So how bad was 2019?

Discussion in 'Ask An Owner Operator' started by 86scotty, Dec 23, 2019.

  1. 86scotty

    86scotty Road Train Member

    Aug 27, 2017
    We’re always complaining about rates here. That’s normal, it’s a great place to get bad days off your chest.

    I’m glad that a lot of you seem to have had an ok year despite all the ‘worst rates’ threads we’ve seen though.

    Seems like lots of people are optimistic. I am too.

    I’m hoping to hear from some of the folks that run a handful of trucks like DaveinAZ and MidwestTrucker.
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  3. Grumman

    Grumman Light Load Member

    Nov 7, 2009
    Locust Grove, GA
    Well 2019 will go in the books as a rather difficult year for me. I'm down $81,792 gross from 2018. January 2019 was the best January for me ever. Then February hit and it fell off a cliff. Primarily from customers not buying new equipment, only one hurricane run, and wrecker companies coming in and selling their souls racing to the bottom. Of the 79,377 miles I ran in 2019 I came in at $2.19 for all miles which is the second highest average of my operating in the last ten years.
    Because the spot market was so weak this year I didn't look for much filler freight off the scrapboard and only spent 61 nights out this year. I currently run step deck and do power only for a couple of customers and usually find load board posts for power only coming back or going out to get their trailer. Due to some of our small carriers we use going out of business from insurance increases I'll probably have to look at expanding into a detach to cover some of the smaller RGN loads we do. The guy who runs the local office of the carrier I'm leased to had a record year for his 13 axle and just bought another paver RGN and is looking at adding a 2-3-2 and also just bought his own pilot car. I guess he knows something I don't.
    Luckily for me my grading and clearing business picked up the slack and I always have jobs pending for that although the weather gets in the way most of the time for that.
    clausland and TallJoe Thank this.
  4. TTNJ

    TTNJ Heavy Load Member

    Nov 21, 2017
    Sitting in a hotel room for 30 days waiting for repairs? I’m not sure 2020 will be much better unless you change some decision making.

    I’m just saying...

    But at the end of the day I do wish you luck driver
    Eldiablo Thanks this.
  5. SteveScott

    SteveScott Road Train Member

    Nov 10, 2015
    I'm actually optimistic because so many carriers are closing up and that's greatly decreasing capacity. Since I'm based in California and we have that new law regarding contractors being considered employees and them doing away with leased and contract O/O's, that also means a pretty significant drop in capacity out here on top of the companies closing up. I hate wishing bad fortune on other drivers, but fewer trucks in the west is a great thing for my bottom line. The last 3 months have been great out here, and I just booked about $8,000 in loads for the next 7 days, all within 650 miles of home, so I'm extremely optimistic about the coming year.
    Opendeckin, 86scotty and Farmerbob1 Thank this.
  6. Farmerbob1

    Farmerbob1 Road Train Member

    Jan 17, 2017
    Part of living life is how you perceive it.

    You call it a month waiting for repairs. I called it a month of vacation with a bit of work sprinkled in there.


    I had a very relaxing month. Nice to have one of them every now and then. As a single person with no kids, no mortgage, and no debt except the truck note, I am not beating myself up over it.
    gerardo1961 and stuckinthemud Thank this.
  7. TTNJ

    TTNJ Heavy Load Member

    Nov 21, 2017
    Odd.... I never knew you could claim a vacation as an expense.
    Who knew?
    86scotty and Farmerbob1 Thank this.
  8. Farmerbob1

    Farmerbob1 Road Train Member

    Jan 17, 2017
    It was a forced vacation, and it would have been a forced vacation no matter where I spent it.

    That did not keep me from enjoying it.
    starmac Thanks this.
  9. BackwoodsGA

    BackwoodsGA Road Train Member

    Mar 18, 2012
    savannah GA
    I sold my truck and got in a company truck.Tax codes have been changed too much.And maintenance.losing battle.
  10. Midwest Trucker

    Midwest Trucker Road Train Member

    Aug 31, 2018
    I haven’t done my end of the year numbers yet, been working on balancing the checkbook for year end. I can tell you though we are about .45 to .50 cpm lower from 2018 to 2019. We will end up between 2.30 and 2.35/mi ALL miles for 2019. Costs are approx 2/mi all miles so although profitable, it wasn’t a good year. Now, that’s all employees combined as well as my wife and I both being paid 20/hr. That’s true leftover for the trucking sector. The brokerage, which is the reason we have it, carried a lot of weight this year. The brokerage will end up making as much as the trucks did sadly (or happily) enough. That’s why we play both sides of the fence though, whether it’s killer year or bad year, they help offset one another.

    We ran around 850,000 miles. FYI. Bout 3m in total rev between everything. Brokered about 10 loads per week.

    edit: I don’t expect things to get better until about sept to nov of 2020 range. If trucking rates shoot up, it’ll squeeze the broker rates but I’d rather have trucking rates up as that’s what really drives our growth and getting more and newer trucks on the road. What I’m happy about is we are prepared and in good shape to take advantage of the next upswing. Right now is time to maintain.

    edit #2: We run 8 to 10 trucks and absolutely hammer the phones and brokers #####. lol. Talking id estimate 200+ calls per day. On our own broker side we foster repeat relationships. Probably minimum of 50% of the loads we gave out were to repeat carriers. They definitely made money too but it’s a two way street. As for our own trucking, maybe 15 to 20% of the loads were with repeat lanes with the same broker. Relationships although hard are certainly key if you can just fine real players on each side.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2019
    86scotty, SteveScott and 062 Thank this.
  11. Final Drive

    Final Drive Road Train Member

    Jan 21, 2015
    Just as long as your keeping it reasonable...
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