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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking to fly someone else flag for awhile and want to know who is out there and if anyone has any experiance with them. I have looked at Landstar and simply am not interested in them, didn't like they way they opporate. Have looked at Daily as well not really interested in only being able to haul what they offer. Looked at Admiral Merchants and haven't discounted them, but I am from a small company and liked it. They would also have to be willing to lease on a 1999 freightliner. Have pulled alot of different trailers in the past and have settled on a rgn, like it the most and the moneys better. As of right now I don't currently own my own trailer, but am not put off at the idea of buying one. Like I say, just asking to see what all else is out there. I'm not looking to start a pissing match about who is the best company there is, just want some insight. Thanks in advance to any help.
 

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I am looking to fly someone else flag for awhile and want to know who is out there and if anyone has any experiance with them. I have looked at Landstar and simply am not interested in them, didn't like they way they opporate. Have looked at Daily as well not really interested in only being able to haul what they offer. Looked at Admiral Merchants and haven't discounted them, but I am from a small company and liked it. They would also have to be willing to lease on a 1999 freightliner. Have pulled alot of different trailers in the past and have settled on a rgn, like it the most and the moneys better. As of right now I don't currently own my own trailer, but am not put off at the idea of buying one. Like I say, just asking to see what all else is out there. I'm not looking to start a pissing match about who is the best company there is, just want some insight. Thanks in advance to any help.
The best thing do to is adopt my motto: Say no to Brokered Freight!!!!

I stopped hauling for brokers around 1999. We haul direct for companies going out and back home. Brokers take the profit right out of trucking. There are brokers that haul for the same company we do. They call us on occasion, offering us the same loads we do for $300-$400 less. JUST TO MAKE A PHONE CALL! That is simply legal rape.

I know leasing on is easy, but in the long run, you are making them money, not you.

Get your own authority, and trailer. Get out, beat the bushes and find direct freight. You can do it...may take a few months. AND, don't go through a process agent to get the authority...you can do it just like they do, just a lot cheaper. $300 bucks and about 4-6 weeks.

I hope I didn't offend anyone....i just hate brokers. It's all in the name...BROKE.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I do have a couple of customers that I do business with, but with a rgn that takes time. I feel the same way you do about brokers, but at the moment I gotta keep the little ones fed and the lights on. I want to be totally on my own very badly, but at the moment it's not a risk I can take. I need a little security for the time being, know what I mean? Currently, I am a do it all, i.e., driver, dispatcher, beating down doors, even the cook.
 

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how many tons is your trailer and how many axles do you have?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The trailer I'm currently pulling is a XL70 with a flip, just 6 axles on the ground. If I bought one I'd probably by one similar, or a fontaine.
 

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A trucker acquaintance named Tom drives his own old and paid for tractor . He once told me that he considers himself a "Leased Owner/Operator" meaning that he leases his truck and time to his broker who is a trucking company owner. We'll call him "Mr. Big" in this little vignette. Tom operates under the Mr. Big's "Operating Authority". This costs Tom 7% of the gross (base rate only**) pay. For that 7% here's what Tom gets: Company secretaries take care of proofing & correcting all of his logbook sheets, IFTA paperwork, fuel-tax paperwork, and filing/paper retention for the US DOT. Tom claims the other big plus is he gets paid every week for his work even if the broker doesn't get paid by the shipper. Tom asserts an additional benefit to himself in not having to 'mess around with billing'. Tom feels these 'benefits' are worth paying the 7%of the base rate. Tom also observes that since all the loads come through Mr. Big he doesn't have to go searching for work. But he can if he wishes to and haul the loads he himself generates if he agrees to pay Big 7% of their base rate. Tom cites another big plus in being a leased owner operator is that it enables him to buy in to and run under the company's cargo liability insurance. This saves Tom about $3000 a year he says. People like Tom typically pay per mile to the broker or per week. Tom pays per mile... 5.4 cents for 2 million dollars worth of cargo liability insurance. He still needs to maintain his own bobtail and deadhead insurance. This costs Tom about $85 a month.


** Base rate equals: gross pay minus the weekly Fuel Surcharge x loaded miles driven. Fuel Surcharge is a negotiated amount per loaded mile based on a weekly figure issued by the US Government. Tom's broker (Mr. Big) does not take a cut of the Fuel Surcharge - Tom gets all of that.

