Dry van freight out west

Discussion in 'Ask An Owner Operator' started by 86scotty, Jul 1, 2019.

  1. 86scotty

    86scotty Road Train Member

    Aug 27, 2017
    OK, I may be asking for it here but I'm just going to ask. I'm not asking for your secrets or your brokers, just asking for a little direction on learning lanes in an area I want to spend more time in but know nothing about, the western states.

    I'm an independent O/O, I dispatch myself and am set up with 50ish brokers all from the boards in the last year give or take. I live in the Southeast and primarily run Southeast to Midwest lanes but I get bored with the 500 mile radius and like to take a long trip on occasion. I'd ideally like to do a long trip out west every month or 6 weeks but I'm a one man and not looking or able to commit to anything dedicated.

    I'm hoping some will just chime in with their experience here. I find it pretty easy to get loads from the Southeast to a few places. I'm trying to make this easy to follow so I'll list them this way (below), and yes I study the available trucks on the boards everywhere I go or think I might go. There's probably a lot of obvious ones to some of you with a few year's experience out there that I don't know. If you have something you'd rather not share on here feel free to PM. If you're willing to share I appreciate it.

    Cities I know a bit about (and my experience)
    Phoenix: decent in, decent out
    SLC: decent in, bad getting out
    Denver (and all of the front range): good in, very bad getting out
    Billings: good in, bad getting out
    Seattle: decent getting in, bad getting out
    El Paso: decent in and out but it's been awhile

    Keep in mind on these above I'm usually trying to get headed east.

    Ones I don't know anything about:
    Southern CA (never run it)?
    Northern CA (never run it)?
    Fabulous Maximus Thanks this.
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  3. Opus

    Opus Road Train Member

    Dec 18, 2011
    South GA
  4. Espressolane

    Espressolane Road Train Member

    Nov 21, 2009
    Just south of the north 40
    When thinking about lanes a few things to consider.
    What is the location?
    Is it a high consumer area. In that a lot of goods go in to supply the local population, but very little comes out. Or what does come out has a very narrow range of products.
    Is it a high production area, where a lot of raw materials go in and finished goods come out. This does not always translate to a good market. This location could be dependent on a small employment and population base.
    Then you have places where the local economy is fairly balanced good consumer demand as well as production.

    Shifts do take place. Over time a location can go from one type to any other. Las Vegas comes to mind. At one time it was a very high consumer only, very little out. Now it still in a primary consumer location, with production becoming more diversified and more freight out.
  5. danny23tx

    danny23tx Road Train Member

    Feb 16, 2016
    Portland is like Seattle or Denver except Denver has a ton of freight.
    Tucson ok in ok out , close to Nogales . Border loads .
    Boise is ok to get into , a little deadhead sometimes to get out .
    Vegas ok
    Reno good in , no so much going out
    Flagstaff good in , Might get you a heavy load of puppy chow out .
    Dont forget Saltlake, ogden, provo - sporting goods , onions , costco and Wally world loads.
    Grantsville heavy salt loads
    Albuquerque good in not so great out
    Produce loads in Farmington-Seasonl
  6. Long FLD

    Long FLD Road Train Member

    Mar 4, 2015
    First, I have no current knowledge of rates or anything out west. But what a friend of mine was doing a couple years ago was he’d get a load into Portland or Seattle and then sometimes he would end up taking a load out to say SLC, Eastern WA/North ID/Western MT area, or Eastern ID and then reloading another one to get back farther east. Most times that made him more money because a lot of guys were wanting the long ones coming off the coast.

    Just something to think about when you’re looking to put a run together.
  7. Dave_in_AZ

    Dave_in_AZ Road Train Member

    May 4, 2015
    Western U.S.

    Mountains, DOT. Go south young man. Go south.

    86scotty Thanks this.
  8. Crazytrucker77

    Crazytrucker77 Heavy Load Member

    Nov 23, 2014
    Grants Pass, OR
    I can speak on the freight going out of Cali and Portland. The main areas in Cali are Sacramento / Bay area for the central valley. LA/ Ontario area for the south valley. Basically I-80 and I-10. Not really worth going out of those areas to get freight. There is a lot of freight from those areas up and down the I-5 corridor (my running area with curtain van) so getting a load to or from Seattle or Portland or LA/Sac/Bay is pretty easy. So you can come into any of those areas and get a load north or south and head east from there.

    East to Seattle or Portland then south to Sacramento/Bay area/ LA then back east or the other way of course. I haul a lot of beer, wine, or dry foods from the bay area but do flatbed south. I run from Seattle to the Bay area and back on the 5 primarily with the occasional load to LA.
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2019
    86scotty and Midwest Trucker Thank this.
  9. Scooter Jones

    Scooter Jones Road Train Member

    Apr 19, 2011
  10. vikingswen

    vikingswen Road Train Member

    Jun 14, 2012
    In the Stratosphere
    When running the NW don't forget high fuel prices, Oregon permits and about $0.22 per mile charge. Seattle Tacoma pretty much no truck parking. I did some power only work for ArcBest out of Sparks, NV and they have tons of freight to the Northwest and back. Also watch the I-5 corridor in Washington around Kelso. The Port of Entry has been closed due to remodel and all those guys are out on the road now.
    mp4694330 and 86scotty Thank this.
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