Is it possible to make good money hauling containers (intermodal)?

Discussion in 'Intermodal Trucking Forum' started by Byrds Eye View, Sep 2, 2012.

  1. Trugo

    Trugo Light Load Member

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    Dec 8, 2015
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    Just started intermodal in Calgary Alberta the past few months. I’m running a 98 Freightliner day cab, 350hp, m11 celect plus, 11L, 10 speed. 463 Rockwell differentials 24.5 drive wheels. Holland FW35. Standard 4 bag suspension with 2 leaf front springs. This truck is slow but does a decent job. Runs all day every day. Classic Cummins. I wouldn’t change the engine but an 18 speed would be nice.

    a popular setup is the Freightliner Columbia 2003-2008 ish. With the 14L Detroit 60. Lots of people are running that successfully.

    “home daily” work. It’s company paid fuel and insurance. Pay is $6000-9000 a month. CAD. Which is the ok by me. It’s all cash. Getting up to $9000 requires working 7 days a week. Which you can do by avoiding scales.

    I do all my own maintenance and repairs. I own the truck outright. Some guys are financing trucks to do it.

    so far I like the industry. There’s a lot of work available. More than I can get done. I do like working with companies like CN & CP because they’re professional with safety standards. Alot of the time I’m pulling their chassis. Which are well maintained.

    which is an improvement over the dry van business where customers are not necessarily as professional.

    yeah there’s more money in over the road. But I’m making decent cash and if I need a tow home I’ll likely be able to afford it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2022
  2. chimbotano

    chimbotano Medium Load Member

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    Apr 21, 2013
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    great for you amigo!! as long as you are fulfilling your priorities and you are content, great for you.
    right now there are a lots of guys crying and moaning because rates are low. well, if they are #####ing about it, most likely they did not take advantage when we had good rates and they did not save their money.
    I parked my truck since February 28th and I am at home sitting and watching how this situacion unfolds. so far, Im refusing to haul reefer loads for less than 4 dollars per mile, I may do that tomorrow, however if I accepted what brokers wants to pay, I feel like im cheating to my self and to the rest of you in this industry.
     
    Bean Jr. Thanks this.
  3. Seatrucker5

    Seatrucker5 Bobtail Member

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    Oct 8, 2021
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    Old thread, but new curiosity…sorry!

    From a little research I’ve been doing, it seems like guys are getting between 2500 and 4000 to move a container from NY/NJ to RI, CT, or MA. Is that legit?

    Talk to me about getting the box back—I pick it up at APM, deliver and unload…does it have to go right back? Can it wait until the next day, or over the weekend?

    I’m considering this as a side gig, because I have long stretches of vacation (months…) and it seems like 3 days/cans per week would pay for the truck, the fuel, and more. But maybe my numbers are bad. Something I can do by myself, here and there?

    Ah, one more item—ideally I would be buying my own chassis—the type that can haul containers and is also a flatbed, to be more versatile.
     
  4. Ruckie

    Ruckie Road Train Member

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    Nov 12, 2011
    Bloom field,nj
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    Hey so yes there's decent money to be made.. but with fuel being so high the take home has been reduced greatly.... Are you planning to run your own dot numbers or lease under someone.... Do not I repeat do not try to use a flatbed or a stepdeck with the container hooks as your primary mode of hauling containers they can be extremely heavy and next thing you know you are overweight and dot will have a field day with you, my personal opinion is to lease chassis.... I have moved on personally to a different line of work but I still have 2 trucks in the northeast running cans/amazon
     
    Speed_Drums and Seatrucker5 Thank this.
  5. Seatrucker5

    Seatrucker5 Bobtail Member

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    Oct 8, 2021
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    Thank you, I appreciate you! My intention was to get my own numbers just so I don’t have to sign onto a contract with anyone, and can work when I want.

    Good to know about the weight of the chassis—I could swear I saw somewhere the one I was looking at was 6900lbs, which I thought wasn’t bad. How much is leasing a chassis?
     
  6. Ruckie

    Ruckie Road Train Member

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    Nov 12, 2011
    Bloom field,nj
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    I can't say for certain but the problem is find them but let's get to some steps you need
    Get your authority, 1m insurance with the trailer pool option,Get a Standard Carrier Alpha Code (SCAC).
    Register yourself to be able to use the pool chassis, hopefully you already have a twic card. In the northeast the biggest problem is finding parking which is another 400 or more.
    To reduce the need for many of those try going to hauling containers from the rails they are usually open 24/7 and the pay is not much compared to the ports.
     
    Seatrucker5 Thanks this.
  7. Seatrucker5

    Seatrucker5 Bobtail Member

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    Oct 8, 2021
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    Thanks. I PMed you, if that’s alright.

    Appreciate it!
     
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