FSC is generally negotiated between shipper and trucker. The FSC changes weekly based on the National Diesel Fuel Average Price and is a per mile number (usually). When I was talking to Tom it was .29 cents per mile. Does anyone know what it is today? It is built into Tom and Mr. Big's larger shipper accounts. For loads that Mr. Big priced out w/o FSC as a separate entity, he built the FSC into the rate. For example... A certain load pays $575. 68% of that is considered the "base rate" off of which Big draws his commission. 33% of it is FSC and that goes 100% to Tom. FSC is a tricky business. Mr. Big cold manipulate FSC if he were dishonest.

Another treacherous area in Tom's scenario involves whether Mr. Big uses a 'first in first out' dispatch rule whereby all the leased and company drivers get their loads randomly assigned. If the best loads go to tenured drivers or Big's friends, Tom might be getting all the mediocre freight.

I tend to agree with SledMan that you best do all your own paperwork. Hey. there shouldn't be any paperwork it should all be done on a laptop computer and during the long hours of waiting truckers are always complaining about. If you can do your own paper work...do it. Same thing with maintenance on the tractor...do it yourself unless you don't know how. In which case go to Diesel Garage and "axe somebody" . Then go do it. :)

If anyone sees glaring misconceptions in my analysis or pitfalls I'm missing and has the time to write a few sentences, dispense a little wisdom... please feel free to do so.

Roger
 

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Our FSC is currently .51 a mile. I am leased to Midwest Specialized hauling RGN freight and windmill blades. I make good money, and the upsides outweigh the downsides for ME. Will they for anyone else? I do not know.
I was leased onto Schneider Specialized, when it existed, and made good money with them too.
It suited me better being from another country and lacking the "good old boy" contacts. Back home I did run all on my own, going over to Eastern Europe on a weekly/bi weekly basis. I knew a lot more people there though compared to here, and that makes a big difference IMO.
Do I take a hit rate wise once in a while? Yep, sure do.
Do they make up for it though? Yes they do.

Not sayin I get rich by any means, but it allows me to make a living and not worry about getting shafted by an outside company etc (been there and done that for the tune of $40k back home...)
Just my .02....

Martin
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The actual paper work, fuel tax filing, etc. isn't that big of a deal. So, to answer your question I think I need to give you a little background info as to why it's not really an option for me at this time. To start off with, I have been a flatworker for most of my adult life. I have however been around trucking in one form or another all of my life. I owned a truck and hauled my own hay products on farm tags for several years. However, I am just a little over two years into being a full time commercial o/o, and less than 1 year into a rgn. I'm 28yrs old and not have had to much time to get much saved up, and in my current situation is dwindling fast, hence my need for movement. Also, I have 4 kids, from 7yrs to 9mos old. So to recap money is real tight, and time is not on my side at this present time in my life, moreso is the need for a move to someone that has some actual freight not me just running the boards like my current situation. I do have some of my own customers that I will not relinquish, but they are not real steady. I pretty much know what it's gonna cost and how much time it will take and it's just not something thats feasible, YET.
 

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What is RGN Freight and what is a good rate per mile to be pulling it for? What range does it fall into usually? Does the driver have to load it and unload it an tarp it?

Roger
 

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Removeable Goose Neck, specialized freight for lowboys and double drops etc.. Alot of machinery and such does have to be tarped and it's not for the decrepit or lazy...
Not a good option for those who run paycheck to paycheck either, or if you don't like sitting around waiting alot & having plenty of deadhead miles to the next load..

RGN rates may look better, but without previous experience & freight connections, the right truck-trailer setup and available cash resources, you won't make squat.. :mafia1:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
:whs It's alot of work to run one but I feel the rewards are well worth it. Most of mine is drive on/off equipment/trucks etc., they are specialized thats why I was looking for some others opinions on companies, I just dont have the connections yet especially in this economy to feel safe on my own.
 

