I've been wondering how you managed to get two contracts given that your authority is new. Were they shippers you worked with before? Contacts your father had? Some other "in" with them?
O/O Journey, Numbers and Updates
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Two other ones I pursued but haven’t used were from my load board loads. One of them I got to know the warehouse people and got info on direct work from the logistics person. That one was setup within a couple days. Another one I called around and talked to several people and left VMs and emails until I got an answer and got the contract info within a couple weeks.
I didn’t go with either of those yet, as things are going well enough with the main two for now. But it’s nice to have the option there.
One thing that really helps is I’m more of a niche dry van market. I carry an electric pallet jack 24/7 and do tailgate / driver work almost daily. I usually load or unload myself once a day or more, with a customer running a forklift from the ground. That turns a lot of drivers/carriers away, as it’s added work, weight and maintenance costs. Perhaps the direct work is easier to get because they are looking for folks who are able or willing to do that.
July was pretty steady - other than missing out on the 1st / 4th due to holiday it was a steady month. Tapered down at the end and didn't have a load last day of the month. Was nice to have a steady month going into August which is always slow for me. Most loads this month were 10k or less for weight, so was a smooth month and got around 6.5-7 MPG. Expenses were up there again with that clutch work coming out at the start of the month, payroll taxes, and two trailer tires getting replaced. If I sit on my arse all of August, I should still come out even with the residual payments from July posting in during the month.
Total miles: 8,985 (4,335 loaded)
Total revenue: $26,202.18
Loaded CPM: $6.04
All-in CPM: $2.92
Truckin’ Expenses + Driver Pay: -$21,135.86
Days worked: 18
- New clutch, etc. (covered that in last months post, paid for it this month)
- Service, grease, oil samples, filters, adjusted brakes
- Trailer door cam lock rusted in half, had the shop weld that back on
- Trailer tires on R R got replaced, one was illegal and the other I kept for a spare but it was getting pretty shallow
Things will pick up in September then rock and roll starting in October thru the winter / spring again. Looking at the first 31 weeks of the year I am pacing for the following:
Total Miles: 86,663
Total Revenue: $316,765
All-In CPM: $3.66
I actually lost two brokers in July. So, I took my vacation then. Back to only working a bit with a shipper.
Now, I'm rethinking what to do. Schools are starting, and I don't see things changing yet. Hopefully, the demand will go up. Many will be desperate if not already.
August is in the books and it was actually a surprisingly busy month for expecting almost no work. I was happy to get on the road for most of the month and get some revenue in unexpectedly. I'll more'n likely take a hit for the upcoming September with taxes coming out, and so far the first two weeks have been dead. Hoping to start some volume next week. Big hitters for expenses were overhauling both drive axle brakes, putting on a used fuel tank myself, all new tractor shocks myself, and 2290 tax.
Total miles: 7,308 (3,395 loaded)
Total revenue: $20,190.02
Loaded CPM: $5.95
All-in CPM: $2.76
Truckin’ Expenses: -$5,824
Driver Pay: $-6,200
Days worked: 14
- Had the shop overhaul brakes on both drive axles. One of my chamber rods was stuck, three of four S cams bushings were leaking, and the adjusters had never been replaced as far as I knew. I had the time and cash to just get it all done and now don't have to worry about it.
- Rewired left headlight
- Replaced top left outside trailer clearance light - that was fun using a ladder in the back of my rusty pickup
- Replaced all six tractor shocks, one was leaking terribly and I hadn't replaced them in a while. Wanted to tackle it myself. Really a smooth process besides one nut sticking, had to torch it and spray it for about 20 minutes but it came off. I went with gas vs. hydraulic and really didn't notice a ton of ride quality difference. I will plan to replace them every year from now on, I know they don't last long.
- Shop replaced one of my new drive axle drums that had warped - made a huge difference, I was feeling a good wobble coming to a stop.
- Rewired all five cab clearance lights, three of the five kept randomly going out each morning and I would have to F around with them to get them to work for the day. Rewired it all and cleaned a lot of the mess up, works well now.
- Replaced my driver side fuel tank with a used 2005 Cascadia tank, bracket and steps. This was a huge process, but I was able to get it done in the driveway! I will make a separate post about that.
Well here’s a few pics and follow up on the tank swap. I had been dealing with leaks around the welds for months so I’ve had to run with half full tanks every day so it wouldn’t leak. I sanded and epoxied it probably 10 times and got tired of it. I can’t weld aluminum and wouldn’t trust myself anyways doing it on a diesel tank. Got a used one for $650 and tackled it myself. It would have been probably $1000+ for 8 hours of labor to remove it and weld it at a shop.
It probably took me 15-20 hours over the course of 4 days - lol. But I’m happy I did it and learned a ton and it was a good confidence booster for sure. A little help from the wife to move the new tank into place but otherwise a mostly solo job.
Here’s some pics. I’m happy with the result!
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