Why oh why are you drivers taking this cheap freight????

Discussion in 'Ask An Owner Operator' started by codyschmidt, Nov 26, 2012.

  1. jonah

    jonah Bobtail Member

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    I was making nice profit every year I was Independent. I sold my truck by the end of 2011 and in 2012 as a company driver I made roughly 50% of what I was making as a O/O. Why then I quit?

    Several reasons. First I was tired of being push by DOT. Driving through Montana/Wyoming/Utah/Oregon/Washington was like unpleasant lottery. "Driver, park your truck, bring your papers inside... " And my company had an excellent record, however my truck looked "independent". I had 13 inspections in last 3 years as an O/O. Only 13, because several times I told officers that I had recently another inspection and they just look in my logbook, medical card and DL and let me go without any paperwork. And I had prepass - most of the time bypassing weigh stations. Without it I would have probably few more.

    In 2012 I was driving for US Xpress. I had zero inspections. Even if everybody had to pull into a checkpoint, I was always waived by. Officers where to busy checking all those independent operators to look into US Xpress, Scheiders or Swift trucks. CSA 2010 supposed to change it, but that's BS. Cops don't look into computers, they look at the trucks and choose what they want. And they want O/O.

    Second reason I quit - I have 12 years to my retirement age. Working as independent O/O I was always showing minimal income on "driver side" - most profits were shown on "company side" - for tax purposes. So my SS checks would be very small. As a company driver my employer pays half of my SS taxes, plus matches 50% of my 401K, so my years in the future looks much brighter.

    Third - my truck was 6 years old, with 850K miles. As a truck owner I always trade my trucks every 4 years. I had one in 1986, 1990, 1994, 98, 02 and 06. Now I wasn't ready to take this commitment again. I didn't want to drive old truck, which can break down in the middle of nowhere any time and I wasn't ready for next 4 years with $3000 monthly payments.

    Forth - to run a company takes at least two people. I was driving, but my wife was helping with office duties, doing book keeping, billing customers, looking for a loads, paying taxes etc. However she has her own job, she is a nurse, she can work as many extra hours as she wants, for 50 $/hr. So why spend all the time running trucking company if she can make more money working in hospital? Doing what she really loves?

    Now I'm home every night working for Harris Teeter. Great company, great people. I need three years to be paid as much as the "old guys", but even now I'm making about 80% of what I was making as an O/O after all expenses. Guys who work for HT several years gross 70-80 K/year and have health insurance, uniforms, paid vacations, no headaches, no worries, they don't care if fuel prices go way up, and broker takes all the fuel surcharge money - fuel is free for company drivers.

    Those 20 years as an lease operator and 5 years as an independent O/O where fantastic and I have no regrets. I made money every year I was in business. However I'm very happy now as a company driver. I took me several months to adjust - but I know now I would never come back to what I left.

    Times changed - and just because the reason number one alone on the list above I wouldn't do it again.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2013
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  3. rollin coal

    rollin coal Road Train Member

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    More to it than math. I will come out ahead in the end.. Last time I hauled a load of sugar out of Flordia as a company driver I sat for about 8 hours waiting to load. I can pick off loads paying about as much gross revenue as your 45,000 lbs sugar $500 on 500 miles with a lot less hassle picking/delivering within 100 miles of the house less than 100 miles loaded...... I can likely pick a load off of two or 3 different lanes much further away from original delivery in FL that work better than a $1 a mile load of sugar only 20 miles up the road... In my sort of math time is money. Also $500 on 150 loaded miles is a much better option than $500 on 500 loaded miles even if I deadhead 350 miles to get the $500/150... I have people calling me offering up good loads. If I waste time on a load of sugar and tie it up on my truck over the weekend it no0t only didn't cover my fuel it cost me even more in possible revnue... In "worst" case scenario where I deadhead all the way home I still come out ahead with the next reload, I always do... While you are waiting to pick up that load of sugar at the friendly efficient sugar processor and paying for the priveledge to haul it I am either deadheading out working a better option, one of several that took some thinking to figure out, or back at the house relaxing already... Picking the cheapest heaviest load within 50 miles ain't always the only option, the outbound rate covered that right??.. So why lose time and money on a loser load that really doesn't cover anything at all?? especially when you ought to have other options that make up for it??...
     
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  4. windsmith

    windsmith Road Train Member

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    Real world example of the advantage of not babysitting loads over the weekend:

    Got empty in NJ near the GWB last Thursday. Passed on the usual cheap freight for the rest of Thursday and all day Friday. Saturday around 10am a broker calls with two loads that needed to move before she went home. I ended up negotiating one of them up to $2/mile from central PA to Atlanta, and ran empty 150 miles to get it. Most everyone else that was picking up spot market freight out of my area was doing good to get $1.20/mile. When I made my empty call this morning, she thanked me for getting her out of a jam, and told me that I got $700 more than they normally pay on that load.
     
  5. Cat sdp

    Cat sdp . .

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    Gee , your boss didn't mention that in his post last night..... HeHe......
     
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  6. losttrucker

    losttrucker Road Train Member

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    In my opinon: A single O/O looks at quality whereas The mega's can look at quantity of loads moved
     
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  7. BoyWander

    BoyWander Road Train Member

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    I thought I read on the DAT Trends that freight out of Atlanta was really cheap at the moment. Are you sure $2/mi plus 150mi deadhead is wise? They are saying rates from Atlanta to Chicago are $1.23/mi. average. http://www.dat.com/Resources/Trends-and-Reports/Dat-Truckload-Trends.aspx

    I wonder if I am missing something here. Did you get a real good rate going to NJ?
     
  8. windsmith

    windsmith Road Train Member

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    Relatively speaking, yes I got a good rate into NJ - Ran empty 250 miles from Denver to pick up a $2/mile load in KS. $1.80/mile overall out of Denver. Below my usual minimum, but not too shabby for January and coming out of Denver, I wouldn't think.

    Reloaded in Atlanta with a $2/mile 3 stopper (22000 lbs) to Pittsburgh, Greencastle and ending in Jessup, MD.

    Remember that I'm still picking loads almost exclusively off the load boards. Things will improve once I get the lanes figured out and some relationships built up. Patience, grasshoppa.
     
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  9. rollin coal

    rollin coal Road Train Member

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    We don't know what he has done to the truck in the past couple or previous 4 weeks. It's all about the averages. Looking at 150 miles deadhead on just the single run is not how to think of it on any load - think "big picture".. Expanding on that, you will sometimes see it in the course of a week's worth of rolling where 150 miles deadhead makes sense but very seldom will you see it where that works on 250, 350 or even 400 miles deadhead for one load in a week. That is why looking at the previous week's worth of loads when deciding if a "big" deadhead is going to work will hamper you into thinking "nope that doesn't work... You have to broaden how you look at it. I look at the previous 4 weeks.. You "bank" a good enough rate over several weeks time to cover those occasional "big" deadheads that on the surface appear stupid and unworkable if you're only thinking about the "week's" numbers... You bank it up and then when you absolutely have to that huge deadhead on one load is "covered"..... This is how one keeps rolling and doesn;t sit... This is how you expand your load serach out from the typical "anything within a 100 miles or less".... Now obviously you always want to get solid rates everywhere you go and avoid situations where you deadhead 250+ miles but at some point it will happen.... As long as you've "banked" solid rates for a few weeks it is no big deal at all.... It will keep you from ever feeling you have to haul the nearest $1 a mile freight that is nearby...... ....and you never will.
     
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  10. rickybobby

    rickybobby Road Train Member

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  11. rollin coal

    rollin coal Road Train Member

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    Where!? Where!? :biggrin_25523:
     
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