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I tarp maybe 2 loads, a year.
90% of our freight is Caterpillar, so drive on and drive off is the vast majority of what we do.
As far as sitting goes......
I delivered in Vegas 3/1, reloaded in northern NV 3/3, 400 miles from Vegas.
Delivered 3/7 in Duluth,MN. Reloaded MN 3/8 200 miles south.
Delivered NE, MO, AR, LA and finished in TX this afternoon.
Reload Galveston in the AM going to IA for Monday morning.
So not a lot of sitting this past week or two:)
I only haul the rgn, or the blade trailer in summer. Blades haven't started yet, so RGN it is.
The loads all paid decent enough for me. All legal and all over $1.90 a mile. The multi stop run I just finished paid @$3 a mile to the trk, but I had to work for it unfortunately.....
Yes it's more work, but tag onto the right company and you will make a little beer money once in a while.
I do know guys pulling RGN that tarp a lot, but luckily I don't need to with hauling machinery. A lot of the crates need it though....:damnit

Martin
 

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just thought i'd add that good freight and junk freight, brokers and companies, paychecks and settlements will always be around-those 4 little ones won't. don't not figure them into whatever path you choose. good luck and good hunting
 

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brokered freight, load boards & cost per mile

Thank you for commenting on some of the ins and outs of operating successfully. Leftlanetruckin, you wrote "[all loads were] legal and all over $1.90 a mile. The multi stop run I just finished paid @$3 a mile to the trk, but I had to work for it." What does $3 a mile to the truck mean and you got $1.90 of it? What explains the price per mile disparity? Antiquepuller, my worry would be that I was getting the crummy loads and company trucks were getting the gravy. I like your hybrid arrangement though that entitles you to go out and develop your own customer base. What do you drive?

I'm interested in opinions of load boards. The ability to set up dual leg runs both out and back home can eliminate deadheading pretty much. Also remove much ambiguity and uncertainty. Is my surmise correct that most load board freight is already brokered freight meaning that an intermediary is already taking a cut off the top? If so...that guy has to be removed from the equation. He's a parasite.

A while back a trucker wrote me the following note. I found it impressive and publish it slightly edited with his permission, anonymously.

"Maybe I am different than other truckers but figuring per mile rate for me always starts with fuel, as it is the biggest variable in the whole equation.

You didn't say what model your tractor is, but being 40yrs old, I'll assume it is a cabover. So 5mpg is gonna be about it. I can get 6.2 to 6.5 empty under ideal conditions, but it is rare. I always use 5.0mpg because I have gotten less than that one time in almost 60000 miles, anything better than 5mpg is profit.

'CPM' is COST PER MILE OR CENTS PER MILE

So 3.34 per gallon of diesel fuel divided by 5 is 67cpm for fuel.
My pay to myself... 32cpm
My pay for tractor maintenance/parts 25cpm
Broker fees / trailer rental (varies) but averages 16cpm
Insurance 6cpm (through broker)
Registration and HD use tax 8cpm (1487reg+550 HD use tax / 25000mi / yr)

That's 1.54 for every mile she turns with no profit ... and while I like trucking, I'm not out here to go broke, or do it for free.

Also... that .25 for maintenance... that means ME doing maintenance, shopping around for parts, and that does NOT include chrome, or other dress up parts. I plan to revise the MX numbers for 2011, because of an anticipated engine overhaul... I'm sure that number is going to balloon...

Add in what you think is appropriate for profit... if you add about 30-40% to that $1.54 I think you would be in the ballpark for what it will cost you. I'm all for $2-$3 / mile ROUND TRIP freight, but I haven't found it on any sort of regular basis.

When it is ALL SAID AND DONE... I usually have single-digit profit on the net numbers... So ... many will argue... BUT that is figured, and includes every mile, from the house to the house... and I live 30 (roundtrip) miles from the manufactring plant I regularly haul from... and 50 miles from my broker's mechanic shop and offices. So net numbers include all those "unpaid" miles, plus all tolls, and all above expenses taken out... "single digit profit on the net number." -- I have definitely had loads above that, and some well above that... but at the end of the year... I'm looking at single digit profit on the balance sheet... wish it could be more... but for a part-time operator, with a limited amount of time to invest... I will take what I can get right now, learn the business, and strive to do better. If I had more time, I could search for a return line haul load ... instead of bouncing home empty... (I refuse to call anything a backhaul... backhaul is another term for "haul this cheaply") -- I rarely get more than 200 miles from home also... often my schedule dictates an out and back run... again a situation of "take what I can get." As for my economics... When my father retired from the Army he went to work for a Fortune 500 company and worked his way into a upper level management position over his 17 year tenure there. He told me last year... "We rarely made more than single digit profit on the net" and that's a Fortune 500 company... --- So ... for a 20000-30000 mile/year operator... I don't feel that bad about what I am doing, making... BUT please don't get me wrong... I absolutely will not take any freight that causes me to lose money... I laughed when a broker I have done business with offered me a 225 mile roundtrip load for $300 plus fuel surcharge (FSC)-- I told him I would do it for $450, hoping we would negotiate, and I would have settled for $400 plus FSC, but he never countered and he did not call back. His $300 offer, even with FSC would certainly result in a loss situation for me... and what about my "time" when I'm not driving? Who is paying me for that?

