Owner Operator Flatbedding in Florida

Discussion in 'Flatbed Trucking Forum' started by Natty Bro, Nov 23, 2021.

  1. Natty Bro

    Natty Bro Bobtail Member

    Nov 23, 2021
    I just moved to FL from AZ and I'm thinking about getting back into flatbedding. I'm an owner op. I was hauling dirt for a company in AZ for a few years. The pay was good, and the work was steady and local. I landed in Florida and have been taking it easy, but now it's time to get back to work. I don't fancy pulling a box, and heard from a friend that hauling dirt in Florida pays dirt, and since there's not a lot of industry in Florida that flatbedding is limited, maybe even non-existent except for local lumber work.

    Are there any Florida guys on here that can give me a heads up? Is it worth it? Any companies worth joining here? Or should I get my authority? I don't see many flatbedders where I'm at in South Florida so I'm guessing my friend is pretty wise to it.

    What's your opinion?
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  3. loudtom

    loudtom Road Train Member

    Aug 26, 2016
    The spot market for south Florida is terrible. I briefly looked for some direct customers, but gave up on that. It's easier to run up to north Florida or Georgia empty than mess around down there. If you still want to give it a run, I see a fair amount of flats hauling sod. If you've got mesh tarps, you could try nurseries that do palm trees, or haul bees for the apiaries. Maybe find some farms and see what they pay to haul produce.
  4. roundhouse

    roundhouse Road Train Member

    Jul 11, 2018
    You should investigate and find out what hauling dirt pays . Not just listen to someone say it doesn’t pay good .

    when I visit Florida I always see a lot of dump trailers hauling something .

    spend a day or two driving the speed limit on the right Lane on the interstate and take note of what kid of trucks go flying by in the left lane and the company name and the cargo .

    there’s plenty of construction going on .
    Residential and commercial
    Construction is booming in Florida.
  5. Speed_Drums

    Speed_Drums Heavy Load Member

    Dec 26, 2014
    GYPSY65 Thanks this.
  6. GYPSY65

    GYPSY65 Heavy Load Member

    Nov 16, 2012
    SW FLA
    I pull a Conestoga and there are times where I do well loading out of FL

    I do my math maybe a little differently, I look at all miles not loaded miles only
    My PM rate needs to work but I will DH to Seattle to get that $6 pm load to Miami which is $3 RT and empty half the ride

    Now I don’t actually do that but you can see the point. Don’t grab cheap just to move
    I don’t do favors unless it’s for a good agent otherwise you will pass all the $$ dragging that cheap freight to Chicago
    Badmon, OLDSKOOLERnWV, xsetra and 7 others Thank this.
  7. gekko1323

    gekko1323 Medium Load Member

    Jul 14, 2018
    Henderson, NV
    Seattle to Florida pays $6? Why not get a cheap load back up to Seattle to at least make something instead of deadheading?
  8. RunningAces

    RunningAces Heavy Load Member

    Jul 2, 2017
    I can't speak for him but I think he was just using that as an extreme example of not being willing to pull cheap freight.
  9. GYPSY65

    GYPSY65 Heavy Load Member

    Nov 16, 2012
    SW FLA
    I mentioned I don’t actually do that. It’s just a scenario that makes more sense than the guys grabbing cheap freight

    A lot of guys think they always need to be loaded and heavy, they think that’s how they are paid
    My scenario was just showing that $3 RT and dead heading 1/2 the miles still came out better than all that $1.2 stuff I see guys grabbing just to move
  10. ProfessionalNoticer

    ProfessionalNoticer Road Train Member

    Apr 25, 2021
    Because deadheading isn't necessarily a bad thing. I routinely come home empty from areas with bad outbound rates. Time is money. I can be back in a good paying area a lot faster to reload instead of wasting time on a poor rate. It's also much easier on my equipment which saves money in the long run too.
    Badmon, xsetra, PSM379 and 1 other person Thank this.
  11. PSM379

    PSM379 Medium Load Member

    Apr 19, 2019
    man if 75% of guys thought like us the business would be so much better. I’d say I was empty or bobtail 40% of my miles this year. Wish I was a real business man and kept a tighter note book lol
    GYPSY65 Thanks this.
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