How to bid LTL flatbed

Discussion in 'Flatbed Trucking Forum' started by Qbf594, Dec 2, 2021.

  1. Qbf594

    Qbf594 Road Train Member

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    Not that I am bidding because I am just a driver but I was approached by a receiver with an offer of sorts.
    I brought a full trailer of material to a place that sells various similar products plus an upgrade/end product of what I delivered. I was asking about the process for what I delivered, as in what do they do to it and who buys it. It was super interesting. So the head guy says to me you know if you are in that shipping area (where I picked up their stuff) give me a call and I can usually arrange a load to come here. It's always a no tarp load so that would be easy for you. I replied tx I'll keep you in mind even though I don't mind tarping, it keeps me active.
    When I went back in to get my paperwork signed he says you know since you don't mind tarping we can also set you up to deliver and then load you with a variety of this stuff tarped for delivery to a dozen of our buyers across the state. Takes about 2 days but we've lost 2 of our regular guys and you could almost name your own price...
    I am SO interested in this but I'm not sure how to present it to my dispatcher. She's going to ask what I want for compensation and I'm not sure what to say. I'm currently working on%. My daily take home goal is 350$ or better except when I go home because home freight is low budget crap going in and coming out.
    Does LTL get sold each trip as a separate contract? Or by the mile? How do you factor in the # of stops? Especially when it's partially untarping each time. Obviously I can't get my normal tarp pay because that would be equal to the load pay lol (I get compensated well for accessorial stuff)
    If I can make it work this would turn a home time problem into a fantastic winter...
    I look forward to y'alls wisdom...
     
    cke Thanks this.
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  3. Espressolane

    Espressolane Road Train Member

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    Need a bit more info.
    Is this a round trip sort of thing.
    Do you have to secure and tarp at the start?
    Is products on pallets or something like that.
    What’s the average number of stops, average time at stop?

    you have to consider a number of factors. Time and labor are just part of the equation.

    I do something like this. Manufacturer to customer.
     
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  4. REO6205

    REO6205 Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

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    Flatbed LTL can be a lot of work and it's hard to find drivers that will stay with it. If you're having to untie, untarp, tie down again and re-tarp more than six or seven times a day it can really wear you down.
    Plus, unless your dispatch is realistic about times and distances you can wind up with a lot of late deliveries and holdovers that will in turn make the next day a scheduling nightmare.
    We had a flatbed LTL route in the Bay Area for several years. We beat our heads against the wall for a couple of weeks trying to fit in a bunch of deliveries that were just impossible. We finally started telling the shipper what day we'd make each delivery and whether it would be morning or afternoon. The customers, once they caught on to what we were doing, loved it. No more false promises. No more dropped loads. Lots of early deliveries even and everybody liked that.
    I had a driver that was super reliable and I let him handle all the communication. He pretty much dispatched himself but I never had to worry about him. I never heard from him until late each afternoon when he'd call to update where he was and what he was doing.
    We did such a good job that other companies began to notice that we were making money and after about seven years we got under-bid and lost the haul.
     
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  5. Espressolane

    Espressolane Road Train Member

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    Truths here. I can be difficult and a lot of work. Big part of making it work is the communication from all that are involved. Done correctly, you can be a real problem solver. One thing that’s important is getting good routes down
     
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  6. REO6205

    REO6205 Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

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    That's where I lucked out with having a good driver. He'd never really run his own show before and he wanted to try it. He turned out to have a knack for it. On that kind of a deal you really need somebody who'll put in the effort and he always did. Believe me, I knew what I had there.
    There was a downside though. When we lost the haul I couldn't continue with the raise in pay I'd given him when he smoothed out all the glitches in the LTL. He said that was no problem and he kinda wanted to take off on his own anyway. He'd had a taste of being his own boss and he liked it. I sold him the truck and trailer he'd been driving--he'd had it since it was new--and he started hauling lumber with it. He found his own loads but once in awhile if things were slow he'd call me and I'd find something for him.
    Three years later he got out of the truck at the shippers, sat down on the running board, and keeled over dead from a heart attack.
     
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  7. Qbf594

    Qbf594 Road Train Member

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    Oh ####. Well I guess it's cool he spent his last years enjoying what he did. But still. ####.
     
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  8. Qbf594

    Qbf594 Road Train Member

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    Yes, my deck, my securement and tarping. Not sure what all the products are but basically like independent and small chain Ace Hardware type of stores, about 15 stops per trip with 1-2 pallet/bundle or more. Guy laughed and said it's a real PITA. So 3 hr deadhead to the LTL stuff, make 12-15 stops across the state over 2 days, go home empty. Likely another 3 hr deadhead. Next week go back.
    Here's why it might be perfect. I'm physically not making out well in my new truck. The ergonomics were/are awful and by the time we got the shifter bent and other improvements I'm still in pain. Just not the acute excruciating sudden death pain from the first month but shoulder is groaning and keeping sleep at bay and the knee I expected to get sore is starting. It's a whole ####-show. My chiropractor got covid and still not back and might not come back...he was early 60s anyway. I've got some PT appointments, but still ..the coming home part financially sucks due to local rates. I'm thinking if I can make some $, good $ perhaps, while keeping moving so I don't lock up my shoulder or get lazy and fat lol, with less of the repetitive crap that's breaking me, this might be the solution to get thru the rehab and get closer to the next truck, supposed to be in the spring. That won't happen if the current truck is not building up the bank account.
    I could afford to just take the next 4-6 months off. But that would be kinda a dick move for my boss who just bought me this (hateful) truck and doesn't have any other drivers for it yet. He's looking. Only 4 of us. I'd like to find another way. Truck & I would be bringing in less money per week but also less miles and fuel and more for my labor. I'm hoping this is a good solution. I just don't know much about this piece of the trucking world
     
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  9. Speed_Drums

    Speed_Drums Heavy Load Member

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    That's sad.
     
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  10. Espressolane

    Espressolane Road Train Member

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    There is a lot to this. The logistics is really the key. The actual drive/delivery part is the least of the planning.
    This could be more than can be discussed here.
     
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  11. Lostkeys

    Lostkeys Heavy Load Member

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    I'm surprised that your company is allowing you to bid your own freight as a driver. That is unusual.
     
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