There were many purposes for starting this business... but the bottom line purpose was to MAKE MONEY, and to learn about business.

I have made notes along the way... here's some that hang on my desk... "Carve a niche" "Make a comeback" "Provide Outstanding Service" "Be Unique" -- My favorite was left by my wife shortly after a set back. .. at the time I was talking of selling the cabover, and *****ing that I should have bought the Mack I looked at in April... Apparently all I do/did was complain about how the truck rode etc. etc. anyway... the note reads... "HEY ... Around here when the going gets tough WE SOLVE THE PROBLEM. Find the solution. You have a cool truck, so it rides like s*it. FIX IT. .... You are a good mechanic, show me some SKILLS." She stuck that to the computer screen.

Other notes include the following about what my requirements will be for truck # 2... "comfortable, quiet, refrigerator, APU compatible, CAT power, tall flat stacks, no longer than 255, efficient, portable toilet, table in bunk, wheelbase divisible by 3.

You know, I hope to be able to do better in this business. I have already made mistakes, and learned from them. I do believe that I have carved a niche, and do provide outstanding service... So I'm hopeful that with continued hardwork, my reputation will precede me, and I will work into a job making more money, doing what I love to do."

Anonymous

Rogerstar adds: Well said! :usflag
 

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Roger,
The figures I quoted were what the load paid the truck mate.
So on the multi stop load, I got just over $3200 for doing 1020 miles. That is just over $3 a mile to the truck.
The other figure was based on the same math, but paid me $1.90 a mile to do the load.
When I say "to the truck" that means what I get paid, as it's my truck:)
I can quote you every single expense for running my rig, either by the week, month or mile. I do not see how anyone can run a truck and not know what it costs them to do so.
My maintenance cost me 11 cents a mile last year, based on the 114698 miles I drove. The main payment will be fuel, followed by the truck payment if you have a pretty new rig. My fuel for last year was 51.2 cents a mile.
Before you do anything, make sure you are capable of doing the numbers mate. You cannot run a successful business in ANY field without knowing what it takes for you to make a profit.
Would you buy a gas station/ laundromat/ corner store/ grocery store/ whatever, without knowing what the numbers are? There is no difference in my opinion. A business is a business, regardless of the specifics. That is why so many of the so called owner operators lose their azz on a weekly basis, they have absolutely no idea what it takes to run a business.
Blow a motor or have a major repair, fair enough that is a hard pill to swallow.
Go broke when fuel goes up .03 cents a gallon or you need 2 tires, shouldn't happen.
Just my .02 as normal:wave

Martin
 

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Roger,
The figures I quoted were what the load paid the truck mate.
So on the multi stop load, I got just over $3200 for doing 1020 miles. That is just over $3 a mile to the truck.
The other figure was based on the same math, but paid me $1.90 a mile to do the load.
When I say "to the truck" that means what I get paid, as it's my truck:)
I can quote you every single expense for running my rig, either by the week, month or mile. I do not see how anyone can run a truck and not know what it costs them to do so.My maintenance cost me 11 cents a mile last year, based on the 114698 miles I drove. The main payment will be fuel, followed by the truck payment if you have a pretty new rig. My fuel for last year was 51.2 cents a mile.
Before you do anything, make sure you are capable of doing the numbers mate. You cannot run a successful business in ANY field without knowing what it takes for you to make a profit. Would you buy a gas station/ laundromat/ corner store/ grocery store/ whatever, without knowing what the numbers are? There is no difference in my opinion. A business is a business, regardless of the specifics. That is why so many of the so called owner operators lose their azz on a weekly basis, they have absolutely no idea what it takes to run a business.
Blow a motor or have a major repair, fair enough that is a hard pill to swallow.
Go broke when fuel goes up .03 cents a gallon or you need 2 tires, shouldn't happen.
Just my .02 as normal:wave

Martin
Well said...:happymugs
 
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