNG/LNG debacle, and that is the exact reason I think you see us hauling move EVs quicker than stated, keep in mind, we have already been asked to move the prototypes, production won't be that far behind, Also keep in mind, I am ONLY talking about vehicles that make up what I do, smaller buses, delivery trucks and vans, most of these will go on a truck, as it will be 500 miles or more to the delivery point, once there these units will be lucky if they run 100-200 miles a day. Add the subsidies that will be offered on these and I can see a lot of businesses jumping on. Jmho, guess we will see. Please understand I am talking about a very small niche market in the big scheme of things, I am no way shape or form saying Evs will take over the commercial truck industry (trucks that are running over 350 miles per day) at any time in the near future.
     
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